Tuesday, 21 January 2014

How To Clean A Leather Couch

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I love my leather couch, but it can get mucky quite quickly. My kids friends tend to drop stuff on it, and since it is near our back door the dog splatters it with mud when she runs in from the garden. So knowing how to properly clean a leather couch is an absolute must in our household.

Now, I'm sure I'm not the only person who has occasionally resorted to baby wipes to clean their leather furniture. However, you are not meant to do that because leather is very porous and the chemicals in the wipes can penetrate the leather and ruin the finish. The following method, on the other hand, should be safe for the majority of couches. But I recommend doing a spot test, because how safe and effective a cleaning method is will depend on the exact quality and finish of the leather.

How To Clean A Leather Couch

You should aim to clean your leather couch at least every three months. But don't make it part of your weekly cleaning routine - excessive cleaning has the potential to wreck the finish of the leather.

Step one. Before you clean your couch, you want to remove as much of the dirt as possible from all of the nooks and crannies with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. This is because you will rub the grime into the leather if you don't make the effort to remove it first.

Step two. You can buy commercial leather cleaners for furniture, but they can be expensive - it is far cheaper to make your own! I mix one part distilled white vinegar to one part water to clean leather, but don't forget to do the aforementioned spot test if this is the first time you are applying it to your couch.

Step three. Dip a clean cloth (preferably microfiber) into your cleaning solution, and wring it out so it isn't too wet. Wipe the entire surface of the couch, rinsing out the cloth as necessary. I like to start at the back of the couch and work my way down, but that is just a matter of personal preference.

Step four. Once you are finished, rub the couch over gently with a dry microfiber cloth.

Step five. An optional last step is to condition the leather - this should help to keep the leather supple, thereby improving its longevity. You can make your own leather cleaner by mixing one part white vinegar to two parts flax seed oil. Apply it in circular motions, and leave to dry for at least two hours before buffing the sofa with a clean cloth to restore its natural shine.

How To Remove Stains From A Leather Couch

I have never had any serious stains on my leather couch *touch wood*, but here is how to remove some of the most common stains. Again, always test it out on a small area first!

Permanent Marker

Spray the affected area with hairspray, then rub gently with a clean cloth.

Ballpoint Pen

Ink stains can normally be removed with rubbing alcohol, but you may also want to try eucalyptus oil for ballpoint pen. Apply the oil or rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab and rub the stain with small, circular motions.

Grease Stains

If you have dropped greasy food on your couch, sprinkle a little baking soda on the affected area to soak up the grease. Leave this for a couple of hours, brush it off and clean in the usual way.

Dark Colored Stains (Light Couch)

Create a paste from cream of tarter and lemon juice, and apply to the stain. Leave for ten minutes, then remove with a clean damp cloth. Repeat if necessary.


Mix one part rubbing alcohol to one part water, and apply it to the affected area with a cloth. Leave to dry naturally.

Always contact the manufacturer or a professional cleaner for advice if you are having trouble removing stubborn stains.

How do you clean your leather couch?


  1. Great Tips..Thanks for sharing. You have a very informative blog I am a follower now

  2. I have a leather couch and this post was very helpful. Thanks

  3. These are great tips! I never knew there was a homemade recipe for leather conditioner, that's great since buying it is so costly! Thanks so much for sharing your tips with everyone! I pinned it to the party board!


  4. I am co hosting Fluster's Creative Muster Link Party!! Thanks so much for linking up!


  5. Great tip.. I will be featuring this tomorrow. Thanks for linking up!


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