A beautiful leather couch is luxurious—and knowing how to clean leather is essential if you want it to stay that way. Of course, wear and tear are unavoidable—we’d never tell you to quit binge-watching Netflix—but if you clean and care for leather properly, it will only get better with age.

Leather couches and other leather furniture should be dusted with a dry cloth and rubbed with a leather cream once a month to keep the material supple and moisturized—and leather cream is also what you use to clear up any dirt or stains.

Gather Your Materials

These are the cleaning supplies you’ll need to tidy up your leather surfaces:

  • Saddle soap
  • Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment
  • Water
  • Leather cream
  • Soft cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swab

Vacuuming the Furniture

Remove dirt by vacuuming the furniture piece using the brush attachment.

Begin with some soap and water.

Always try them first on an inconspicuous spot that can’t be seen. And put down a drop cloth to catch any water drips. To remove light stains from your leather, soak a clean, damp washcloth in warm soapy water and wipe the stain away. There are certain leather soaps, typically referred to as saddle soaps. Darker stains, such as those caused by an ink pen, are a different issue. A cotton swab bathed in rubbing alcohol can do the work. Just make sure you apply it directly to the stain to prevent the alcohol from spreading the stain to other parts of the leather.

Dry the Leather Thoroughly

Be sure to carefully dry the leather with another clean dry cloth to avoid any mildew.

Apply Leather Cream

Re-moisturize the material by applying the leather cream with a clean cloth. Let it sink in, then buff to a shine if you’d like.

Tips on How to Care for Leather

Now that you know how to clean leather-like a pro, here are a few more tips on how to care for leather furniture so that it lasts a lifetime.

Design your furniture layout in such a way that the leather is protected.

In most cases, it’s the environment that causes leather to crack—extreme temperatures and a lack of moisture. Putting a sofa directly next to your air conditioner, next to a radiator, or direct sunlight can have the same impact, so avoid placing furniture right close to a window or glass door, or use light-blocking curtains.

Keep your pets off leather furniture.

Cats, and sometimes dogs, will use leather as a (very expensive) scratching post, so teach them to stay off the sofa.

Moisturize the leather regularly.

To treat specific distressed areas, find a treatment made for your type of leather. Less is more when applying any product to leather. Test a small area first. For colored leather, be extra careful and know in advance that any product will most likely darken the leather.

Source: www.architecturaldigest.com, www.bhg.com, www.forbes.com

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