How to clean a leather sofa

Leather sofas seem like an attractive option as they are relatively easy to clean.

But what’s the best way to get them back in top shape? Here’s everything you need to know.

How do I clean a leather sofa?

Have you ever kicked back on a sofa at the end of a long day, only to realize you spilled your drink?

Luckily, a leather sofa can usually be wiped clean, but to keep it sparkling like new you should give it a good deep clean a couple of times a year.

If you’ve finally decided to tackle your throne and are looking for a great cleaning hack, here are the steps you need to follow, according to furniture company Furniture Choice.

You need:

  • rubber gloves
  • A vacuum cleaner (although this is optional)
  • At least two microfiber towels
  • White vinegar or mild soap

vacuuming and mopping

First things first: wipe dirt and grime off the surface of your sofa.

Cleaning a leather sofa is relatively easy, but it's important to use a solution that's gentle on the material


Cleaning a leather sofa is relatively easy, but it’s important to use a solution that’s gentle on the materialPhoto credit: Getty

This is important because you don’t want to rub dirt into the material when wiping with cleaning solution.

If you have a vacuum, try using the soft brush attachment so you don’t scratch it and leave marks.

If you don’t have one, you can simply use a microfiber cloth.

Mix up a gentle cleaning solution

When it comes to leather sofas, it is best to ensure that you use a cleaning solution that is as gentle as possible.

You may be able to make one using products you can find at home.

Mild PH balanced soaps are preferable for cleaning leather, you can use a bar of soap or add a few drops to warm water to dilute.

If you don’t have soap, you can also make a mixture of half and half white vinegar and water.

You can also try leather soaps, but be careful as these may harden or darken the surfaces.

Try it out

Once you’ve created your solution, test it out on a small area of ​​your sofa.

Apply a small amount to a part that is not easily visible and let it dry.

You can then check that it looks the way you want and that it hasn’t caused any discoloration.

Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth

After that, get your two microfiber towels. One is used for cleaning, the other for drying.

Wearing gloves, dip one of these in the cleaning solution, then wring it out until it’s damp.

If you’re using a bar of soap, make sure the cloth is damp, then wipe over it with the bar to transfer some soap onto it.

All you then have to do is work from top to bottom of the sofa, rubbing gently making sure you reach the corners and rinsing the cloth in the solution if necessary.

Finally, use the other cloth to dry the sofa with a gentle buff.

Make sure the sofa is thoroughly dried to avoid mold or mildew stains.

How to condition a leather sofa

If you want your sofa to always look its best, you should use a leather conditioner.

It’s best to do this every six to 12 months, although it’s important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to condition your sofa:

  • Wearing rubber gloves, apply a small amount to a microfiber cloth
  • Work gently into the leather
  • Use another – dry – cloth to remove excess material and allow time to cure (according to the product’s instructions for use). How to clean a leather sofa

Jessica MacLeish

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