For most of us, buying a leather couch is a big investment. When spending so much money on a piece of furniture, you want to take care of it the best way possible. Here’s how you can care for your leather lounge and make it last for many years to come.
The first step to figuring out how to care for your leather couch is to know whether your upholstery is protected or unprotected. Protected leather or semi–aniline leather is the most common leather used for furniture. This type of leather is both dyed with aniline and topped with a layer of pigment colour. The pigment colour gives the couch a coloured look in addition to making it more stain resistant.
Unprotected leather, or aniline leather, feels soft to the touch. The leather is dyed with aniline, a dye that colours the leather without giving it the even look of topcoat paint. The result is a natural finish with grains and markings on the surface. As unprotected leather has little to no protective coating, it can easily stain.
Cleaning unprotected leather
A good way to clean unprotected leather is to wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth and vacuum it on a regular basis using a soft brush attachment. You can also wipe the surface using a clean cloth that is slightly dampened in distilled water. As unprotected leather is sensitive, take care when you clean it to ensure you don’t stain or scratch it.
Sometimes, accidents happen. You could spill Thai food take-out or your hot cup of tea on your leather couch. If a mishap occurs, blot the substance as soon as possible with a clean, dry cloth and let it absorb. Check with a professional leather cleaner or the manufacturer before you do anything else.
Cleaning protected leather
Similar to unprotected leather, you can vacuum your leather lounge using a brush attachment. Afterwards, mix distilled water with a few drops of a mild non-detergent soap alternatively use a leather cleaner. With a dampened clean microfiber cloth, test by wiping a discreet area on the couch. Check for any discolouration from the soap or from the water. If no discolouration occurs, begin to wipe the leather surface, starting from the top, and working your way down to the bottom. Dampen a second cloth with distilled water and wipe the couch once more. Dry with a clean towel.
If you happen to stain your leather lounge, you have a good chance of getting rid of it if you act quickly. Water-based stains can simply be wiped off with a clean cloth dampened in distilled water. Afterwards, leave the spot to air dry. With oil-based stains, use a dry white cloth to blot the stain. In time, the stain will dissipate into the leather. Afterwards, use a protection gel that will form an invisible barrier between day-to-day dirt and grime build-up.
Even though protected leather is less sensitive than unprotected leather, there are a few things you need to stay away from. Do not use any products containing ammonia or alkalis and avoid detergents, oils, furniture polishes, abrasive materials and any cleaners with caustic ingredients.
Should you condition your leather couch?
The simple answer is yes. Leather is a natural material that breathes and needs moisture in its surrounding environment to keep it from drying out. If you want to keep your leather lounge soft and supple, you should apply a conditioner every 12 months. This will help the leather to maintain its natural oils, and over time it will keep the leather from cracking.
By using basic cleaning tools you’ll be able to keep your couch in a good condition, and be able to enjoy it for years to come. To find out what leather care products we recommend, visit our furniture care page.