Beautiful and elegant, leather furniture is, undoubtedly, the best and most durable upholstery material. This is the reason why leather furniture is the first choice for decorating any home as it adds beauty and charm to any place it occupies. However, the biggest challenge that leather furniture brings along with itself is its maintenance. With the application of improper cleaning techniques, leather furniture tends to get easily damaged. Nonetheless, a few simple tips can protect your expensive investment, giving it the appearance of being freshly delivered from the showroom. Follow the guidelines given herein to maintain the look and feel of your leather furniture for decades to come.
Cleaning Leather Furniture
Cleaning Pigmented or Semi-aniline
Commonly known as fully treated leather, pigmented or semi-aniline leather is the most common type of leather used for furniture. Such a furniture type is characterized by plastic feel, several seams and varying sheen from patent (highly reflective) to matte (non-reflective) finish. Furthermore, fully treated leather has a top coat of dye to prevent flaws from being visible. To clean fully treated leather, first dust the furniture piece using a soft cloth or feather duster. Now, mix two parts of water with one part of liquid soap to make a cleaning solution. Using a damp sponge, wipe your furniture with the solution. Alternately, you can also use saddle soap.
Next, wipe the furniture with a dry towel to remove any excess moisture. Thereafter, allow the furniture to dry out completely. In case your leather furniture is badly stained, it should be cleaned with a water-vinegar solution. Mix two parts of water with one part vinegar and stir gently. Damp a sponge or washcloth with the solution and gently apply to the stain. Rub firmly until the stain completely vanishes. In case the stain does not go off, add more vinegar to the solution and proceed. Whenever you are cleaning leather, never make use of rubbing alcohol, ammonia or other harsh cleansing agents.
Distressed or Sauvage
Distressed (also known as aniline) and sauvage (also called full aniline) are comparatively softer than pigmented leather. Furthermore, such type of leather is thicker, more durable and contains fewer seams than pigmented leather. Combine two parts of water with one part hand soap to form a cleaning mixture. Using a sponge or cloth, apply the mixture to the leather ensuring that the leather does not get too wet; else it will absorb the water. Clean the leather with a dry cloth to absorb the extra moisture and leave it under the air to dry out completely.
Suede or Nubuck
Cleaning suede or nubuck leather is a little trickier but following some requisite instructions will smooth out the cleaning procedure. Rub the furniture with a soft dry beach towel to remove any dirt or grime. For stains that are the not absorbed by the leather, use a white drafting eraser or a four-sided fingernail buffer accompanied with a suede brush to pick up the stains from the suede. Make sure that you rub the stain with the grain. In case the stain does not loosen out, combine equal amounts of water and vinegar and use it on the leather. Do not wet the suede too much else you might end up damaging the leather permanently. Pat the leather dry with a dry towel after each application of the solution.