We’re sorry to tell you this, but your sofa could be harboring more germs than your toilet seat! Surprising, right?
Along with other household items such as refrigerator handles, toys, and laptops, sofas are one of the most contaminated places in your home.
The average American will spend at least 2 hours a day parked on their couch, equating to an entire 30 full days per year. That’s a lot of time for you and your family to share your sofa with bacteria.
Keeping your sofa clean may be more important than you think. But what if you have a leather sofa? You may have heard that cleaning leather sofas is a sensitive and complicated process.
It is easier than you think to keep your leather sofa clean and free from harmful bacteria. Read our comprehensive guide on how to clean leather couches to protect your family from sofa-dwelling germs.
Why Bother Cleaning a Leather Couch?
So cleaning a leather sofa may seem like a lot of effort, but it’s really worth it. Other than preventing the accumulation of bacteria, dirt, and oils from skin, pets, and food, regular cleaning of your leather sofa offers a range of benefits.
Keep Your Leather Sofa Looking Great
Cleaning and caring for your leather sofa will keep the leather hydrated and supple. This will help it feel comfortable and look newer for longer and maintain that soft luxurious sheen.
Prolong the Lifespan of Your Leather Couch
Leather, like our skin, can age and become weak and damaged if we don’t care for it properly. Regular maintenance and cleaning will improve the durability of the leather helping it last for years to come.
Protect Your Investment
Leather products aren’t cheap and a leather couch is an investment that you want to get the most out of. With proper care, you will get a great return on your investment and maintain its resale value if you were to sell it in the future. You can enjoy your clean leather couch on a daily basis with our pro guide on how to clean leather couches.
How Often Should You Clean Your Leather Couch?
Just like the other soft furnishings in your home, your leather couch should be cleaned as part of your regular cleaning regime. Knowing how often to clean a leather couch can help you incorporate it into your daily, weekly, or monthly cleaning schedule.
If you’re a fan of quick daily tidies around your home, dusting or dry wiping your leather couch can be included. If not daily, then a quick vacuum with a soft bristle extension or wipe-down with a microfiber cloth can also be done weekly.
Stains from food, wine, ink, or tough dirt should be dealt with immediately to avoid permanent marks on the leather. Deep cleans should be done at least once a month to prevent dirt and grime build-up. Deep cleaning is a little more involved and can be done using natural products.
The Natural Way to Clean Leather
There are many “how to clean leather couches” guides out there, but many of them suggest using heavy-duty cleaning products. Leather couch cleaning doesn’t have to involve harsh chemicals or commercially manufactured products.
More homeowners and professional cleaning companies are using natural cleaning products to reduce the negative impact of chemicals on the environment. Regular household products such as baking soda and castile soap are two of the best.
These natural cleaning products work brilliantly at removing grime and grease while being gentle enough to use on your leather couch. Pair these with a quality leather conditioner and you have a great tool kit for cleaning leather couches.
Things You Need for Cleaning a Leather Couch
To make your life easier, you can keep a leather couch cleaning tool kit with your cleaning supplies. This tool kit can include the following items to ensure you can clean your leather couch thoroughly, quickly, and easily.
Mild Dish Soap
This can be an all-natural liquid castile soap or your regular mild dish soap. Choosing a hypoallergenic one will be kinder to your skin and the leather.
These soft yet durable cloths are perfect for use on leather couches and won’t scratch the leather. They are great for removing dust when used dry and make a great soft wash cloth when used wet.
This is a product that is absorbed and buffed into the leather to moisturize the fibers and retain flexibility. There are many commercial brand leather conditioners out there that come in the form of creams, oils, and waxes. You can make your own natural leather conditioner with coconut oil or beeswax.
This versatile wonder powder should be in everyone’s cleaning arsenal. It can be used for so many cleaning applications including spot-treating stains on leather.
Used in the correct way, rubbing alcohol is a powerful stain remover. It must be used with caution to not damage the leather or remove the dye.
This may be a surprising element to your leather couch cleaning kit! Ice is hands down the best way to remove chewing gum from leather sofas.
How to Clean Leather Couches
Now that you have your fail-safe couch cleaning kit, let’s look into how to use it! Check out this step-by-step guide for how to clean leather couches.
1. Vacuum Your Leather Couch
Use the soft bristle attachment on your vacuum and get to work on removing all the dust, debris, hair, and whatever else you find between the cushions! Vacuum carefully to avoid scratching or tearing the leather and don’t forget under the couch if it’s possible. You could finish by wiping it over with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any leftover dust.
