How to Clean Leather Furniture: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Clean Leather Furniture: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hey there… whether you’ve just splurged on a shiny new leather sofa, or you are attempting to keep an old favourite fresh and polished, the best way to keep leather furniture looking its best and lasting as long as possible is to learn how to clean it, properly. With this thorough, step-by-step guide, you’ll know everything you need to in order to keep your leather furniture in top shape. So, let’s have a look ….

Why Clean Your Leather Furniture?

Leather items are of good quality, durable, and flexible. It needs special treatment just when it loses its surface shininess and its quality goes down because of dust, dirt, and spill. So if we clean it often, we can keep ourselves away from this kind of wear. If you buy a piece of furniture with good quality, then it will also be a decoration piece in your house.

Understanding Leather and Its Needs

It is always useful to know the type of leather you have before you start cleaning as there are different approaches for each; leather items may be of one of three major types, namely aniline, semi-aniline and pigmented (protected) leather, taking these factors into account when you are caring for leather furniture.

Aniline Leather: Also known as pure aniline, full aniline or unprotected leather. It is the most natural-looking. However, it more readily accepts stains and damage.

Semi-Aniline Leather: A step up from aniline, it has a thinner topcoat that provides some resistance to stains and wear.

Pigmented Leather: Most common; has a hard, long-wearing finish and is the most resistant to wear, scuffing and staining.

The type of leather you have will dictate the products you should – and should not – use, and the best methods for cleaning.

Clean Leather Furniture
Clean Leather Furniture

Materials Needed

Soft Cloth: Use a clean, soft cloth to avoid scratching the leather.

Vacuum with a Brush Attachment: This helps remove dust and loose particles from crevices.

Mild Leather Cleaner: Either a commercial leather cleaner or a mild, water-based solution.

Leather Conditioner: Helps keep the leather soft and supple.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide

Step 1: Vacuum Thoroughly

Vacuum the surface of the furniture lightly with a soft brush attachment, by pushing it along and running the hose into the cracks between cushions.

Step 2: Spot Test Your Cleaner

If you plan to use a cleaner over the whole surface, it’s a good idea to do a spot test on a barely visible area first to make sure it doesn’t harm the leather and make it lighter or darker.

Step 3: Apply Leather Cleaner

Spray the cleaner on your damp cloth and wipe over the surface of your furniture. Don’t soak the leather. Wipe evenly, rubbing at any spots or stains.

Step 4: Wipe Down and Dry

Once clean – wipe with a dry cloth – use a dry leather food sheen product to re-condition the surface. This not only helps to add moisture, but also softens the leather. Leather should never be near direct sunlight or sources of heat (like radiators): drying and cracking accelerates under these conditions.

Step 5: Apply Leather Conditioner

Once they’re dry, go over them sparingly with a little leather balm every couple of years or so to keep them soft and supple. Work it in well with a soft cloth, leave the product to absorb and let it dry.

Maintaining Your Leather Furniture

Avoid Direct Sunlight: Keep leather furniture away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Keep Sharp Objects Away: Avoid punctures and tears by keeping sharp objects at bay.

Routine Maintenance: Dust and oil the woods regularly to keep darker parts from getting darker than the lighter parts and to keep the grains aesthetic, clean and condition the leathers regularly to keep them from scruffing too easily and also to keep them flexible and pretty.


The seemingly daunting task of how often to clean leather furniture should actually seem pretty doable once you’ve had a closer look at the different sorts of cleaning materials and methods. Regular maintenance keeps up the good looks of your leather and significantly extends the life of you furniture and your investment. Keep these quick tips in mind — and try it this weekend — to see the difference for yourself. Happy cleaning!

This guide should give you the foundational knowledge and steps you need, to take the best care of your leather treasures. If you’d like to read more about leather care, visit our other articles or reach out to a third party professional for a more personal approach.

About Tips Clear

Tips Clear is a seasoned writer and digital marketing expert with over a decade of experience in creating high-quality, engaging content for a diverse audience. He specializes in blogging, SEO, and digital marketing strategies, and has a deep understanding of the latest trends and technologies. Tips Clear's work has been featured on various prominent platforms, and he is committed to providing valuable insights and practical tips to help readers navigate the digital landscape.