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How To Clean A Faux Leather Sofa

Faux Leather sofas are a beautiful choice for any home. They fit with a wide variety of styles, come in a range of tones and provide sleek comfort to a living room or office. Whilst many homeowners choose leather furniture because it tends to be easier to clean than other options, there are still some key steps you’ll need to follow to keep everything in top condition and avoid causing any damage:

So, to help you make the right choice, here’s all of our best advice on cleaning leather sofas:

Before Cleaning A Leather Sofa

woman cleaning white leather sofa

The beauty of a leather sofa is that it is fairly easy to clean. However, there are certain cleaning solutions that can damage the leather or cause the leather to crack. So, before you clean your leather sofa, you should always:

Check The Manufacturer’s Instructions

Before cleaning any furniture, you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s instructions. We can give our best tips, but nobody knows what’s best for your sofa better than the manufacturer. You can usually find this information from the retailer website, or with any paperwork that came with your purchase.

Check For Sofa Cleaning Labels

In addition, you should also look out for upholstery cleaning labels that will tell you how to clean your furniture. These labels will likely be one of the following:

  • ‘S’ or ‘P’ – Dry clean only with a solvent-based cleaner. Do not use water.
  • ‘SW’ or ‘WS’ – Use a water or a solvent-based cleaner.
  • ‘X’ – Vacuum clean only.

You’ll usually be able to find this label on the underside of the sofa, or in a pamphlet that came with your purchase.

Make Sure To Use The Right Equipment

No matter how stubborn the stain, you should never rub any leather with an abrasive cloth or stiff brush. This will immediately scuff the material and make it much more difficult to fix. In addition, never use a cloth that’s been dyed as this can lead to colour transference.

The Best Ways To Clean A Leather Sofa

black leather sofa

The best way to clean a leather sofa will depend on a number of things including:

  • The type of stain or spill.
  • Whether you want a light surface clean or a deep clean.
  • Whether you want to use a chemical free product.
  • The exact tone of the leather.

However, as a general guide, you should:

Regularly Vacuum Any Crumbs

Leather doesn’t hold crumbs, debris and liquids in the same way as a fabric sofa as it has no fibres for anything to become trapped in. Therefore, any crumbs you spill are likely to roll off and become lodged at the back of the sofa and under the cushions.

Therefore, you should make sure to check for any dirt regularly, using your vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment and hoovering from top to bottom. You can also use a soft brush to gently gather any crumbs or dirt.

Keep The Surface Of The Leather Clean And Dust Free

Before using any cleaning method, or just to keep your leather sofa in good condition, you should regularly run a dry, clean cloth over the surface of the leather to keep any dust from settling. Then, use a lightly damp cloth and do the same thing, making sure to pay particular attention to any spots that might be sticky or grubby. However, you should never allow water to sit on your leather sofa, so make sure to re-wipe with a dry cloth when you’re finished.

Use A Leather Cleaning Product

If you’d rather buy a purpose-built product from a brand rather than making your own household cleaning solution, you can buy a leather cleaning product such as Wheelers Natural Leather Cleaning Spray. Apply your chosen product, gently work into the material for two to three minutes, then wipe this down and leave everything to air dry for a few hours. You should aim to do this once every few months to keep your sofa looking its best.

Try Baking Soda For Greasy, Oily Stains And Spots

Even though it is not recommended to eat on your sofa, it’s something we’re all guilty of from time to time. However, this can lead to oily and greasy stains if there are any food spills.

If you’ve come across an oil stain on your leather furniture, the best solution is to gently rub the dry baking soda into the affected area to absorb the oil, then leave it for ten minutes to half an hour before hoovering the dry powder.

Alternatively, you can use a small amount of clear dish soap mixed with some water to blot the stain.

Use Water And Vinegar For A Chemical-Free Disinfectant

Chemical cleaners can be toxic to pets, bad for the environment and lead to allergy flare-ups. So, if you’re looking for something more natural, you could instead choose to use a homemade cleaning solution. For example, water and white vinegar are great ways to clean and disinfect most materials.

