14 July, 2016
Leather Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Leather is a material we most often associate with furniture, car interiors, jackets, bags, leather sandals and shoes – items that see a lot of wear and tear in their lifetimes and that need to be looked after well to stay beautiful through the years. However, one aspect of maintenance that is often overlooked with these items is how difficult leather is to clean!
Leather can take a beating and keep on going, but it will probably need a clean afterwards… And for such a tough material, it is surprisingly easy to damage with cleaning products and tools. Harsh brushing and the use of cleaning chemicals can often leave your clothes and upholstery discoloured, dried out, or even scratched and scuffed. With the upholstery of cars or the awkward heft and weight of a leather sofa, successfully cleaning an item and keeping it clean becomes an even more worrying prospect – so what can you do?
If the leather is finished and not soft and suede-like in texture, you could try to clean it yourself by using gentle hand soap, a few soft rags and some warm water – but before trying to clean the stain or mess, perform a small test on a less obvious part of the item or some hidden corner of the furniture, to make sure that you won’t accidentally discolour or bleach it, and then leave it to make sure it isn’t going to dry out or crack.
If that all works and there’s no unintended side effect, you can use the soap, warm water and rags to gently clean away the stain – being careful not to use too much water. A little at a time will help prevent the rest of the item from being soaked or absorbing any water, and will help to keep your cleaning neat and on-target. If the stain is more persistent, or if the test leather does discolour or dry out, you may have to have the piece professionally cleaned, which, luckily, The Leather Hospital can do.
We here at the Leather Hospital have decades of experience cleaning leather items of all makes and sizes, and are experts in preserving leather so that it stays a great colour, doesn’t crack or dry out, and stays smooth and shiny. Our equipment and cleaning materials are perfect for use on even delicate items or badly damaged items that would be destroyed by water or chemicals, and our cleaners and restorers are artisans with years of experience working with leather. If you need to have a leather item cleaned and you are worried about keeping the item in good condition, or you are worried that it is too big a job to clean successfully, you couldn’t be in better hands.