What To Clean A Leather Sofa With

Genuine leather sofas require a delicate touch when it comes to cleaning. Although they’re robust seating solutions you should be careful about the types of cleaning products you apply to natural leather. General cleaning and removal of day to day debris like crumbs, hair or dead skin that makes its way down the sides and between the cushions can be vacuumed up no problem. The more complicated and sensitive cleaning issues are stain removal and long term upkeep. So to help you out we at CP Furniture Sales thought we’d give you some expert tips on shifting stains and prolonging the life of your leather sofa.

Cleaning spills and stains

Remove spilt food or drink immediately with a dry cloth, wiping away the spillage thoroughly. Then use a barely damp cloth to wipe over the affected area and ensure that there’s no food or drink particles left behind to stain and damage your couch.

If the food or drink isn’t cleaned straight away or proves to be stubborn then you may use a very mild soap mixed with plenty of lukewarm water. Lux or Castile soap flakes are very mild so are perfect for such gentle cleaning. The soap will help cut through grease from food that may linger on the leather. Wet a cloth with soapy water and wipe over the stain. Even with such mild soaps you should wipe over the area again with a clean damp cloth because it will attack the oils in the leather as readily as the food grease. Finally use a dry cloth in order to remove the moisture you’ve applied.

You can buy special leather cleaning products that will work harder on stains and marks but still be very kind to the material. Leather wipes and sprays can be found in big supermarkets and home stores.


If you want your leather sofa to live a long and happy life then you should condition twice a year and after you use any soap or chemicals to clean a stain. Conditioning will nourish the leather, maintain the balance of oils and prevent drying and cracking over time.

There are many commercial cleaners that will be worth the money you pay in order to keep your furniture in tip top condition for years to come. These products can be divided into 3 types; wax, crème and oil based conditioners. The most widely compatible are crème conditioners which moisturise the fibres in the leather without much visible change the colour or the sheen on the surface. However you should always test anything you wish to apply to leather in a hidden area first to be sure of how it will affect the leather. Wait at least an hour to see the true results.

When the proper care is taken, your leather will actually improve over time, becoming very soft and supple.


  • …use spray polishes on your leather sofa. These will build up a film of varnish on the material over time that may start to feel sticky, attract dirt, discolour the sofa and damage the leather if you try to remove it.
  • …use saddle soap on your sofa. Although saddle soap is designed to clean a leather saddle the strength of the leather in your sofa is much weaker and cannot hold up against the harsh chemicals in this soap. The ph balance of saddle soap is very alkaline whereas the leather of your sofa is acidic and will react by shrinking.
  • …use bleach-based cleaning products. These will damage the leather and strip the natural colour.
  • …use alcohol based products like nail varnish remover. If you have used something of this sort to remove a mark then you should condition the leather thoroughly to restore its oils.
  • …saturate the surface with water. A minimal amount of water should be used when cleaning as water will stain the leather.

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