How To Clean Leather Sofa – Best Way To Clean Leather Couch

Last Update:

No wonder leather furniture looks elegant and luxurious; they require a little bit of love and care to maintain its freshness. Leather is considered to be the most durable material that requires low maintenance. If kept neglected, it might start to degenerate, and there might be no going back. There are a few types of leather that should be treated differently. The list of techniques used to clean the leather couches or sofas isn’t a short one.

You can employ several different procedures to clean the leather surfaces. Moreover, there are a wide variety of products that are best suited for cleaning. Besides, you can also prepare cleaning solutions in the comfort of your own home with the ingredients resting in your kitchen cabinets. Here we will discuss the types of leather used to make furniture; in addition to that, we will also discuss how to clean a leather sofa.

You can also learn about how to cover a sofa/couch!

Identifying the Leather Type

Before all else, you need to identify the type of leather upholstery the manufacturer has used on your sofa. The cleaning procedure is done after the identification of leather as its type isn’t restricted to one. Also, it is according to the type of leather you will prepare or purchase a cleaning solution. So basically, there are two types of leather called unprotected and protected leather. Unprotected leather is one that needs a lot of care and protection.

The reason for that is, as the name suggests, unprotected leather has no protective coatings making it more prone to staining. The unprotected leather is also known as aniline leather because it is dyed with aniline dye. It is ultra-soft to touch and gives off luxurious looks. In addition to that, this leather type costs more than the protected one. If not treated and cared for, the surface might oxidize with time forming a greenish hue.

Now, coming to the protected leather, it is hard-wearing and less prone to damage due to the protective polymer and pigment coating. They are also called pigmented leather and have a tough feel. The protected leather is properly treated and finished, which makes them long-lasting and durable. They are resistant to stains, and other damages, so many people opt for this type of leather.

Cleaning and Caring for your Leather Sofa

There are certain ways of caring for your leather sofa. From making homemade cleaning solutions to purchasing them from the store, we have covered many. Sometimes, your leather sofa gets stained with stubborn material, which is hard to clean. Listed below are effective ways to clean stains and care for them, so your leather sofa can last a long time.

Cleaning Unprotected Leather

To clean unprotected leather, it is advised to use a leather-friendly cloth to wipe off the dust. You can also use a vacuum with soft brush bristles to get rid of the hidden dust. If you want to make it shine, you can use a gauze cloth dampened with distilled water and run it all over the sofa. Since it is unprotected, using harsh chemicals might not be a good idea.

Removing Stains and Spills From the Unprotected Leather

Just in case something spills on the aniline sofa, make sure you clean the spill as soon as possible. Use a mild leather cleaner to prevent it from staining. Make sure you don’t use any alkaline solution as it will ruin your leather sofa. If it’s a grease stain, you can use a leather degreaser compatible with the aniline leather.

Cleaning Protected Leather

To clean protected leather, you can use leather dew or mild washing liquid as it can stand them all due to the protected coating. If the protected leather sofa gets stained, you can use a soft clean cloth to wipe the dirt off. Moreover, you can also use the same distilled water-damped cloth to take care of it. Regular dusting and vacuuming will rid your sofa of all the dust and make it last longer.

Just in case your leather sofa gets stained with water-based stains, it is recommended to clean up the grease immediately with the same clean, soft cloth. After that, you need to run a dampened cloth on the stain site. Once you have done that, pour some leather dew or non-detergent cleaners on the cloth and run it gently on the stained area. Rub the stain gently until it is removed. Now, you need to let the sofa air dry. For the stains caused by grease or oil spills, use the same leather degreaser as you have used for the aniline leather.

Removing Stubborn Stains from Leather Sofa

It’s heartbreaking to see when your best-loved leather sofa has a stubborn stain. One stain alone can ruin the overall look of your sofa and the room. To remove a stain off your leather sofa, wash it off with lukewarm water with the help of a washcloth. Use a mild leather cleaner solution to loosen the stains from it. There are plenty of brands that are selling leather cleaning kits. Choose a leather cleaning kit wisely; make sure that it has mild ingredients that are kind to the leather.

