Leather Cleaning Tips

Leather is a popular fabric for furniture, jackets, boots and belts. It is becoming more popular every year because of its versatility, strength and ease of maintenance. We have had several leather sofas over the years and they have always lasted longer than their fabric counterparts. One the reasons we have enjoyed our leather furniture is how easy they are to clean. Here are some leather cleaning tips that will help you enjoy your leather for years to come.

Furniture Leather Cleaning

Furniture leather needs special care to keep it from becoming too dry. If the leather dries out it becomes brittle and prone to cracking. To help prevent this you want to use a leather cleaning solution that also conditions the leather. The first step is to determine if you leather is finished. Almost 90% of leather furniture is finished. You can tell by looking at the surface of the leather, if it is rough and nappy like a pool table's felt, it most likely is not finished. This type of material is often called suede or nubuck. If the surface is smooth and shinny it most likely is finished leather. You can double check by taking a small amount of foaming leather cleaner and letting it sit on the surface of the leather. If it soaks in the leather is unfinished.

Homemade Leather Cleaning Solution

If you look at most commercial leather cleaners you will notice the same ingredients used in all of them. Olive oil, lanolin and Neats oil are the most commonly used. You likely have these ingredients at home and making your own leather cleaner is easy. Just mix one cup distilled white vinegar and two cups food grade linseed oil or olive oil. Just wipe the solution evenly over the leather’s surface using a lint free cloth, microfiber works great. Then use a second lint free cloth to buff and polish the leather surface. Use every three months to clean and condition.

Automotive Leather Seats

If you car has leather seats this cleaner will also clean and condition them. You can also take a few steps to protect your car’s seats. Heat is leather’s enemy, so try to park in a shaded area or use a windshield sun shade. If you have small kids, use a blanket under child car seats to protect against scratches and indentations from the seat rubbing against the leather. If you have a dog, a blanket can protect the seat from the dog’s nails.

Removing Leather Stains

Many stains can be removed from leather. Try these on your tough leather stains:
  • Toothpaste – Lightly scrub the area with a terry cloth and a small dab of toothpaste.
  • Hairspray – Ink stains can be tough to remove from leather. Spray the area liberally with hairspray and use a terry cloth two wipe away the ink. It may take several attempts to get the desired results.
  • Mayonnaise – Water rings can be removed from leather by covering the stain with mayonnaise for a few hours. Use a terry cloth to wipe the area clean. Use our homemade leather cleaner to make it look like new.
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