by Charlotte Wood
(last updated April 14, 2014)
You finally got that highly anticipated raise at work, and you are finally able to up the quality of your life just a little bit. Your plans are to slowly acquire the flat screen TV, the Mac desktop, the iPhone, and some sweet new leather furniture. Leather furniture is a great upgrade and can really add to the sophistication of your home; however, there is a level of dedication that goes into maintaining the leather. Chances are, your leather will eventually get a little battered and a little dirty, so here are some tips and tricks to help keep that leather looking new and amazing!
Before you start cleaning the leather, you need to make sure you have a handful of rags, some light soap, saddle soap, and some kind of leather preservative conducive to the type and stain of your leather. Before the cleaning actually starts, you also need to vacuum out the couch (if what you're cleaning is a couch or other piece of furniture), just to get it as clean as possible before you wash it.
To clean the surface of your finished leather furniture, first take a warm, damp cloth and lightly lather it with some Dove soap, or other soft soap equivalent. You then need to gently rub the cloth on the leather without getting too much water on the actual leather. The reason you need to be careful with water and leather is because water can actually stain leather and that is the last thing you want when you are trying to make your leather look its best. Once you have wiped the leather with the lathered cloth, take a fresh, damp cloth and wipe away the lather. Use a dry towel and polish the leather a bit. After the leather has completely dried, take some leather conditioner and, following the directions on the leather conditioner bottle, treat the leather.
If you are cleaning unfinished leather, then your first step is to take a damp cloth (or a sponge works well too) to rub saddle soap into the leather, working the soap into a light lather. Again, you need to remember to not let too much actual water get onto the leather; if some water does spill onto the leather, wipe it up immediately to avoid any damage to your leather. Wipe away the leather and let it air dry, and then you can oil the leather with a leather preservative.
With both of these techniques, you should definitely try it out on a smaller piece of leather that is less conspicuous, just to make sure your particular leather responds well to your treatment. These steps should work well with any leather, and now you can have nice, clean, great looking leather all the time!
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