How do I preserve my leather couches?
I have a leather couch & 3 leather chairs. Two of the chairs are rockers/recliners & the other is a regular chair w/matching ottoman. I have never used anything on them except a very soft cloth which has been dampened lightly with plain old water. Every so often I give it a light washing. That's it. May I add that purchasing high quality leather, like an oriental rug, is an investment. We've had ours for about 20 years & it will probably outlast me. I just love it, especially the couch as it is like laying down in a huge marshmallow.
Basics of cleaning and caring for Leather
Leather is a popular material because it is so tough. Cleaning is easy too, since it can be gently vacuumed and damp-wiped as needed. Accomplish deeper cleaning with a leather conditioner or saddle soap.
Although commercial conditioners are best for large pieces such as sofas, a homemade leather reconditioner (see recipe below) will work well for smaller pieces, such as footstools or chair seats.
Homemade Leather Reconditioner
1 teaspoon of household ammonia 4 teaspoons of white vinegar 2 cups water Mix ingredients together. Apply mixture, dry with a soft cloth, and then wipe on castor oil, using a soft cloth. Rub on leather shoe cream in the appropriate color. Buff well.
Leather Furniture Care Made Easy
Here are some tips and tricks for keeping leather furniture beautiful and carefree for many years to come. (Please also refer to the care instructions provided for the specific type of leather you purchase.)
Under normal usage/conditions, regular dry-cloth dusting and vacuum cleaning in crevices or along the bottom is all that is necessary to clean your furniture.
The use of a good leather conditioner is recommended every 6-12 months.
Protect your furniture from sun and direct light. Like any upholstery material, leather can fade to some degree if exposed to the sun.
Suggested Methods of Cleaning
Always try any cleaning method in a hidden area first to convince yourself of the results!
For minor spots and spills, wipe up any excess liquid immediately with a clean absorbent cloth or sponge. If necessary, use a lightly moistened soft cloth with clean lukewarm water, and let it air dry naturally. If water is used, clean the entire area where the spot occurred.
Do not use soap or soak the stain heavily with water. This may cause more damage than the stain itself.
Do not use cleaning solvents, furniture polish, oils, varnish, abrasive cleaners, detergent soaps, or ammonia water.
For butter, oil, or grease stains, wipe off excess with a clean dry cloth, and then leave alone as the spot should dissipate into the leather after a short period of time.
If the stain persists, it is recommended that a professional leather specialist clean the leather to avoid any potential damage to the leather itself.
For minor or slight scratches on the surface, use a chamois or clean fingers to gently buff the scratch. If needed, moisten lightly with distilled water to work scratches out.
Remember that leather is a natural product and requires some care to maintain the natural beauty of the hide.
Source: American Leather Furniture, 2006
You can use a leather care kit to help clean and maintain leather - http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/LC_Special_Offer.htm
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