How To Clean Leather Furniture | A Complete Guide

how to clean leather furniture

Leather furniture adds a touch of sophistication and luxury to any space, but to maintain its timeless appeal, regular cleaning and care are essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into effective strategies on how to clean leather furniture, ensuring that your cherished pieces retain their beauty for years to come.

cleaning leather furniture

Why Cleaning Leather Furniture Matters

Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of dirt and grime that can dull the color and surface of leather furniture. Moreover, knowing how to clean leather furniture properly ensures its durability and longevity. Furthermore, clean leather is not only visually appealing but also more comfortable and hygienic. Furthermore, regular cleaning your furniture helps eliminate dust, allergens, and bacteria that can accumulate over time.

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to identify the type of leather and any existing stains or damages. Furthermore, different leather types may require specific cleaning approaches.

Types of Leather and Their Cleaning Needs

1. Aniline Leather

Known for its natural and soft feel, aniline leather is susceptible to stains and requires gentle cleaning methods.

Cleaning Process:

– Dust regularly with a soft, dry cloth.
– Address stains immediately with a damp cloth, avoiding excessive moisture.

2. Protected or Pigmented Leather

This type is more resistant to stains due to protective coatings. Moreover, regular cleaning helps maintain its appearance.

Cleaning Process:

– Wipe with a damp cloth and mild soap solution.
– Avoid harsh chemicals that can strip protective coatings.

3. Nubuck Leather

Similar to suede but more durable, nubuck leather demands careful cleaning to avoid damage.

Cleaning Process:

– Use a soft brush or vacuum with a brush attachment.
– Address stains with a nubuck cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar.

General Step-by-step Process on How to Clean Leather Furniture

Maintaining the allure of your leather furniture involves a systematic cleaning approach. Moreover, follow these step-by-step guidelines to ensure a thorough and effective cleaning process:

1. Assess the Type of Leather

Identify whether your furniture is aniline, protected, nubuck, or another type. Furthermore, this determines the cleaning methods you should use.

2. Dusting Routine

Begin with a monthly dusting routine using a soft, dry cloth. Moreover, this helps prevent the accumulation of dirt and keeps the furniture looking fresh.

3. Prepare a DIY Leather Cleaner

Create a DIY leather cleaner by mixing 1 cup of distilled water, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 1-2 drops of mild dish soap in a spray bottle.

4. Apply the Cleaner

Lightly spray the DIY cleaner onto a microfiber not cotton cloth. Furthermore, gently wipe the leather furniture, paying extra attention to stained or soiled areas.

5. Dry Thoroughly

After cleaning, ensure the furniture is thoroughly dried with a clean, dry cloth. Moreover, this avoid leaving any moisture that could damage the leather.

6. Condition Regularly

Use a leather conditioner every 6-12 months to maintain the suppleness of the leather and prevent cracks. Moreover, adjust the frequency based on usage.

7. Addressing Stains

– For ink stains, use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab.
– Grease or oil stains can be treated with cornstarch – sprinkle, let it sit, and wipe away.
– Water stains require blotting with a dry cloth and air drying, avoiding heat sources.

8. Positioning and Prevention

– Ensure your leather furniture is positioned away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and drying.
– Regularly monitor the living conditions of your home to adjust the cleaning frequency as needed.

9. Seek Professional Help When Necessary

If your leather furniture has extensive damage or requires specialized care due to exotic leather types, consider seeking professional cleaning or restoration services.

DIY Leather Furniture Cleaner Recipe

Create your own effective and chemical-free leather furniture cleaner using common household items:


– 1 cup distilled water
– 1 cup white vinegar
– 1-2 drops of mild dish soap

Cleaning Process

1. Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle.
2. Lightly spray the solution onto a microfiber cloth.
3. Gently wipe the leather furniture, focusing on stained or soiled areas.
4. Dry the furniture thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth.

living room with leather furniture

What Cleaning Products to Avoid

Preserving the beauty and longevity of your leather furniture requires not only the right cleaning techniques but also a keen understanding of what cleaning products to avoid. Furthermore, steering clear of certain products ensures that you don’t unintentionally harm the delicate surface of your cherished pieces.

1. Harsh Chemical Cleaners

Avoid cleaners containing harsh chemicals, as they can strip away the natural oils in the leather, leading to dryness and potential cracking. Consider cleaning without chemicals.

2. Detergents and Abrasive Soaps

Steer clear of detergents or abrasive soaps, which can be too harsh and cause damage to the leather’s finish.

3. Furniture Polish and Oils

While it may be tempting to use furniture polish or oils, they can leave a residue on the leather, attracting more dust and potentially causing long-term damage.

4. Ammonia or Bleach-Based Cleaners

Products containing ammonia or bleach are too strong for leather and can cause discoloration and weakening of the material.

5. Alcohol and Acetone

Avoid using alcohol-based all purpose cleaner or acetone-based cleaners, as they can strip away the natural oils and cause the leather to become brittle.

6. Baby Wipes and Wet Wipes

Despite their convenience, avoid using baby wipes or wet wipes. Furthermore,  they may contain chemicals that can harm the leather finish.

7. Colored or Dyed Cloths

Be cautious with colored or dyed cloths, as the dye may transfer onto the leather, causing staining.

8. Silicon-Based Products

Products containing silicon can create a shiny surface initially, but over time, they can attract more dust and contribute to a dull appearance.

9. Water in Excess

While a damp cloth is useful for cleaning, excessive water can lead to warping, stretching, and water stains on leather. Always use water sparingly.

10. Unapproved Leather Cleaners

Stick to approved leather cleaners and avoid experimenting with untested products, as they may have adverse effects on your specific type of leather.

Addressing Stains and Spills

1. Ink Stains

Dab rubbing alcohol onto a cotton swab and gently rub the stain.

2. Grease or Oil Stains

Sprinkle cornstarch on the stain, let it sit for a few hours, and then wipe away.

3. Water Stains

Blot the stain with a dry cloth and let it air dry. Moreover, do not use heat sources.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your leather furniture has significant damage or deep stains, consider professional cleaning or restoration services. Exotic or specialty leather may require specialized cleaning methods. Consult with professionals for proper care.

Mastering the art of how to clean leather furniture involves understanding the type of leather you own and employing suitable cleaning techniques. Moreover, by incorporating regular cleaning into your living room deep cleaning, you can ensure that your leather furniture remains a centerpiece of elegance in your home. Follow these tips, and your leather pieces will continue to radiate sophistication and comfort for years to come.

About Hellamaid

Hellamaid is a top-rated cleaning company in Canada that’s changing the cleaning industry. When we’re not cleaning, we’re sharing helpful content to help clients, communities, and cleaners feel happier, healthier, and safer!

We’ve been featured on Yahoo, Forbes, Redfin, New York Post, Martha Stewart, Homes&Gardens, WikiHow, and more.

Connect with Us

For content collabs or ideas, please email us at [email protected]

hellamaid cleaning company team

Hellamaid is a top-rated cleaning company in Canada that’s changing the cleaning industry. Led by two engineers, Ahmed and Abdul,  Hellamaid is on a mission to make cleaning services a better experience for both ends of the market: homeowners and cleaners. We offer value to homeowners through easy online booking and impeccable customer service, while offering a flexible and well paid opportunity to our cleaning partners. We proudly serve the cities of Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and more. Visit our service area pages or learn more about our story!

Interested in contributing to our blog, or seeking our expertise? Let’s collaborate and create valuable content together! Contact us today