How to Clean A Leather Sofa - Step By Step Guide

How to Clean a Leather Sofa


  1. 4 Steps To Clean Leather Sofa:
  2. How to Clean White Leather Sofa?
  3. How To Clean A Leather Sofa To Get The Smoke Smell Out?
  4. How To Keep Your Leather Sofa Clean Longer?

Leather furniture is expensive. It's a luxurious piece of furniture that everyone loves to have at home. Let's assume that you have finally bought your leather sofa at home, and you are super proud of your investment.

But know that your work doesn't end there. You must maintain it well. Because leather is a natural material that needs little tinkering to extend its lifespan, if maintained properly, your leather sofa can last longer than you do. Well, that's the reality with genuine leather-made sofas.

If your leather sofa has become dirty due to a lack of regular cleaning or if spills have stained it, don't panic. You can clean the leather sofa and make it look healthy and serve you well.

If you are wondering how to get started with the cleaning, follow the extensive guide given in this article.

4 Steps To Clean Leather Sofa

4 Steps to Clean Leather Sofa

Step 1: Remove Dust And Debris That's Hiding

If you want your leather sofa to stay in good shape, free from dust or dirt, clean it on a weekly basis. As for any cleaning process, by default, it starts with vacuuming to remove dust and debris.

Use the crevice tool on your vacuum to reach areas between and under cushions. Because it's where the dust gets collected and doesn't come out while you clean using other tools or by hand. We also recommend using a disposable electrostatic duster or a microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Wipe Off The Grime

Your leather sofa might have tough grime layers if it has been uncleaned for a long time. Prove to them that you are tougher. Instead of using plain water, use mild cleaning products to remove all the grime and stains from the leather.

Remember, harsh cleaning solutions might damage the leather. So be extra careful while choosing the type of solution or soap.

To create the cleaning solution, take a small bowl or bucket and fill it with warm water. Next, add a few drops of liquid soap. If you prefer using a bar of soap, dampen a microfiber cloth and rub it over the bar of soap.

Now start cleaning small areas of your leather sofa. We suggest starting at the top of the sofa and gradually wiping down each part. Make sure your cloth is completely soaked in cleaning solution but not dripping. Use gentle circular motions to clean areas with heavy soil. And remember to rinse the cloth on and off.

Wipe away the dirt.

Once you have cleaned the dirt, you must rinse the leather. Don't use too much water, as it can damage and discolor the leather. Instead, use a clean, dry, microfiber cloth to clean the surface.

Step 3: Handle Tough Stains Better

A stained leather sofa is a big headache. And you work tirelessly to get rid of it. Be it pet stains, your kiddo scribbled on the leather sofa using a pen, or you dropped food items accidentally. Either way, you can face it. There are different types of stains, namely water-based stains, oil and grease stains, ink stains, and dye transfer.

Here's how you can deal with them:

  • Grease stains:

Before starting with the stain removal process, remove the solid debris, in our case, the oil or grease, using a paper towel. Next, sprinkle a layer of cornstarch or talcum powder.

Allow it to settle for at least a few hours. This trick will absorb the oil from the leather. Then, vacuum away the cornstarch. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone completely.

  • Ink:

Many people look for ways to clean leather sofas from pen marks. First, blot fresh ink stains using a paper towel. But be careful. Tab it slowly; otherwise, it will smudge the ink.

Next, rub a damp microfiber cloth on bar soap and work in a small circle in the ink-stained area. Can I use isopropyl alcohol to remove an ink stain? Well, take it as the last resort, as it can discolor the leather sometimes.

  • Water-based stains:

For water-based stains like water rings or spills, use a dry cloth to bolt the water. Next, create a solution of mild sofa or leather cleaner mixed with water. Gently wipe the stained area on your leather sofa using a soft cloth. Next, dry it with another clean cloth.

Step 4: Condition Dry Leather

This is the final step. Just like your skin needs moisturizer, the leather material on your sofa must be conditioned. Because dry leather will lose its luster and feel stiff and dry.

