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How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide
How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide

If you are reading this article, chances are you are considering a leather furniture purchase, or you’ve recently purchased leather furniture for your home. You want that new sofa, sectional, or armchair to last as long as possible.

Leather upholstery is much different than regular fabric or polyester upholstery, and it requires other methods of care and cleaning. Improper leather care can result in stains, wear, and a ruined upholstery piece.

Furniture Fair has over 50 years of experience selling leather furniture, and we want to share the best methods for leather cleaning and care. If you want to learn how to clean and preserve your leather for longer, read on.

How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide
How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide

Important Note On Leather Types

Before we get started, make sure you are aware of the differences between real and faux leather. Real leather is not the same as faux leather, and the methods used to clean natural leather will not work on faux leather. Check out our article on leather types for a better comparison.

How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide

Why Maintain Leather Furniture?

Real leather is made from animal skin, and while it is cured and finished in most cases, that does not negate the fact that it is still skin. If you allow your leather furniture to dry out, it will eventually lead to discoloration, staining, splitting, peeling, or cracking.

The leather furniture that is not correctly cared for will not last as long as when it is maintained and cleaned. Take into account the level of upkeep necessary to a leather sofa or sectional before you commit to the purchase.

Buying a leather sofa or chair and not keeping the leather cleaned and protected is an unnecessary waste of money, and you will also be wasting valuable time that you could have spent using the couch. Take a few steps now to ensure many years of use are left in your leather furniture.

How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide
How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide

How To Clean Real Leather Upholstery

Clean leather lasts longer and looks better over time than leather left to collect dust and grime. To help keep leather furniture clean, vacuum your furniture using the hose attachments regularly to get rid of dust and dirt that can accumulate on the cushions.

Dust, dirt, and even oils from your skin and hair can build up on your leather upholstery and lead to discoloration and potentially damage the finish. Careful vacuuming and cleaning are essential to keeping your furniture looking new.

Once you’ve vacuumed up any loose dirt, gently wipe down the leather upholstery with a microfiber towel, a small amount of water, and a light amount of a mild soap solution. This process will help remove any grime and dirt that is stuck.

Do not drench the leather fabric. Too much water can damage the leather finish and can lead to mold or mildew build-up. The goal of cleaning here is to remove grime, not soak your upholstery. Avoid using soaps that have harsh cleaning chemicals, as this can damage the leather finish.

Once you’re finished cleaning with the water and soap, use a leather cleaning kit on your furniture. Many furniture companies (including Furniture Fair) offer leather cleaning kits available for purchase as part of a protection plan.

Follow the included instructions for your kit and wipe down your leather upholstery with a microfiber towel. Cleaning with a leather cleaner is the final step before you can move on to protecting your leather upholstery.

How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide

How To Condition Real Leather Upholstery

After cleaning your leather upholstery, the next step is to use a leather protector to help prevent any damage. There is a wide range of leather protection products to choose from, and you should research which one is best for your furniture.

Apply your leather protector to a microfiber cloth, and then work it into the leather gently and remove any excess leather protector. Wipe down the leather with a dry cloth to remove any extra leather protector, and then your leather will be cleaned and protected.

Conditioning your leather will help protect it from absorbing hair products and body oils, as well as any dirt and grime that could potentially damage the finish of the leather. Added protective layers will keep the leather hide moisturized and help ensure that your leather furniture lasts as long as possible.

How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide
How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide

How Often Should You Clean Leather Furniture?

Leather furniture requires maintenance to keep that new clean leather look, but how often should that cleaning take place? The short answer is that it depends on how often you use the furniture.

Is your leather upholstery in a living room getting regular use, or is it in the corner of your office library? The placement and usage will determine how often you should clean your furniture.

Vacuuming and wiping down your leather upholstery is recommended every two to four weeks, depending on how heavily you use it. Conditioning should be done annually. Too much conditioning can end up making the leather gummy and grimy.

Avoid placing leather furniture in direct sunlight or arid areas of your home, as this can damage the upholstery. Try to keep food and drinks away from leather upholstery since leather is a bit harder to get stains out of than fabric upholstery.

Get The Most Out Of Your Leather Furniture

Now that you’ve finished this article, you can get ready to properly care for a new leather sofa, sectional, or armchair. Remember to vacuum loose dirt before wiping down your furniture with light amounts of soap and water.

Don’t forget to condition your leather at least once a year, and keep your furniture out of direct sunlight and warmer, dryer areas of the house. Take careful consideration of all of these processes when considering buying leather furniture so that you are prepared to get the most out of your new furniture.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to our local furniture experts for more information on leather upholstery. Furniture Fair offers sales experts and interior design services in-store via appointment.

If you are in the Cincinnati, Dayton, or Louisville area, consider stopping by Furniture Fair to see what types of leather we offer. Whether you need living room or dining room furniture, we have both in a wide variety of leathers and styles. Visit today, browse our selection, or create a 100% custom leather sofa with one of our design experts!

How To Keep Real Leather Upholstery From Cracking Leather Furniture Care Guide



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