How to clean your leather sofa

A guide to keeping your leather sofa looking its best.

Leather sofas are a great choice for many reasons - they’re stylish, timeless, durable… and perhaps best of all, they’re relatively easy to clean.

For a regular weekly or fortnightly clean, a quick vacuum or wipe down with a dry cloth will do. But even the most careful among us might look at a white or cream leather sofa and worry, or fuss over a spilled drink.

So here’s our step-by-step guide (with bonus tips) to have your leather sofa looking pristine. This approach works best when you have a stain that needs lifting, or as a deep clean every 3 months, or twice a year.

Equipment you will need

  1. A vacuum cleaner (optional)
  2. Two or more microfibre cloths

Let’s get started!

1. Vacuum or wipe any dirt away

First of all, physically remove any dirt or grime from the surface of your leather sofa. This will avoid it from being inadvertently rubbed into the sofa when you’re wiping it down with the cleaning solution.

A good option here is to use the soft brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner to avoid scratches. But if you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, a dry microfibre cloth would also do the trick.

2. Clean the sofa with a microfibre cloth

Cleaning sofa

Now we get to it! You’ll need two soft microfibre cloths, one for cleaning the sofa and one for drying it. First, dip one cloth into the cleaning liquid and wring it out - it should be damp, and not dripping wet. If you’re using bar soap, dampen the cloth and swipe it across the surface of the soap.

Now, working from top to bottom, rub the cloth gently but firmly along the surface, taking care to go into the corners. Continue to rinse the cloth in the cleaning solution as and when you need it. Once you’re done, use the other cloth, and gently buff the sofa dry for a lovely polish. There’s no need to rinse the solution out, but it’s crucial to thoroughly dry the sofa to ensure there’s no risk of mildew or mould.

Bonus Tips:
It’s always best for stains to be dealt with right away - blot up spilled water, food, oil or ink as soon as you can before it has time to set.

Have the unfortunate luck of ballpoint ink marks on your sofa? We have a useful guide to safely removing biro stains from a leather sofa that’s worth a read.

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