Cleaning can be a chore and for many of us, we tend to avoid it until the very last minute. The downside to this is that when we are forced to clean our leather sofas (though in truth we should be maintaining them regularly) we do not have the time to go and get leather cleaners and conditioners and spend the hour or so cleaning it properly. In most cases, the guests are already on their way, the party is already planned for that day, or the guys are outside getting ready to come in and watch the game. So, what do you do in these situations? Here are a few quick and unique ways that you can condition and clean a leather sofa.
Method One: Use moisturizing soap
This is different than your average bar of ivory or cheap soap. Even though this seems simple, even professionals like a maid service use the technique. If you have some dove moisturizing soap or a similar brand whose sole purpose is to get down into the skin to revitalize it, then your in luck. Consider, leather is nothing but well treated and crafted animal skin. Using deep cleansing moisturizer and conditioner on the sofa will bring out the color and clean it. Do not go overboard with the application of the soap. Remember that the leather has been treated with dyes and coatings and that putting too much soap upon it may damage the color and treatments in place. The best practice is to do a test area first, then when you know that all is well put on a light coat and clean the leather sofa.
Method Two: Make a vinegar/olive oil mix
Before starting this unique conditioning and cleaning method please note that vinegar is highly corrosive if left sitting on a surface (I personally have stripped rust from metal by having it sit in a 5 gallon bucket of vinegar). This technique is intended for a quick clean and wipe off. Do not let it sit on the surface. That being stated, if you wish to use vinegar, mix even amounts of vinegar and olive oil together. Rub the mixture on the leather and only allow for it to sit for 10 minutes max. Once it has sit, use a non-abrasive cloth to clean off the leather. Buff the leather with a dusting rag (clean) to really bring out the shine.
Method Three: Nail Polish remover and rubbing alcohol
As both of these substances are very strong, it is advised that you have an open window when using this technique. This method is primarily for cleaning stains and scuffs on leather sofas as well as removing areas which may have splotches. It is not intended for the entire couch. When you use the nail polish remover or the alcohol, you should dilute the liquid with warm water. Nail polish may strip away dyes in the leather and so you should do a test run before committing to using it to clean. Work the cleaner into the stain and then rinse and dry completely. Once done, use a light soap (dish soap will do) to clean the surface, ensuring that no alcohol or nail polish has remained upon the surface.
Method Four: The stain remover pen
When you think of stain remover pens, typically you do not say “hey, this would be a great way to clean my leather couch”. But if you have a spot or two which needs to be quickly cleaned up, it works wonders. One thing to keep in mind is that the brushes on these pens tend to be a bit more abrasive and so using them on nubuck or sensitive leathers may not be the best way to clean a leather sofa.
The best method
Of course, the best method for cleaning a leather sofa is to use a professional cleaner or conditioner. With the variety of brands on the market, there are sure to be a few that you can just spray on and wipe down. It is always advised that you use something which is specifically intended for leather over a DIY formula. Should you choose to use a do it yourself technique, be aware that any damage that you do to the couch could void the warranty of the furniture. If you are unsure as to which cleaners and conditioners you should purchase please seek the advice of your local professional leather artisan before applying any external solutions to your furniture.
As always, the best method for keeping your leather looking healthy and shiny is to clean as you go. Vacuum out the couch occasionally, rotate the cushions if you can, and keep the couch away from any direct UV lighting. Those which do not have the time to clean their leather sofa properly may want to consider having a professional service do so.