If you have invested your hard-earned money in leather furniture, you are probably already wondering how hard it will be to maintain it. Luckily, leather is durable and low-maintenance. But there are still some essential care tips you need to know to ensure that your furniture retains its beauty and develops a lovely vintage patina that leather is well-known for.
Different types of leather furniture
Caring for your leather couch or any piece of leather furniture depends on the type of upholstery used. There should be information about this on the product label, or as explained to you by the sales person when you bought the piece. There are two types of leather upholstery used today:
- Aniline or unprotected leather. This type of leather does not have much protective coating, and the surface of the leather has no added color. Natural markings and grains are visible on the surface which will eventually develop a vintage patina over time. Because it has little protective covering, aniline leather tends to be more sensitive to spills and stains.
- Protected leather. Compared to aniline leather, protected leather is dyed and finished with a protective covering. The surface appears more uniform, and the protective cover makes it more resistant to stains. The feel is still similar to aniline leather, but the pigmented coating makes it slightly more durable.
Caring for these two types of leather upholstery is similar. However, with aniline leather, you need to be extra careful, especially in dealing with stains.
How to care for aniline leather furniture
Many furniture manufacturers recommend keeping cleaning and care to a minimum. Most of the time, all you need is to dust the surface with a soft cloth. Regular vacuuming using a brush attachment will also work. If there are spills or stains, you can wipe them with a damp cloth, or buy leather cleaner if necessary. If you are unsure how to clean it, always consult the manufacturer or a leather furniture expert.
How to clean protected leather furniture
The protective coating on this type of leather upholstery makes it more durable, and therefore suitable to heavier cleaning. However, do not use any cleaning product containing alkaline or ammonia because it can damage the material. You also need to avoid using generic furniture polish, detergents, and oils. There are some commercial leather cleaning products you can use but always consult the manufacturer first to ensure that the product is safe.
How to deal with stains, spills, and spots
Leather has a porous surface, especially if it is unprotected. You need to remove spills and stains as soon as possible so that they don’t soak into the leather. Use a soft cloth to blot stains from aniline leather and have a professional cleaner assist you before you try anything else to remove the stain.
With protected leather, on the other hand, spills made using water-based liquid are easy enough to clean. If the stain is oil-based, use a dry cloth to blot it. You can also buy a commercial leather degreaser to remove the stain.
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