Leather furniture is beautiful, stylish, and easy to clean. It adds a touch of class to your home, and with modern, brightly coloured leather lounges, it can add some playfulness and cheer to your space as well. Few things are as pleasurable as sinking into your favourite sofa with a good book or settling in for a long TV binge.
While leather is low maintenance, it does occasionally attract dirt. Mostly it’s just dust that can be wiped off with a damp cloth, or maybe sweat from your skin’s contact with the leather. But your leather seats sometimes catch spills that need more specialised attention.
First off, keep in mind that not all leather is equal. The four main kinds are full grain, top grain, corrected grain and split leather. Sometimes, you might get faux leather or synthetic samples that you think are genuine.
There are also rarer categories like fish leather, buck skin leather and more. Patented leather falls in this category as well. Maintenance differs depending on the type of leather your lounge is made of. If you bought your lounge from a store, it may include care instructions.
Few people actually read through any instruction leaflet, but do keep your instructions in a safe place. You might need them in a stain emergency. The colour of your leather matters too. Lighter shades show dirt more clearly, so you’ll want to be more careful about staining.
When you’re looking for leather cleaning tips online, you’ll see a wide range of suggestions. Always start with the gentlest, least obtrusive methods, especially if you’re unsure about the grade of your leather. Also, don’t treat the stain directly, at least not at first. Test your cleaning method on a hidden section, just in case something goes wrong.
This may not always be helpful, because some furniture makers use cheaper, less premium leather cuts on the hidden areas. Sometimes, those parts aren’t leather at all. So if you want to be sure the area you’re testing has the same leather as the stained area, try treating the space between the cushion.
Dig a few millimetres into the fold of the seat. Since it’s a partially hidden extension of the main sitting area, it probably uses the same material. As you clean, be aware that alcohol-based cleaning agents and abrasive scourers can damage leather, so you should avoid them.
Avoid harsh chemical cleaners and strong detergents, and never scrub leather, since this can cause unsightly scratches. Instead, wipe using soft, circular motions. If the stain is stubborn, use a firmer hand to wipe, or a vigorous rubbing movement, but never scrub.
For weekly cleaning, wipe your leather lounge with a soft white damp cloth. White has two benefits. Since leather doesn’t show dirt easily, wiping several times with a white cloth will show you when you’ve gathered all the dust. White also prevents inadvertently staining your sofa with a dyed fabric that might leech colour when it’s dipped in soap.
Leather lounges can be vacuumed to get rid of surface dust. If anything spills on your sofa, clean it immediately to prevent the stain from setting. If the spill is greasy or oily, use a dry cloth to blot the spill, soaking up as much of it as you can. Don’t wipe or rub the grease, because that might just push it into the leather.
Once you’ve removed as much as possible, pour a little corn starch or talcum powder on the spot to soak up any leftover grease. Let it sit for a few minutes, then brush it off with a soft brush. Use a light touch, and never scrub. Repeat the process three or four times until all the grease is gone.
If water pours on your leather lounge, blot it off as soon as possible to avoid water marks. If the stain happened when you weren’t looking and has already dried, use a damp cloth to wipe off the water marks. The cloth should be soft, and you should use gentle circular movements. Wipe outward, edging away from the stain, and be sure not to scrub.
Ink stains are a little harder to deal with. This is because rubbing alcohol is the standard treatment option for ink, and this would harm your leather. If the stain is fresh liquid ink or ballpoint scribbles, try using a soft, damp cloth to blot the ink and fade the stain.
But if the stain has sat for a while, or if it’s a large ink blot, you may need to call in the pros. They have specialized ways of removing tough stains while protecting your leather. If you are going with new leather lounges you also can find new leather lounge online.