Leather upholstery cleaning can be a challenging task for some people. This is because they are concerned about the value of the leather and are worried about damaging it in any way. However, by cleaning leather upholstery regularly and by using the right cleaners, you can maintain the softness and durability of the leather and ensure that it lasts for many years.
To remove dust and grime that accumulates daily on upholstery, you must dust it regularly. Do a basic cleaning and dusting on the leather once a week. Use a suitable vacuum brush to vacuum out the dirt and debris on the upholstery first. Then follow up with a wiping, using a soft cloth dampened with water. Vacuuming first and then wiping ensures that you do not rub small dust particles on the leather, causing minute scratches on the surface.
A deep, thorough cleaning on leather upholstery is essential on a monthly basis. For this purpose, use a good quality leather cleaning product. These products are specially formulated for leather surfaces. Before trying a new product, always test it first on a small inconspicuous area to rule out any adverse effects. Follow cleaning instructions on the packaging. Wait till the leather in the test area is fully dry before you clean the rest of the upholstery.
Some household cleaning products can also be used in place of specialized leather cleaner. However, make sure you test the cleaner first before you apply it everywhere. Avoid using harsh cleaners or alkalis to clean leather, as they may cause permanent discoloration and damage to the upholstery. Some of these products are mild detergent, vinegar, linseed oil or moisturizing soap that has little or no alkali content. If you use detergent, mix it with water thoroughly until it forms bubbles. Use only the bubbles and suds to gently clean the leather.
Avoid using water straight from the tap, as it may contain chlorine and other elements that can damage the leather or discolor it. Wipe in circular motions and turn the fan on, or leave the window open so that there is no excessive wetness. After wiping, buff the leather with a soft clean cloth to remove any remaining moisture.
Use a leather conditioner to keep leather soft and to prolong its lifespan. Always apply conditioner when the leather is fully dry. Regular cleaning and conditioning will remove stains, dirt and oils from human skin that tend to accumulate on the leather surface. A leather protector is also a valuable tool for maintaining the shine and strength of the leather. Always wipe off any spills immediately to avoid soaking.
Professional Leather Cleaning
Although not necessary, having your leather upholstery cleaned by professionals can keep it in great condition. Always go to a dependable cleaning service, and try to get recommendations from friends before using a new service. This is to avoid any unpleasant experiences that may result from an unreliable cleaning company. However, if you regularly clean and maintain your leather upholstery yourself, it may be unnecessary to spend upwards of $100 for a professional deep cleaning service.