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How to Clean Leather

19 March 2012, 15:14

Here’s what you should – and should NOT – use to keep your furniture in good condition.

While leather should require only occasional cleaning, using the wrong products can dry out and damage the material.

•    Keeping leather in good condition does not require buying any special products - there are simple and effective treatments for homemade leather conditioners.

•    All leather furniture, irrespective of just how well it is cared for, can end up looking aged and rough.

•    Because leather is absorbent it soaks up moisture; body oils, drink and food stains, and imbedded soil should be removed regularly. The areas that normally require constant cleaning are where your arm rests, on the headrest and on the top of seats.

•    To keep leather in preen condition, you need to treat every three to four months with a softener or moisturiser. Clean and moisturised leather not only looks better, it lasts longer.

What NOT to use on leather

Never use solvent-based products or household cleaning products as they will dry out the leather and result in costly repairs. Household furniture polish contains silicones, which eventually destroys the finish of the fabric.

Also, avoid exposing your leather furniture to direct sunlight as it may result in discoloration and unsightly patches of fading.

What to use on leather furniture

Use a very lightly dampened cloth with a small amount of natural baby soap or moisturizing soap, such as Dove, to gently rub the leather in a circular motion. The point is not to wet the leather too much.

Use another lightly dampened cloth to remove any soap residue. After cleaning the leather with the second dampened cloth, wipe with a soft, dry cloth.

To restore suppleness and eliminate dryness, regular conditioning of leather furniture is needed.

DIY leather conditioner

•    Mix together 4 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice, with
•    2 cups water

Only lightly dampen the cloth to rub the conditioner onto the surface in a circular motion, and remember to dry with a soft cloth.

Using a homemade conditioner for regular maintenance will keep your leather products looking great, but if you do accidentally damage your leather, consult a professional immediately.

- Women24

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