Leather furniture comes with a whole list of pros and cons. On the one hand, it’s a very stylish material that can improve the interior design of your home. It’s also available in different styles and colours, adding more diversity to your living room.
On the other hand, it can be quite tricky to clean. Now, the good thing about leather is that it isn’t fibrous – like fabric furniture – so stains don’t sink in and become embedded very quickly. However, it’s quite a delicate material that can easily become damaged. So, you need to know the right way to clean it!
Below, you’ll find some of the worst ways you can clean leather furniture. Read through all of these mistakes to ensure you don’t make them, and you’ll also pick up some tips on the right way to clean leather furniture.
Top mistakes made when cleaning leather furniture
Not reading the manufacturer’s guide
When you buy leather furniture, it will come with a guide from the manufacturer. Effectively, this tells you a bit about your furniture, as well as provides you with cleaning information. It should list a few things that you absolutely should never do to your couch or chair, so be sure to read it thoroughly. Mistakes happen and leather sofas are damaged permanently because people neglected to read the manufacturer’s guide and used a substance that is specifically told you to avoid!
Not taking immediate action
As mentioned in the introduction, leather doesn’t absorb spills as quickly as fabric materials. It means that stains don’t sink in as fast, so you have a tendency to avoid taking immediate action. However, leather is still porous and will absorb liquids and stains gradually. Therefore, you have to react as soon as something is spilt on your furniture. Get the cleaning products out right away and dab at the area to soak up as much liquid as possible before it gets a chance to sink in and cause damage to the leather.
Applying heat to your leather furniture
Never apply heat to your leather furniture when cleaning it. Why would you do this? Well, looking back at the point above, you know you should take quick action when something spills on your sofa. As such, you may be inclined to use a hairdryer to dry the leather as quickly as possible. Never do this. Heat will damage the leather and make it crack and peel. Instead of quickly cleaning your furniture, you’ll need to spend more money on a leather repair kit to deal with all the cracks you’ve caused. When it comes to soaking up liquid spills, use a cloth to get as much moisture off the surface as you can, then let the leather air dry.
Using a multi-surface cleaning product
You’ve got a stain on your leather sofa – or perhaps you just want to freshen it up – so you go to your kitchen and take out a multi-surface household cleaning product from under your sink. It says it works on all surfaces, so it should be fine, right?
Wrong. Never use these products on leather furniture. In fact, don’t use any cleaning products on your leather furniture unless they are specifically made for leather. You can find leather cleaners out there, so be sure you get one. If you don’t have one and need to clean a stain away, you can just use water for now. It will help you remove the stain, but a leather cleaning product gets rid of odours and usually contains ingredients that sink into the leather to keep it healthy.
Scrubbing too hard
Try to avoid using a hard bristly brush on your leather sofa. Instead, soft cloths are the best way to clean it and remove stains. Hard brushes are problematic because you can scrub too hard at the leather, causing bits to peel away. Always be gentle when you clean your leather furniture to avoid damaging the material. Sure, you might scrub away a nasty stain, but you’ve also scrubbed away a layer of leather!
Instantly cleaning your furniture without testing it
Finally, you should always test your cleaning products on a small area of your leather sofa before you start cleaning it properly. It’s best to choose an area that’s hidden from view, so nobody can see it if it damages the furniture. Think of it this way, at least you have only damaged a tiny area rather than your entire sofa! Test your cleaning products, see if they work, then use them on the rest of the furniture.
Avoid all of these common mistakes if you want to keep your leather furniture in the best condition possible.