Maintaining Leather Furniture

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated October 4, 2021)

Leather furniture can make just about any room look absolutely fantastic, that is if it is taken care of properly and maintained the way that it should be. While there are all kinds hat you can purchase which are supposed to make cleaning leather easier, you don't need to waste your money on them. The key lies in actually knowing what to do, and following a few guidelines rather closely. Good thing that there are only a few guidelines that you really need to follow, isn't it? Before you begin cleaning any stain you want to make sure that the leather is colorfast, otherwise you may be washing away the coloring for the leather.

  • Test for leather type. Before you can begin cleaning your leather furniture, you need to know what type it is. Is it a dyed leather, or a pigmented leather. It is really important to know which of these two types your leather furniture is. The reason is that pigmented leathers can actually take a bit of water, and a little more "rough" handling than dyed leathers can. The easiest way to test which of these types of leathers you are faced with is to use something called a drop test. Simply let a small drop of water fall on an inconspicuous area of your leather furniture, and watch what happens. If the water is immediately soaked up, then so was the stains, and you will have a much harder time of removing them. If not, then you can probably do most of the cleaning yourself.
  • Pigmented leathers. Keep in mind that even though leather furniture in general shouldn't get too wet, you can use a bit of water to get this type of leather clean. Ideally, you will do this with the help of a clean white cloth that is damp, on which there is a foamy lather from some mild soap (preferably dry soap). This method will work great for removing most water based types of stains (such as sodas, wines, mustard, etc.). For an ink based stain, you can simply use a little bit of baking soda which you have rubbed into the stain. Wipe away the baking soda with a damp cloth, and you should also be able to remove the ink stain.
  • Dyed and suede leathers. Generally speaking for dyed or suede leathers you should leave any cleaning to the professionals. However, if you are willing to run the risk of potentially damaging your furniture (which can happen no matter how careful you are) you can try using a clothes steamer on suede leather. Once you have passed over the stained area a couple of times with the clothes steamer, run an emery board over the area lightly. Keep in mind though, that with these kinds of leather your best bet is to have a professional do the cleaning.
  • Avoid heat and sun. One of the best ways to keep your leather looking its best is to avoid direct sunlight and heat. Directly applying a heat source to your leather furniture can cause the leather to dry out completely and crack. Whereas, with sunlight, the process is a little more gradual, and you also have the increased chance of the leather becoming lighter over time as well.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


Cleaning Cup Holders

Cleaning a vehicle's cup holder is something that can be a little daunting. It can be difficult to get all of the ...

Discover More

Dealing with Pampas Grass

When you want it, pampas grass can be an extremely attractive ornamental grass for your yard and landscaping. If you ...

Discover More

Installing an In-Ground Birdbath

Birdbaths are one of the most traditional garden accessories around. Not only do birdbaths such as these add a little ...

Discover More

The Power of Microfiber! Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths will become your favorite tool for every cleaning task. This 36-cloth package is perfect for hundreds of uses in the garage, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and all around the house. Each cloth is tough, streak-free, lint-free, reusable, and washable. Check out Microfiber Cleaning Cloths today!

More Cleaning Tips

Removing Permanent Marker from Leather

Leather is a wonderfully versatile material that can be used in clothing, furniture, or even as an accessory. However, ...

Discover More

Cleaning Leather Clothes

Leather is a beautiful addition to your wardrobe. Keeping it clean will help keep it looking great and free of avoidable ...

Discover More

Spot Cleaning Leather Sofas

Leather sofas, chairs, and other furniture have become increasingly popular over the years. In fact, you can't really go ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.