Have you recently purchased a new leather couch from your local furniture store? Sure, it may provide an exceptional addition to your living room or home office, but when it comes to up-scale items like leather furniture, it’s important to remember one thing – proper maintenance. Nobody is disputing the fact that leather is a stunning and luxurious material. It’s simply imperative that you take the proper steps to preserve the material.
So, why is it important that leather is regularly taken care of? Well, if you didn’t already know, leather is a durable and versatile material made primarily from cattle hide and other animal skins. Through a process called tanning, the rawhide is converted into what you see when you look at a leather item. Before being made into leather, however, the rawhide was taken care of by nature; it was naturally fed, cleaned and repaired daily. After the tanning and conversion process, these responsibilities are turned over to you, the owner of that new leather couch.
Now that your couch has left the furniture store, the maintenance of the leather is your duty. It’s important that you know how to fulfill this requirement in order to preserve the life of your product.
Type of Leather
There are various types of leather, from top grained to aniline, which are coated in different ways; before you begin cleaning your leather, it’s essential that you know what type you are working with. Separate coatings will often require different levels of cleaning. Usually, tags or other written information should tell you which type of leather you’re working with. You can also return to the furniture store you bought your piece from and inquire there.
It is important to have the correct cleaning supplies for your leather couch. After determining the type of leather upholstery, you will know whether or not you need special cleaning products like saddle soap to do the job. Homemade cleaning solutions like vinegar and water are sometimes required as well. In general, it’s suggested you always keep soft cloths, water, a bucket, a rag and a vacuum on hand throughout the process.
First, prepare a smooth and clean slate before really taking care of the dirty work. Use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to rid the couch’s surface of any dust, grime or air-borne particles. If these particles come in contact with moisture or cleaning products, damage could be done to the surface of your leather couch.
Inspect your couch for stains. If there are any affected areas, apply a store-bought stain remover. Then, mix the appropriate cleaning solution or product with warm water. With a soft and damp cloth, start the application at the top of the couch and work your way down while rinsing the cloth when necessary. While drying, do not use forced air, as this may dehydrate the furniture; use a soft, clean cloth and wipe in circular motions. After the leather is dry, let it sit unused overnight.
Condition and Buffer
Conditioning your leather is necessary after cleaning the upholstery. Skip this crucial step, and your leather may crack and dry. There are some home-based remedies that are commonly used, but it is best to inquire with the manufacturer or furniture store as to which product to use. Apply the conditioner in circular motions and let it sit for an extended period of time or overnight. Now you can buff your couch with a clean rag and restore its shine.
Cleaning a leather couch is simple when you have the right materials and perform the right steps in order – vacuum, clean, condition and buff. Clean it about once a month or after an event or gathering where it was extensively used. By properly maintaining your leather furniture, you can keep it looking as good as new for years to come.