How to Clean Leather Furniture with Home Remedies

November 14, 2016

At Riley’s Real Wood Furniture of Eugene, Oregon, we sell a lot of high quality leather furniture and understand that one of our customer’s primary concerns is keeping their new purchase in pristine condition for as long as possible. We also understand that cleaning leather furniture can be tricky and can easily go wrong, so we developed this guide in the hope of providing a low-risk approach to cleaning your favorite leather piece.                                                                                              

When it comes to cleaning leather furniture, less tends to be more. Leather is a durable material, which is why people are drawn to buying leather furniture, but it can be ruined if not cared for properly. Be warned, not all leather cleaning products are created equal and some may actually damage your leather furniture. This is why the following is a leather cleaning approach that avoids using store bought leather cleaners in lieu of lower-risk home remedies.


1. Dust or Vacuum the Piece

The first step in cleaning any leather furniture is to remove any loose dust or dirt. This can be done simply by using a feather duster or a vacuum with a brush attachment. Dust and dirt are abrasive and may damage your furniture if still present as the cleaning process continues.

Dusting or vacuuming your leather furniture should become a part of your regular living room cleaning routine as it will prevent the buildup of grime and help extend the life of your living room furniture.


2. Use Equal Parts Vinegar and Water

Using a solution of equal parts vinegar and water is the safest way to clean leather (distilled water is preferred to tap water since tap water may contain impurities). Vinegar and water surely isn’t as powerful as chemical cleaners, but that may be a good thing since it also doesn’t have the potential to ruin your leather. To be safe, always test your solution on an inconspicuous part of your furniture to make sure you are not creating more stains rather than cleaning them.  


3. Only Use a Damp, Microfiber Cloth

When cleaning leather furniture, it is extremely important to understand that moisture is leather’s mortal enemy. At no point should you allow moisture to be soaked up by your leather furniture, so make sure to effectively wring out a microfiber cloth soaked in the solution before using it. You should also make sure to regularly rinse your cloth so as not to spread dirt or dust that might still be present.


4. Tougher Stains

Grease Stains: Powder the stain with baking soda and let it sit a couple of hours before brushing it off with a cloth. Do not add water or try to wipe with a wet cloth as this may spread the grease and help it be absorbed further into the leather.

Ink Stains: Try using a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to wipe away the stain but make sure to test an inconspicuous area first. This has reportedly worked well for removing mold and mildew too.


5. Contact a Professional Cleaner If Necessary

If you have followed these steps and a pesky stain still persists, it may be time to call a professional. It very well may be better to spend the money for a professional to clean your leather furniture than to have to buy new living room furniture because of a chemical cleaner mishap. You may find these FAQ’s from Stanley Steemer helpful in determining if a professional cleaning is necessary, and if you do decide to hire a professional cleaner, make sure you know what to expect from an upholstery cleaning service.


At Riley’s Real Wood of Eugene, we are committed to selling high quality leather furniture, and we want our customers to feel empowered to keep their furniture looking as great as the day it was delivered.


If you found this guide useful, you might want to check out our guide to protecting your leather furniture from sun damage.