• 06
  • Jan
cleaning leather furniture

The Easy Guide to Cleaning Leather Furniture

Do you own a piece of leather furniture, whether it be a couch, love seat, or chair?

While leather home decor gives our living spaces a sophisticated and classy feel, it can get tricky when it comes to giving them the proper care.

If you don’t know the proper leather cleaning techniques and just hope for the best when it comes time to cleaning, you run the risk of ruining your leather couch forever.

Nothing is worse than thinking you know how to clean something and realizing you discolored your beautiful piece of furniture in the process.

That’s why you need to take the time now to learn the safest ways to begin cleaning leather furniture.

You want to keep your leather in tip-top shape. We’re here to tell you the ways to do that.

Your guide to cleaning leather furniture:

First things first:

It’s crucial you first understand which kind of leather you’re working with. Which, the tag and product details will probably tell you.

This information shows you specific ways to clean your leather furniture. So, if there’s only one way or a preferred way to clean it, you’ll find this out ahead of time.

If you can’t seem to find the tag on your furniture, do some research about the product or contact the retailer you purchased it from to gain this information.

Once you learn the exact details about how to clean your leather furniture, you can get started.

What You’ll Need:

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need the top-of-the-line leather cleaner or conditioner when it comes to cleaning leather furniture.

Most products used to fight stains and keep leather clean are everyday products we have around the house.

The products you’ll need will vary depending on the type of cleaning you have to do; however, here are the basics:

  • Mild liquid or body soap (Dove is recommended)
  • A few microfiber rags
  • Bucket of water
  • Soft brush attachment for vacuum cleaner
  • Vinegar

It’s more simple than you think. The most important thing to keep in mind is that leather furniture is very gentle. Harsh products should ALWAYS be avoided.


Before you clean your leather sofa or chair, make sure to vacuum and get dust out its crevices.

This is where you’ll need your soft brush attachment mentioned above.

Be sure to really get into the cracks to make sure all debris is gone. If there is still some lingering around, you run the risk of pushing the dirt further into the material.

We also recommend removing the cushions to vacuum underneath and between them regularly. As we all know, the dirt and dust can pile up without us ever noticing!

Cleaning leather furniture is a process. While you prepare, notice the problem areas that need the most cleaning and focus on those. If you over clean spots that don’t need it, your furniture will wear down much faster.

How to Clean

Before we go ahead with the home cleaning, test out each cleaning method you use on an area of the furniture no one will see. Great places to do this are behind or underneath the couch.

If there is a reaction with the cleaner and your sofa becomes discolored or bleached, you’ll be grateful you tested it out beforehand.

Also, tend to any spills or accidents on your leather furniture ASAP because leather tends to soak up stuff right away.

Waiting to clean something will make the area worse, so be sure to blot a spot as soon as it happens!

For Basic, Everyday Cleaning

To give your leather furniture a routine clean and to maintain its upkeep, there are two options to choose.

  1. Water and soap, or
  2. Water and vinegar

Water and vinegar are recommended for more sensitive pieces of leather furniture.

Mix equal parts of water and the vinegar or soap together in a bucket. While doing this, prepare a bucket of distilled water as well.

Use the microfiber cloths to get one rag damp and gently wipe down the surface. Once the product is applied, use another cloth with only water to thoroughly clean it.

Repeat this process over and over until each cushion is clean. Making sure to re-apply the cleaning solution to the rag every time you reach a new surface or cushion.

Just remember that you never want the leather to be wet and saturated, so wipe down the surface with a clean, dry towel after the product is applied.

For best results, the last step of the process is to apply a leather conditioner to keep your leather looking shiny. Follow the directions specific to the leather conditioner of your choosing for best results.

For Stains

Say you accidently spill some red pasta sauce on the couch or your newborn scribbles all over the couch cushion with a marker. We’ve all been there.

At this point, you’re probably thinking you’re out of luck and there’s no way to fix this.

However, don’t lose hope! Depending on the type of stain, there are home remedies out there.

  • Permanent Marker/Ink – Spray some aerosol hairspray or apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and wipe down the treatment area.
  • Dark colored stains on light colored leather – Use equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar to create a paste and apply to affected area. Wait ten minutes and apply again. When this is done, use a wet cloth to remove it.
  • Grease – If you’re able to act quickly, use a dry cloth to blot the area removing any grease. If this doesn’t work, apply some baking soda and leave on for a few hours to absorb the product.
  • Mold – Water with a combination of rubbing alcohol will do the trick.
  • Miscellaneous – If you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, other products known to remove stains are white toothpaste, baby wipes, leather wipes, and leather specific cleansers.

It’s possible to make your home beautiful with leather furniture and keep it clean at the same time. All it takes is knowing the correct way to go about it.

Cleaning leather furniture is unique in that every piece is different. If you know you have an extra sensitive or expensive couch you don’t want to risk ruining, seeing a professional upholstery cleaning service would be the best option! Contact All-Star Steam Cleaning for more information.

Joey Johnston administrator