Simply mix equal parts of water and white vinegar together thoroughly. Then, after you’ve wiped the sofa with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust, use a damp cloth to gently clean the material. You should make sure to wring out the cloth so it’s not too wet, and you shouldn’t be allowing water to sit or pool. Then, re-wipe everything with another dry cloth.

Keep Rubbing Alcohol Handy For Ink Stains

Leather sofas come with a classic, industrial charm and as a result, are often used in offices and studies. For this reason, ink stains are one of the most common ways for leather to become damaged.

However, if you’ve spilt ink on anything made from leather, don’t worry! Simply dab the ink stain gently with a cotton wool bud soaked in a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Make sure not to rub the stain as this can spread the ink around and make things worse. Just lightly pat the problem area until the ink starts to transfer to the cotton ball. Keep replacing the cotton once it becomes soiled and repeat until the stain is gone, then wipe down with a dry, soft cloth.

How To Remove Odours From Leather Sofas

Baking soda is a great way to remove odours from almost any material. All you need to do is gently rub the dry powder over the surface of your sofa with a soft brush attachment or a cloth and let this sit for ten minutes. You could even remove any cushion covers and use baking soda on the cushions underneath for deeper odour removal before hoovering all the remaining powder.

Alternatively, you can use an odour eliminator to stop stubborn smells at their source. However, make sure not to spray directly onto your sofa at close range. Instead, spray above and around the sofa.

Removing Signs Of Wear And Tear From Leather

worn brown leather

Leather so as have a beautiful, smooth finish when new. However, over time the surface can become scuffed and faded.

For any more minor signs of wear, you can rub a little bit of olive oil into the scuff with a cloth or cotton wool bud. However, for anything larger, you should find a leather recolouring product that matches the exact tone of your sofa. Rub this into the affected area gently, making sure to cover any cracks or tears and then finish with a leather conditioner.

We recommend a re-colouring solution such as the Leather Recolouring Balm from Furniture Clinic which comes in a variety of shades. However, if you’re in any doubt, or aren’t sure how to find the right colour leather product for your sofa, always make sure to consult a professional – and always spot check any cleaning or recolouring product on an inconspicuous area of your sofa.

Cleaning A Faux Leather Sofa

The best ways to clean a faux leather sofa are largely the same as real leather. You should make sure to:

  • Wipe down regularly with a dry, clean cloth to remove dust.
  • Clean gently with washing up liquid and water using a lightly damp cloth.
  • Never use an abrasive cloth or brush.
  • Never use bleach or any other household cleaning products with harsh chemicals.

However, faux leather as a material is dryer and less porous than real leather. So, you’ll need to make sure to condition your faux leather sofa more regularly with a leather conditioning balm or oil to keep it looking beautiful and free of cracks or scuffs.

Other Ways To Keep Your Leather Sofa In Great Condition

Keeping your sofa clean and removing any stains will make sure the leather does not become damaged. However, in order to keep your sofa in its best condition, you should:

  • Clean regularly and often.
  • Don’t let dirt or stains build up, as this makes them much harder to remove.
  • Keep your leather or faux leather out of direct sunlight as this can lead to discolouration and can cause the material to dry out.
  • Regularly use a conditioning balm or oil to keep the leather looking as soft and fresh as the day you purchased it.
  • Condition your sofa after cleaning.
  • Never let water or liquid sit and pool on the surface of the leather. For liquid-based cleaning methods, always wipe down with a dry rag after cleaning.
  • Always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Now It’s Time To Clean Your Leather Sofa

yellow leather sofa

In conclusion, the best way to clean leather sofas depends on the type of spill, the manufacturer’s instructions, as well as whether you’re looking for a light or a deep clean. However, your go-to solution should always be wiping dust away with a dry rag, gently applying a leather cleaning product or a homemade cleaner such as water and vinegar, and using baking soda for odours and stains before wiping everything away with a dry cloth.

So, now you know how to clean a leather sofa, it’s time to get started. Happy cleaning!

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