It’s unfortunate that leather is being unfairly treated, ask a lot of people and even if they don’t OWN a piece of leather furniture, they’ll tell you that they have heard leather is high maintenance – it’s easy to scratch, it’s hard to keep clean, you need to give it a lot of TLC. Leather is just too difficult, so why bother?
The good news is – nothing could be further from the truth!
Okay, a leather lounge does require a little more *work* than you would give a fabric lounge, but the years of comfort and *love* you will receive from your leather lounge will make it worth your while.
Even though leather is a little more high-maintenance than other fabrics, it’s still pretty easy to care for, and even easier to clean. You should still always read the cleaning instructions that came with your lounge, in general, the following 8 tips are universal:
- Always clean up any spills – quickly – a small splash of water that hits your leather every now and again won’t ruin your sofa, as long as you wipe it up straight away. If you start worrying about the spill and how it will leave a stain, you’ll end up waiting too long to wipe it up, and you’ll probably get left with a stain. Always wipe spills up quickly with a soft cloth and just let the area air dry, this will leave you with a stain free and wonderful looking piece of furniture. If you don’t catch the spill on time and you are worried about it staining, spread the remaining liquid over the section of the couch and wipe the spill up from there. When you spread the spill around you’re eliminating that line that will surround the spill – the *water-mark* which is often the biggest sign of a stain.
- To remove dirt, use only a soft cloth or soft brush – dirt and other small debris can scratch a leather lounge when you are wet cleaning or conditioning, this creates imperfections and gives microbes a chance to grow. To stop this, wipe over your leather lounge regularly with a dry cloth, taking extra care to remove any debris before cleaning or conditioning.
- Cleaning – only ever use a damp cloth. Never use cleaners that contain alkaline or ammonia as they will damage your leather. IF it is absolutely necessary use a mild soap that is safe for use on people – it should be safe to use on your leather, the problem is, you can’t be sure, so proceed with care.
- Scratches – when it comes to all leather furniture scratching is inevitable. Of course, when you do get that very first scratch on your leather lounge, it will probably haunt you forever, but fixing it really couldn’t be any easier. When you notice your first scratch rubbing it with your fingertip is often enough to make it go away. The oils on your fingertips, blend in with the natural oils of the lounge, filling the scratch like it was never there.
- Keep out of direct sunlight – prolonged exposure to sunlight can dry out the leather resulting in it becoming discoloured and cracking. To prevent this avoid placing your lounge near windows, or areas where it will be exposed to direct sunlight.
- Condition! – when your new lounge arrives, read the tags, or cleaning instructions that have come with it, this should tell you how to properly condition your new lounge. If it doesn’t, there are a number of good leather cleaning – polishes and conditioners on the market. If you are still not sure, call the store where you bought your lounge and ask them what they recommend.
- Stretching – we spend a lot of time sitting on our leather lounges, if you have kids, they probably stand and jump on the furniture as well, leather can bounce back from a lot of things, but, every now and then leather will stretch a little too far and struggle to come back into shape. You do not have to put up with that, using a hairdryer on the hottest setting slowly heat the area that is stretched, as the leather cools down it will shrink back into its original size and shape.
- If in doubt – always seek professional help – if you treat your leather lounge with the same care that you treat any furniture there should be no need to call a professional for any help. Sometimes though accidents do happen and when they do, don’t deal with it yourself, call in a professional to find the right solution for your problem.
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