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How to Care for your Leather Furniture and keep it looking its Best.

How to Care for your Leather Furniture and keep it looking its Best.

Posted by JW on 3rd Aug 2021

CARING FOR YOUR LEATHER FURNITURE.



Leather Furniture is an investment, and when you finally make that purchase on high quality leather upholstery it can lasts for decades. When you buy something built to last, the leather covering it is very important also. You cannot completely neglect it ,or it will not perform for decades like the insides will. We have put many guides together on our site to help you . So before you grab some dishwashing soap and go to cleaning, we must first identify the type of leather you have. If you clean with the wrong thing, you can void the warranty and harm the leather.


How to Identify Leather Finish Type.

At Leather Shoppes we pride ourselves on providing the most comprehensive choice of the highest quality leather upholstery available ,shipped nationwide for free. 

The grain of leather ( top grain or full top grain) really has no bearing on the maintenance of it, but more importantly how it is finished. Below are the types to give you direction on the best products to use. These products are recommended by the major manufacturers and tanneries to care for the leather.


F or P=Finished or Protected (Pigmented)


This leather will generally look more uniform on top of the grain and texture having same pattern. This finish is the most washable, light resistant, and easy to care for, but feels stiffer than the following leathers. Take a small dab of water on a white cloth in an inconspicuous area and try to force into the leather article. If the leather does not absorb than, you can use a soft cleaner and conditioner like Approved Leather cleaner/conditioner kit to maintain the leather. Be sure and apply the cleaner or conditioner directly to the white cloth first, do not sprinkle onto leather. This product is approved for use by most manufacturers.

AP=Aniline Plus/Semi Aniline

This leather will generally look less uniform on top of the grain and texture may be irregular. This finish is moderately washable, moderately light resistant, and moderately easy to care for, and feels softer than the leather type above. Take a small dab of water on a white cloth in an inconspicuous area and try to force into the leather article. If the leather does not absorb than , you can use a soft cleaner and conditioner like Approved Leather cleaner/conditioner kit to maintain the leather. Be sure and apply the cleaner or conditioner directly to the white cloth first, do not sprinkle onto leather.

A= Pure Aniline/Full Aniline

This leather will generally have an irregular grain and texture, although can be very smooth. This finish is delicately washable, delicately light resistant, and delicately easy to care for, and feels much softer than the leather type above. Take a small dab of water on a white cloth in an inconspicuous area and try to force into the leather article. The leather should absorb the liquid, it will dry on its own. Do not force dry by artificial means. It is best practice to use damp white cloth to clean the leather. If needing to clean use a PH balanced soap like "Neutrogena" ® and distilled water to be safe. These contain no solids and will not leave a residue or rings in the leather. You can use an Approved Natural Leather cleaner to maintain the leather. If you have a water based stain, be sure and clean an entire cushion, do not spot clean a stain. If you have an oil based stain, do not clean with water ( as these do not mix). Remove an excess spill and allow the rest of the stain to permeate into the article, and over time it will disappear depending on the amount of oil absorbed

A= Pure Aniline- Pull-Up

This leather will generally have an irregular grain and texture, although can be very smooth. This finish is delicately washable, delicately light resistant, and delicately easy to care for, and can feel soft and harder than the leather type above. Take a small dab of water on a white cloth in an inconspicuous area and try to force into the leather article. The leather should absorb the liquid, it will dry on its own. Do not force dry by artificial means. It is best practice to use damp white cloth to clean the leather. If needing to clean use a PH balanced soap like "Neutrogena" ® and distilled water to be safe. These contain no solids and will not leave a residue or rings in the leather. You can use an Approved Natural Leather cleaner to maintain the leather. If you have a water based stain, be sure and clean an entire cushion, do not spot clean a stain. If you have an oil based stain, do not clean with water ( as these do not mix). Remove an excess spill and allow the rest of the stain to permeate into the article, and over time it will disappear depending on the amount of oil absorbed

A  Oleosa leather conditioner will help conceal scratches and marks from finger nails etc.