2. Wipe Down With a Wet Cloth
Make a gentle solution of warm water and castile soap or dish soap in a bowl and grab your clean microfiber washcloth. Wet the cloth in the soapy water, ring out the excess water, and start wiping! Start at the top of the couch and gently wipe down every surface of the couch and cushions.
3. Tackle Stains
While you’re wiping down the couch, you may notice some stubborn stains here and there. Now is a good time to tackle them! (See our stain removal tips in the next section).
4. Dry Thoroughly
After cleaning, make sure you dry the entire couch with a clean and dry microfiber cloth. Any excess water must be removed before attempting to condition the couch so it doesn’t get trapped under the conditioner.
5. Condition the Leather
It’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your sofa in case the leather has specific requirements. Grab your leather conditioner of choice and use a new clean cloth to apply it over every inch of the leather. You can gently massage the conditioner into the leather to help it absorb into the fibers for the best results and maximum protection.
6. Allow to Dry
Don’t sit just yet! After all that hard work it may be tempting to take your well-deserved break and relax on your clean leather couch. But it’s best to wait a few hours for the conditioner to finish soaking in and fully drying off first.
Leather Couch Stain Removal Tips
With the amount we use our couches, it is inevitable they will be susceptible to stains here and there. Here are some helpful tips on how to tackle these unwelcome marks on your sofa to keep it looking like new.
Food, wine, coffee, pet pee, you name it: we’ve all had to try and remove stubborn stains from our sofas before. Most stains can be cleaned and removed with warm soapy water and thoroughly drying.
Tough stains such as wine, tea, and coffee can be absorbed by applying corn starch or talcum powder on top and waiting for a few minutes. Wipe away the powder and wipe the leather clean before drying thoroughly.
Grease has to be leather’s worst enemy. Grease can soak into the leather fibers and can be tricky to remove once it’s set in.
Luckily, the magic of bicarbonate of soda or baking soda is there to help. Simply sprinkle the grease stain with a layer of baking soda and let it sit for a few hours until the grease is absorbed.
Once the baking soda has set into the stain, use a clean dry cloth to wipe it away. Give the area another wipe-down with a clean damp cloth to remove any excess baking soda and voila! No more grease.
A slip of the pen can happen from time to time and the ink stain on your leather couch can feel like a disaster! Luckily, this is where the rubbing alcohol steps in.
Use a small sponge or cotton swap dipped in isopropyl alcohol and dab it on the ink stain and see the ink light right off! Be sure to dry the area with a clean dry cloth to remove excess alcohol and avoid damage to the surface of the leather.
Gum or Wax
For chewing gum or candle wax, grab your ice and place it on the stain-causing culprit for a few minutes. Once the gum or wax is frozen, it will pop right off the leather.
Avoid Cleaning Leather With These
Now you know how to clean leather couches like a pro, you may notice there are some myths about cleaning a leather couch. There are a few “alternative” methods out there that could seriously damage your leather couch, or simply just don’t work.
Using the wrong products or cleaning techniques on your leather couch could dehydrate the leather or leave permanent marks. Some products to avoid using include:
- Disposable cleaners
- Nail polish remover
- Window cleaner
- The wrong leather polish
- High concentrations of vinegar or lemon juice
- Hair spray
- Furniture polish
Stick to the info in this guide and your leather couch will be clean, and fresh, and last much longer for you and your family to enjoy.
How to Clean Distressed Leather
Some say that leather sofas can actually get more comfortable and look better with age and heavy use. You may have seen a worn leather couch in your local trendy coffee shop or cocktail bar patio garden scattered with colorful cushions.
Over time, the leather can lose its rigidity and surface texture, making it feel softer and smoother. If the worn leather isn’t cared for properly, it could start to crack and deteriorate.
Whether you like the distressed leather look or not, it’s important to know how to clean distressed leather.
Clean your distressed leather couch as you would a new one but with a little more TLC. The worn leather will be more fragile so use only gentle cleaning methods and don’t skip the conditioner!
Remember: Leather Will Age
Just like all of your home furnishings, leather sofas will age and show signs of wear and tear over time. Cleaning for and repairing your soft furnishings is important to help them last longer and maintain their aesthetic look.
Genuine leather is made of treated cowhide so just like our own skin, it will need a little more care as it ages. If you want your leather couch looking its best for as long as possible, a bit of weekly cleaning and conditioning will go a long way. Your leather couch could last from 5 years up to an entire lifetime depending on how well you care for it.
Hire Professionals to Care for Your Leather Couch
You could put all your new knowledge of how to clean leather couches into practice on a regular basis, or you could save time and effort and let the pros do the job for you.
Get in touch with our team of clean freaks who have a passion for cleaning leather couches and arrange our professional cleaning services to help your leather couch last a lifetime.