We visited with our leather suppliers Perfect Leather Goods and Leather Sewing Supply Depot to get their tips and recommendations on leather care and leather care products and we’re sharing them with you here!
Leather furniture is durable, low-maintenance and easy to keep clean.
That said, warranties can be voided if the wrong cleaner or conditioner is used, so check the care instructions for your furniture to find out if it’s protected or unprotected leather.
Protected leather is the most common as it’s more durable, stain-resistant, and uniform in appearance than unprotected leather - the information here is specified to caring for protected leather.
When in doubt, consult with an expert like a leather cleaning professional or your local upholsterer.
Ready to get started?
Cleaning Materials you’ll want to have on hand:
- Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
- Distilled water
- Mild, neutral-pH nondetergent liquid soap, such as Neutrogena or Dove, or a leather cleaner designed for furniture upholstery
- Soft white microfiber cloths
- Tarp or drop cloth
- Commercial leather conditioner (optional)
Perfect Leather recommends Lexol Leather Cleaner and Lexol Deep Leather Conditioner as they won’t darken leather like some products do. You can purchase Lexol products at Perfect Leather, 555 King St. West, Toronto.
Leather Sewing Supply Depot shared a list of products that will work well for leather with no acrylic/synthetic coating.
Neatsfoot Oil: for vegetable-tanned leather.
Wax Free Leather Lotion: best for fine leathers.
Carnuba Cream: a light conditioning wax that can be polished to a sheen.
Leather Balm: a bit heavier than carnuba cream but the same concept.
Mink Oil Spray: this product may be a better choice for chrome/tan-coloured leather than Neatsfoot Oil.
If you are looking to condition leather with acrylic/synthetic coating you could try applying one of the commercial oil-based products from the back or deglazing the coating first (this is more work, and something likely best left to professionals).
In all cases, it’s key to note that the treatment may darken the leather - so remember to apply the product to a small hidden swatch somewhere first and let dry overnight.
Use conditioners sparingly so they can absorb into the leather.
- Vacuum the furniture with the brush attachment.
- Add a few drops of mild nondetergent soap to distilled water to create a cleaning solution, or follow the instructions for the commercial leather cleaning product. Moisten a microfiber cloth with the solution.
- Test an inconspicuous spot with the cloth to ensure no discoloration from the cleaning solution.
- Working from top to bottom, wipe the furniture.
- Dampen another cloth with plain distilled water and wipe the furniture again. Dry with a clean towel.
More info to come on care for unprotected leather and tips on when to use leather conditioner.
Please reach out to us with any questions on caring for or reupholstering your leather furniture.