How to care for your leather sofa

A leather sofa or settee isn’t an ‘impulse buy’. It’s something you’ll think about carefully and plan for. It’s an investment, an aspirational piece of furniture that looks amazing, no matter what type of décor you have. From classical to ultra-modern, leather sofas and suites can form a key element of any interior design plan. And with today’s bold and bright colours, leather settees don’t have to be black or brown – they can be bright red, blue, white or even screaming pink if you want!

Leather sofa

However, once you’ve bought your leather sofa, how do you care for it? A leather sofa isn’t like normal cheap sofas – it needs a little bit of love and care to keep it looking its best. So here are our five top tips on how to keep your leather sofa looking fabulous:

#1 – Use a leather conditioner

Leather is an organic compound that needs to be cared for on a regular basis. So using a leather conditioner once every six months will keep the leather from drying out and cracking. Think about how you moisturise your skin every day to keep it supple – now just scale that up a bit and you’ve got exactly the same principle for a leather sofa! Choose a conditioner that’s specifically designed for treated leather and if in doubt, talk to the retailer and ask if they can recommend one that will bring out the best in your sofa.


#2 – Never use cleaning solvents on leather sofas

Harsh chemicals will quickly damage your leather settee or suite, so avoid using any cleaning solvents that are not specifically designed for use on leather. Even something as innocuous as furniture polish or soapy water can mark the leather permanently, detracting from its natural beauty, so don’t be tempted to ‘just give it a quick wipe over’ with a damp cloth. You’d be surprised how much damage it can do!

#3 – Deal with spills quickly

Never leave spills on a leather sofa – deal with them quickly to stop the liquid soaking into the leather and staining it. However, don’t be tempted to scrub at the spot. Leather is surprisingly resilient to small spills, so for example if you spill something greasy on it like butter then simply wipe off the excess and leave it to dry naturally. If the stain persists then the best course of action is to take it to a professional to be cleaned.

#4 – Watch your humidity

Leather sofas can react to the amount of humidity in the air. In modern, centrally heated homes the air can become exceptionally dry, and suck out the natural oils and moisture that keeps a leather sofa supple and soft. So keep an eye on the humidity levels in your house and if necessary invest in a humidifier to keep the atmosphere just right for your leather suite.

#5 – Not all wear and tear is bad!

The wonderful thing with leather sofas is that they develop their own ‘patina’ over time, giving them character and an individuality that you won’t get with other cheap sofas. So remember that not all ‘wear and tear’ is bad, and as long as you give your sofa a bit of TLC, it will reward you with years of good service and become almost part of the family!

Harry Wilson is a freelance blogger who contributes regularly to a wide range of lifestyle and interior décor sites including Sofaland.

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