Conditioning the Leather Sofa

Leather might lose its shine and get rough if not taken care of properly. It needs proper conditioning to keep the suppleness and shine intact. For that matter, you need a leather conditioner that is compatible with the leather upholstery you are using it on. You can use a leather conditioner after every round of cleaning. To maintain the leather’s integrity and preserve its natural oils, it is advised to condition it every 12 weeks. Some conditioners also protect the leather material from degeneration due to UV. They consist of SPF that will filter all the damaging sun rays.

Another important thing you need to keep in mind is to keep in a temperate compatible with it. You shouldn’t keep your leather sofas or other furniture under direct sunlight. Keeping the leather sofa under direct sunlight will cause it to crack due to the harmful UV rays. In addition to that, if you are living in a region where the temperature remains dry, you need to apply conditions regularly. On the contrary, if you have a humid environment, there’s no need to apply a conditioner too often.

What Should Not be Used on Leather Sofa

A lot of people like to experiment when it comes to cleaning and caring for your leather furniture. You might be oblivious to the fact that many cleaning agents aren’t compatible with leather upholstery. For instance, a lot of people use baking sodas on leather. Baking soda is alkaline and will remove the leather’s natural oils. Moreover, using lemon juice, cream of tartar, mayonnaise, and stuff like that should be avoided.

You should also avoid detergents as they consist of harsh chemicals that might deteriorate the leather. Some people also use white vinegar, which is fine only when diluted. The best cleaner for leather material is distilled water which poses no danger to it. Moreover, you should also avoid using a leather conditioner that comes with wax and latex. The reason behind that is its application makes the leather sticky and unpleasant. There are many leather cleaners and conditioners available on the market that are extremely gentle on them.


What household products do you need to clean the leather?

Vinegar and olive oil provides excellent services to clean multiple upholstery. White vinegar is a great cleaning agent and disinfectant because it has acetic acid in it. Applying vinegar on leather will clean grease dust particles and mineral deposits without damaging them. On the other hand, olive oil will make it soft and supple and bring out its shine.

What is the best way to clean the leather sofa?

The best way to clean the leather sofa is to use mild soap to wash off all that dirt. You can find leather dew at furniture houses and cobbler shops, which is the best soap for cleaning leather. Leather dew is a combination of soap and oil that you can easily purchase. It not only cleans the leather but also keeps the shine intact.

Can you use washing liquid to clean the leather sofa?

You can use the washing liquid to clean the sofa provided you have diluted it with water. For that matter, all you have to do is add one part of the washing liquid into five parts of water and clean the sofa with it. After drying, apply olive oil with the help of soft fabric to shine like a new one.

Can you use baby wipes to clean the leather?

Some people often use baby wipes to clean the leather when it is not a good practice. Baby wipes contain certain chemicals that are harmful to any leather material. Besides, baby wipes are alkaline, which might fade the leather’s colour and cause it to peel and crack.

What is the drawback of vinegar when it’s used to clean leather sofas?

Since vinegar contains acetic acid, it may cause the leather to dry out. Vinegar is a great cleaning agent, but you need to treat the leather surface with a conditioner. Make sure you apply the conditioner such as Cadillac with a soft gauze fabric for an even smooth application.

How often should I clean my leather sofa?

Leather sofas should be cleaned with a vacuum every week to get rid of the accumulated dust particles, which may ruin the look and colour of the sofas. In addition to that, you are required to deep clean your leather sofa every 4 to 6 months to maintain the leather’s integrity.

You can also learn about how to pull out a sofa bed here!

Final Thoughts

Leather has been widely used in the making of furniture for its classy looks and low maintenance. Leather furniture is expensive; therefore, you should go the extra mile to maintain your leather sofas and other furniture. The list of methods used to clean the leather surfaces is vast. From homemade remedies to commercially prepared soaps and solutions, you have various ways to clean your leather sofas. We hope this article proves to be an informative source for all your queries related to the cleaning of leather sofas.

Photo of author

Leave a Comment