A= Pure Aniline- Nubuck/Nubuk

This leather will generally have an irregular grain and texture, although can be very smooth. This finish is delicately washable, will fade in sunlight, and harder to care for, and feels softer than most any leather. It will usually have a nap like suede. Take a small dab of water on a white cloth in an inconspicuous area and try to force into the leather article. The leather should absorb the liquid, it will dry on its own. Do not force dry by artificial means. It is best practice to use damp white cloth to clean the leather. Approved Wax/Pull up Leather cleaner/conditioner to maintain the leather. If needing to clean use "Neutrogena" ® soap and distilled water to be safe. These contain no solids and will not leave a residue or rings in the leather. If you have a water based stain be sure and clean an entire cushion, do not spot clean a stain. If you have an oil based stain, do not clean with water ( as these do not mix). Allow the stain to permeate into the article and over time it will disappear depending on the amount of oil absorbed. A suede brush will help maintain the surface but over time the leather will darken from body oils.


Best practices for Cleaning!


After you identify the leather , it is safe to follow these steps.


PIGMENTED, SEMI – ANILINE LEATHERS

To keep your leather looking beautiful for a long time to come please follow these instructions:

Leather should be cleaned often. Frequent and gentle cleaning is easier on leather versus less frequent, more aggressive cleaning. Cleaning will remove dust, dirt, and perspiration. We recommend that you first wipe off any dust, paying special attention to those areas where particles will collect, such as the area between the seat and the cushions. Here is a specialized cleaner  Leather Maxi Kit  for this type of leather recommended by us.

Clean pigmented and semi-aniline leather should be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution (a mild soap will have a neutral pH so it is not harsh on your skin and therefore not harsh on the leather). For general cleaning, use a weak solution of soap; 3 – 4 drops of soap per liter of water. Use a slightly higher concentration to remove more excessive dirt. Always wipe off any residual soap solution from the leather with a clean, damp cloth. It is important that you do not saturate the leather. Always test the soap solution in an unseen area of the sofa to ensure the solution does not damage the leather.

Conditioning is not necessary. Cleaning to remove skin oils is the best prevention to any deterioration of the leather. The use of any conditioners or treatments on your furniture will void the manufacturer's warranty.

Some other important things to keep in mind:

  • Special attention should be given when cleaning the areas where there is more skin contact with the leather.
  • Hair products and skin oils will chemically attack the finish on the leather.
  • Exposure to sun and/or extreme light sources will cause fading and potential damage.
  • Dark jeans and other clothing have a high risk of dye transfer onto the leather, especially when the leather is lighter in color.
  • Sharp objects can puncture and cut into the leather.

 NATURAL AND FULL ANILINE

Leather should be cleaned often. Frequent and gentle cleaning is easier on leather over less frequent, more aggressive cleaning. Cleaning will remove dust, dirt, and perspiration. We recommend that you first vacuum off any dust, paying special attention to those areas where particles will collect, such as the area between the seat and the cushions.

Clean aniline leathers only using a slightly damp cloth and then immediately wipe with a dry cloth. Do not use any type of soap on aniline leathers. Here is a specialized cleaner for regular aniline leathers, except nubucks. It is important that you do not saturate the leather.

Conditioning is not necessary, unless a pull up or oiled leather. Skin oils tend to add character to this leather and builds a patina over time.

Some other important things to keep in mind:

  • Special attention should be given when cleaning the areas where there is more skin contact with the leather
  • Hair products and skin oils will chemically attack the finish on the leather.
  • Exposure to sun and/or extreme light sources will cause fading and potential damage.
  • Dark jeans and other clothing have a high risk of dye transfer onto the leather, especially when the leather is lighter in color.
  • Sharp objects can puncture and cut into the leather.

Keep in mind, have the best products to maintain proper care for your Leather Sofa!

With minimal effort  in caring for your leather you can expect years of performance. With just a few cleaning materials, you can achieve fully protected leathers that will last for decades to come.

Spend a little time early on , with regular cleaning, especially with pigmented or aniline plus leathers, as these can deteriorate if body oils and perspiration is not removed from the surface build up. 

You can then expect to have your leather furniture investment last for 20 plus years.

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