Most people like leather sofas because they are durable and look luxurious. However, few people know how to take care of their leather sofas. Below is a guide on how to clean different types of leather. But first we will help you understand the different types of leather after which you will then learn how to clean the leather sofa.
This type of leather is also called aniline leather. It is tanned and dyed and very little alterations have been done to it. With this kind of leather, the scars on it are visible but are not considered as defects. Because its made from high quality hide, this type of leather is generally expensive. This leather has a soft feel which gives it a luxurious glare. The downside to this kind of leather is that it gets easily stained. The plus side of this leather is that it can be easily cleaned. Although they do not require special treatment while cleaning them, some need wax or oil applied to them after cleaning.
There are three types of aniline leathers which include;
a. Pure aniline leather: this type of leather is soft to the touch. If you scratch the surface of the leather, a light color will appear on the area that has been scratched. This can be rectified by rubbing it out with your fingers or using maintenance products. Cleaning this type of leather is best done by a professional as they are able to properly dry it out.
b. Oil aniline leather: this type is similar to the pure one except for the fact that it has oil applied to its surface.
c. Wax aniline leather: this is also similar to the pure aniline. The only difference is that it has wax applied on its surface.
This type of leather is sealed so that it doesn’t absorb any water or get scratched. Unlike the pure aniline, this type of leather doesn’t have visible scars. The cost of furniture made from this type of leather varies and mainly depends on its feel.
There are three types of protected leather which include;
a. Semi-aniline: this type of leather is considered to have the best of both worlds. This is because it has a soft touch like the aniline leather but has a protective finish. The scars on this type of leather are slightly visible but not as pronounced as that of the pure leather. It is also easy to maintain.
b. Pigmented: Because it has many products applied to it, it doesn’t have a soft feel like the semi-aniline. It also has scars that are partially visible like the semi-aniline and is also easy to maintain.
c. Corrected leather: this type of leather is pigmented and stamped using a grain pattern so that its identical on every panel. Just like the pigmented leather, it’s not very soft to the touch because it has many products applied to it and is easy to maintain.
How to carry out sofa cleaning
Now that you understand the different kinds of leather materials for the sofa, it’s time to learn how you can clean them if need arises.
1. Start by using a soft cloth to clean any dust or dirt that might have settled on the sofa. You can also use a vacuum that has a soft brush to get into the nooks of your sofa.
2. Use a damp cloth to wipe the sofa. And note that its preferable to use distilled water on the cloth as tap water has chlorine and it might damage your sofa with time. Also remember that leather doesn’t do well if it soaks up water. So, do not put too much water on the cloth. Just put enough water to make the cloth wet then use this to clean your sofa.
3. Let your sofa dry and avoid sitting on it until its dry. You can speed up the drying by opening some windows to let in the wind.
4. Once or twice a month you can use specialized leather cleaning products. Also note not to use an all-purpose cleaner for your leather sofa as they might contain chemicals that would end up damaging your sofa. Only use cleaning products that are specifically designed for cleaning leather sofas.
Sofa cleaning tips and how to maintain your sofa
1. Condition it on a regular basis: This is because leather has oils that help the leather maintain its soft touch and thus need to be replenished all the time. You can do this by using a specialised leather conditioner to give it the soft look and prevent it from cracking and drying.
2. Properly position your sofa: Leather doesn’t do well when its overly exposed to direct sunlight or heat. So you should always choose a position for your sofa where you know there is no direct sunlight or heat getting to it.
3. Clean spills immediately: leather doesn’t so well when it’s soaked in liquids. So whenever a spill on the sofa occurs its best to just clean it up immediately. You can do this by using a dry cloth or a paper towel. Place the cloth on top of the stain and press hard on it. Let it absorb the liquid. Do not wipe the sofa but instead keep placing dry cloth or paper towels on the stain and press against it until all the liquid has been absorbed. The stains that are hard to remove are those from oil. You can just use a dry cloth to dry out the spill then make sure to call a professional to help get rid of it completely.
It’s easy to care for and maintain a leather sofa. However, once in awhile it’s advisable to hire a professional to do some deep cleaning for the leather. This is because they have the right equipment for the job and are vastly experienced on how to handle leather. Also, getting your sofa cleaned by a professional helps it maintain its soft and shiny look. So, you can manage to clean your own sofa now using the guide above but remember to hire a professional for the job to maintain its appearance.