As leather furniture is made from hide, it needs special care. Leather furniture needs more care than furniture with fabric upholstery. Though you will have to make an effort to take care of leather furniture, in the long run it is worth the effort.
Cleaning and conditioning your furniture every three months should be sufficient unless you have very young children who leave lots of goopy stuff behind!
Here are a few tips on leather furniture care:
Place leather furniture away from heat source as it will dry the leather over a period of time.
Leather furniture should be placed away from direct sunlight, as sunlight will fade it.
Remove dust from leather furniture by vacuum cleaning regularly.
Use a dry cloth to blot anything that spills on the leather and let it air-dry.
Use leather furniture cleaners that are recommended by the manufacturers. These cleaners and creams keep the leather soft and supple and increase their resistance to stains.
Leather-care products are easily available at leather furniture stores and with leather furniture manufacturers.
Use a leather cleaner as following ( make sure that you follow the tips that are mentioned in the cleaner documentation if they are different) :
First dampen a sponge with it.
Next squeeze the sponge to create foam.
Then lightly apply the foam in a circular motion and allow it to soak for a few minutes.
Lastly, dab it clean with a soft, lint-free cloth. Repeat the process if an area is heavily soiled.
If the leather is extremely dry, the cleaner will get soaked up quickly and you need not worry about this.
You can avoid this by adding 25% water to the leather cleaner. This adds sufficient moisture and helps loosen the dirt.
Once done, always apply a leather protector to maintain the softness and suppleness of the leather.
It's always safe to test your leather cleaner in a small area first to check if the colour runs.
Home Made Cleaners
Ingredients in leather cleaners are pretty common: olive oil, lanolin and Neat's-foot oil (animal rendered oils) are generally used in commercial products.
You can reproduce these commercial products in your own kitchen without the expense of commercially packaged products. Another advantage to making these yourself is the easy, one step cleaning and conditioning. No need to buy more than one expensive product.
For full cleaning and conditioning, try this mixture:
1 part white vinegar
2 parts neatsfoot oil OR raw or food grade linseed oil
Use a white lint free cloth to swirl on, leave overnight then buff for maximum shine.
Remove any mildew or mold on leather before starting with a regular cleaning. To remove mildew, try this inexpensive, easy recipe:
1 part rubbing alcohol
1 part water
Spray on or use on a dampened cloth. Use a clean white lint free cloth and replace as it gets dirty. Avoid direct sunlight and allow to air dry. You may also turn on a fan and allow it to gently waft over the surface.
Removing Stains From Leather
It may be impossible to remove all stains from leather, depending on their origin. However, here are some simple cleaning tips that might help.
Toothpaste straight on the stain, lightly scrubbed in and then wiped off.
Try non-acetone nail polish remover wipes on ink stains.
Aerosol hairspray works well on tough stains. Spray the hairspray directly on the stain and wipe away. This may take several swipes so keep at it.
Round glass water stains on antique leather tabletops made of hard stretched leather might be removed by rubbing in mayonnaise. Leave the mayonnaise for a couple of hours then wipe off.