How to care for leather furniture

September 18, 2013

Leather is a wonderful furniture material. It feels warmer in cold weather without being hotter in warm weather than cloth furniture. As it ages, it develops its own character and becomes a unique piece since it is a natural material. It suits any lifestyle from high dollar class to budget crashing. Taken care of properly, leather will also last a lifetime. There are just a few things to keep in mind when caring for leather furniture.

The only instant and catastrophic danger to leather furniture is the danger of being punctured. A puncture creates a weak spot where tears can begin and exposes the stuffing of the furniture to the environment, which can cause it to literally rot to pieces. Avoiding this danger is fairly easy. The biggest puncture danger to leather furniture is usually pets. As the skin of an animal, leather feels just right to cats who want to sharpen their claws and dogs who want to keep their jaws in good chewing form. The best plan is probably to keep leather furniture and pets completely separate as even well trained animals are unpredictable and it takes only moments of curiosity on their part to ruin an expensive piece of furniture.

Cleaning leather furniture is pretty simple. The only cleaner that should be used is lukewarm water. While the leather itself is resistant to most chemical solutions, the same cannot be said for the dye used to color that leather. A red couch with a big white spot on it as as unsightly as a couch with a hole in it. The reaction of even mild cleaners to the chemicals used to finish leather is unpredictable and if the furniture owner intends to use any type of soap or other cleaning agent, the cleaner should be tested on a part of the leather that is not generally visible, like the underside of cushions, to ensure that it will not cause a stain.

Other than keeping leather from getting punctured and erasing stains with warm water, there are only two other factors to keeping leather furniture looking good for years. Keep it out of sunlight because the rays of the sun can cause it to discolor, resulting in a horrible tie-dye appearance. The second factor is conditioning. As a natural product, leather can eventually dry and begin to crack if a good leather conditioner is not applied a couple of times a year.

With a little basic care and caution, caring for leather furniture not only makes it last for decades, but keeps it looking better than cloth furniture for the same period of time.