They’re not just a stylish interior choice. Sofas made from leather tend to be more durable and require less maintenance. They’re naturally firmer and more water resistant than textile sofas, making them a great choice in a family home. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t regularly clean and treat your leather sofa.

If you follow the right steps, it's relatively easy to keep your leather sofa clean and prolong its life. To get your leather upholstery looking great, read on to find out how often you should clean and maintain it.

How often should you clean leather?

Leather furniture should be dusted and vacuumed regularly. Conditioning should be applied every six months to a year. This is how to keep your leather furniture looking its best all the time.

For normal use, a professional leather clean with a conditioner is recommended every 12 months to keep it supple and glossy, and to prevent small cracks appearing in the areas of wear as leather has the tendency to dry out if left.

For commercially used leather furniture in Hotels, Boardrooms and Masonic Lodges; the usage may be much greater, requiring a professional clean every 6 to 12 months. If there is one piece of furniture that gets more use, try to remember to rotate the furniture every month or two, to give equal wear and equal sunlight to each item.

Why Does Leather Need Maintenance?

Real leather is the skin of an animal, just like our skin. It’s an organic material, so needs to be moisturised and cared for with the right processes and products.  

Your leather upholstery can become discoloured and damaged if dust, dirt, and skin oils accumulate. Keeping your upholstery clean and preventing discoloration are essential.

Clean leather remains looking great for longer than leather left to collect dust and grime.

Dusting the surfaces of the leather with a dry cloth regularly is essential. Vacuum the crevices and under the cushions of a couch once a week to prevent dust particles from building up. Shielding leather from direct sunlight in the summer will also prevent the leather from drying out and bleaching out the colour.

The Different Types of Leather for Furniture

There are a few different types of leather that are commonly used for furniture. The way you care for your sofa will depend on what type of leather you have.

Pigmented and aniline leathers have different characteristics. Pigmented leather is stronger and more durable, while aniline leather is more natural looking.  Semi-aniline leather, the third variety, shares a combination of all these characteristics.  

Pigmented Leather

What is Pigmented Leather, and how does it differ from other types of leather?

The most durable sort of leather is pigmented leather, which is the most common type for leather sofas. A polymer surface coating with colours makes the material durable. The coating might be embossed, printed, or left plain as a finish.  

Soiling, scuffing, and fading are all reduced thanks to the surface coating, so this variety of leather is usually straightforward to maintain compared to others.

Aniline Leather

Aniline leather has the most natural appearance, with the animal hide's surface appearance and texture left exposed. Pure aniline leather will only be dyed, with no polymer or pigment covering the surface.  

To improve the appearance and provide some protection against spills and soiling, a light non-pigment surface coating can be applied.

With aniline leather, certain natural markings and shade variation should be expected. This type of leather is more susceptible to the effects of sunshine and absorbs liquids more readily. They look great, but aniline leather sofas require extra care to keep them looking their best.

Semi-Aniline Leather

Semi-aniline leather is more durable than aniline leather, and still has a natural look. The application of a light surface coating with a small amount of pigment provides greater durability. Semi-aniline leather sofas maintain a more constant colour and get an added layer of protection when this treatment is applied.

Cleaning your leather sofa

If cared for properly, leather is a durable, long-lasting material. The problem is, if you don't keep your sofa clean, it will soon begin to look a little worn out and rough.

It is recommended that you dedicate some time to cleaning and maintaining your leather furniture, and if your sofa is heavily used, you might need to do this twice a week. If you have treated your leather furniture, make sure you clean every part of it, as the colour of your leather will most likely change slightly. It won't be as noticeable if you clean all of it.

Follow these steps for a good sofa-cleaning practice:

1.       Dust and dirt may have settled on the upholstery surface. Take a soft cloth and brush them off. Use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum to reach the nooks and crannies of your sofa.

2.       Next, wipe your sofa's upholstery with a damp cloth. If you can, use distilled water because tap water contains chlorine, which can harm leather over time. Test the material's reaction to water on a hidden part of the sofa before treating it for the first time. You should be extremely careful not to soak your sofa, as leather is sensitive to liquids of any sort.

3.      You should treat and cleanse your sofa's upholstery with a specialised cleaning product at least once every two to four weeks. Be cautious when using multi-purpose cleaning products as they may contain harsh chemicals that can damage the sofa. Ensure that the cleaner you use is specially formulated for leather.  

4.      It’s best to allow your sofa to dry naturally, and to avoid sitting on it when it is completely dry. By opening up some windows and doors, you will create a good flow of air in your home which will aid the drying process.

Do I need to condition a leather sofa?

Oils contained in leather need to be replenished periodically. Regular use can reduce the natural properties of the upholstery, but the right oils help to keep them soft and supple to the touch. To extend its life and prevent dryness and cracking, it is important to use a specially formulated sofa conditioner.

What Professional Cleaning Can Do for your Leather Sofa

When you book in cleaning for your leather furniture, you can be assured that we’ll maintain its longevity, look, and comfort.  

We provide a choice of professional leather cleaning products to fit the diversity of hides, finishes, and colours available in leather. Whether it's aniline, coloured, or any other form of specialty leather, we'll give it a thorough cleaning, backed by our years of experience and skill.

Many products can leave your leather feeling sticky or greasy and are not strong enough to really penetrate the leather.  

At A Cleaning Service, we have carefully chosen the products and techniques that we use to ensure you receive the best results possible. Our technicians are fully trained and certified to clean and treat all types of leather. This includes full grain, top grain, split grain, bonded leather, bi-cast leather or nubuck! You can have the peace of mind that your beautiful leather is in safe hands.  

Receive your free quote today and give your leather the attention it deserves!