Leather is durable and elegant but requires regular maintenance to remain in pristine condition. Keeping your leather furniture looking new is simple, but different leather types have varying cleaning requirements.
How to Identify Your Leather Upholstery
The easiest way to identify the upholstery on your leather is to check the label. You can also look the product up on the manufacturer’s website. Here are the most common leather types.
As the name suggests, unprotected leather has little or no protective features except a dirt-resistant coat. You can see the natural marking on its surface.
Aniline leather is the most expensive leather fabric due to its soft and luxurious texture. However, it’s highly susceptible to staining.
The most common leather fabric type is protected leather, also called finished or pigmented leather. This fabric is more durable than pure aniline because it has several protective layers. As a result, it can withstand wear and tear better than pure leather types.
Semi-aniline leather is firmer than pure aniline but less firm than protected leather. It feels soft but can last long because it has a protective pigment coat.
How to Maintain Your Leather
Here are valuable tips for leather lounge maintenance.
Cleaning Your Leather
As mentioned earlier, the leather type determines the best cleaning method. Generally, you’ll need clean water, a vacuum cleaner, mild soap, and a soft microfiber cloth.
Unprotected leather requires careful handling due to its delicate nature. Some manufacturers recommend wiping the surface with a dry cloth and vacuuming it every two weeks. Others advise users to use a moist cloth to wipe off dust, followed by an approved leather cleaner. The most crucial thing is to avoid damaging the delicate surface.
On the other hand, cleaning protected leather is easier. You can use water and mild soap to remove dirt from the furniture’s surface. However, it’s best to avoid strong chemicals that can damage the fabric, such as ammonia and industrial detergents.
Blotting is the best way to remove stains from aniline leather. Check the user’s guide for instructions before taking another step.
If you have protected leather upholstery, use a damp cloth to wipe off stains and leave it to dry. For stubborn stains, press a damp soapy cloth against the stained area for a few minutes, then use a clean cloth to wipe it off.
For oil stains, blot using a clean cloth. Please don’t use water, as the pigments will dissipate over time.
Extending the Lifespan of Your Leather Furniture
After cleaning, observe the following practices to make your leather lounges last longer.
Conditioning your leather upholstery reduces the risk of cracking and drying. It also helps leather maintain its oils, keeping it soft and supple. The recommended frequency is applying a conditioner every six months.
When applying the conditioner, ensure that you follow instructions. Also, read the user’s guide to know what to use.
Please avoid placing your leather furniture in positions that risk its condition. Leather comes from animal skin, so it’s advisable to look after it as you care for your skin.
For instance, direct sunlight accelerates fading. Likewise, placing furniture close to a heater or a fireplace compromises the fabric.
Ideally, you should place your furniture in a shaded place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
If you intend to store your leather furniture, ensure it’s clean before putting it away. Place a plastic sheet below the lounges so they don’t absorb water. However, don’t cover the upholstery with plastic, as leather needs to breathe.
Leather furniture needs regular maintenance to stay in top shape. When cleaning, consider the leather type. Never use abrasive chemicals because they can damage your fabric. After cleaning, apply a conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple. Lastly, avoid placing the furniture under direct sunlight or near heat sources.