Leather is a durable and low-maintenance material for your furniture. Keeping leather furniture clean and in good condition for a long time requires some simple cleaning regimens be followed on a regular basis. The cleaning methods depend on the type of leather upholstery you have. Here’s a complete guide to caring and maintaining leather furniture according to its leather upholstery type.
Different Types of Leather Upholstery and Their Cleaning Methods
To find what type of leather your furniture is made of, check the manufacturer’s labels. A lot of manufacturers provide detailed instructions. If you’ve lost the instruction of they are missing, then read on.
1. Pure Aniline Leather: It’s the most highly priced leather with a natural look. It has a soft, luxurious feel. Apart from a dirt-resistant coating and aniline dye, pure aniline leather has no other protective finishing or pigments. All surface marks and characteristics of the hide are visible in aniline leather which can develop a patina over time. It’s also vulnerable to staining.
Cleaning Tips for Pure Aniline Leather
Follow any of these tips for cleaning this type of leather upholstery.
• Dust your aniline leather furniture with a clean dry cloth regularly in addition to vacuuming it with a soft brush.
• Clean the aniline leather upholstery with a commercial leather cleaning solution made specifically for it, or use a cloth that’s slightly dampened with distilled water.
• Blot spills (liquid or other) immediately from the surface of the leather with a clean, dry cloth. Consult your manufacturer for further cleaning options.
Before applying any cleaning solution, test it first on a small hidden area.
2. Protected Leather: This type of leather comes with a protective finishing. It’s more stain-resistant and durable than pure aniline. Most furniture is made from protected leather. This type of leather can be categorized into two types; semi-aniline, and pigmented leather. Semi-aniline leather comes with the soft feel of pure aniline leather and an added layer of pigment. Pigmented leather has thicker coatings of pigment. Both types of protected leather are very durable and resistant to wear and tear.
Cleaning Tips for Protected Leather
This type of leather needs better maintenance than pure aniline or unprotected leather. Although it can stand heavier cleaning solutions, here are a few cleaning tips you may find helpful.
• Dust or vacuum with a brush regularly to remove dirt.• Take a few drops of commercial protected leather cleaner on a white microfibre cloth and wipe the upholstery clean from top to bottom. Wipe off the solution with another damp microfiber cloth and dry out with a clean towel.
• Alternatively, mix distilled water and a few drops of mild soap (non-detergent) to create a cleaning solution. Place a small amount of solution on a white microfibre cloth and clean the leather in the same way mentioned above.
• Wipe off water-based spills immediately with a damp white cloth and then allow it to dry naturally. For oil-based spills, wipe off with a dry white cloth. The stain will fade over time.
Make sure to avoid saddle soap, detergents, caustic ingredients, abrasive materials, furniture polishes and products containing ammonia. These can damage leather beyond repair.
High-quality leather furniture – be it leather sofas, chairs or recliners – is an asset. Although cleaning and maintaining it is easy, you should never treat it with any products you’re unsure of. Seek out professional help to find the best solution for the maintenance of your leather furniture.