To treat dry leather, use a good commercial leather conditioner to restore its suppleness. You can follow the product directions and treat the leather with a microfiber cloth to restore the finish.

How to Clean White Leather Sofa?

How to Clean White Leather Sofa

1. Method 1: Mix Oil And Vinegar

  • Take 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the mix on the stain, let it sit for five minutes and wipe. Strictly avoid bleach or ammonia-based cleaners, as they can damage the leather.

2. Method 2: Use Toothpaste

First, wet the stained area with a damp cloth. Don't soak the area, but just dampen it. Now dab a small portion of non-gel toothpaste on the stain. Use a soft toothbrush to scrub away the stain. Wipe the area with a clean cloth when finished. Next, dry with a towel. Toothpaste will also remove scuffs.

How To Clean A Leather Sofa To Get The Smoke Smell Out?

How to clean a leather sofa to get the smoke smell out

You can use simple, inexpensive items to quickly neutralize the smoke odor and make your leather smell great again.

To get the cigarette smell out of leather furniture, first ventilate the room. Opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate in the room.

Method 1: Use Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda over the leather sofa and let it sit on the sofa for a few hours or overnight. It will absorb the smoke odor.

Vacuum the upholstery: You can thoroughly vacuum the baking sofa from the sofa and help reach crevices and seams.

Method 2: Try A Vinegar Solution

Take a 1:4 ratio of vinegar and water, pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the furniture.

The acid content in the vinegar has the power to neutralize the smell of cigarette holders and any bacteria that live on the furniture's surface.

Method 3: Use Mild Laundry Detergent

Based on the type of leather, use a simple mix of mild laundry detergent and water to clean it. Take 2 to 3 drops of laundry detergent, mix it with warm water and pour it into a spray bottle.

Spray the solution on your leather furniture, use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to wipe it down, and voila. Sometimes, the tobacco from the smoke products tends to linger in the air and easily settle down on the surface of the furniture.

So, clean the surface with a dry cloth and add leather polish or conditioner. Instead of leather polish, you can also apply a little olive or coconut oil.

How To Keep Your Leather Sofa Clean Longer?

How To Keep Your Leather Sofa Clean Longer

A leather sofa is an investment because the material is costly. So, maintaining it is important.

1. Clean It Regularly

Add a clean leather sofa to your house cleaning checklist. This reminds you to prioritize it. Daily dusting, vacuuming, and regular conditioning can extend the lifespan of your leather sofa.

2. Vacuum With The Right Attachment

If you are vacuuming the leather sofa to remove dust, and if you have kids and pets, Use the right brush attachment to remove excess pet hair.

If the cushions are removable, don't forget to vacuum the crumbs, dirt, and debris that fall underneath the cushions.

With reclining functions, pay close attention to the crevice at the bottom since it has a hidden spot that tends to collect debris over time.

3. Avoid Direct Sunlight

Did you know that direct sunlight can fade the color of your leather? Direct sunlight is so dangerous for your sofa that within 4 to 6 months of exposure, the leather will crack. So, keep the sofa away from sunlight. In the worst case, you can install blinds or curtains to keep the sun rays from popping inside.

4. Maintain The Shape Of The Leather Cushions

If your leather sofa has removable cushions, switch the positions often. This way, it can prevent sagging. Try rotating them every one or two months for the best results.

5. Hire A Professional

Cleaning a leather sofa with stains can be daunting, especially after trying several DIY methods at home. So, hire a professional to repair the lean furniture.

Professional leather cleaning includes various services such as cleaning, conditioning, addressing any re-coloring needs, and deodorization if your leather sofa smells like dog. The interesting advantage is that most cleaning services or repairs come with a warranty. So if any issue pops up again, you can get it re-examined.

Final Words

We hope this extensive guide on how to clean a leather sofa was of some help. Just remember one thing: there are different types of leather, and your leather sofa might come up with some instructions on how to clean it. Whether you are cleaning it yourself or hiring a professional, ensure these things are checked before cleaning them.

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