Cleaning the sofa

How to Clean a Leather Sofa

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Clean a Leather Sofa

A leather sofa is a really elegant and beautiful piece of furniture, but we can all agree that it requires some special care to keep it in perfect condition. Apart from normal aging and daily wear and tear, a sofa is a piece of furniture that is especially likely to become a victim of stains, which is a shame considering they can be quite expensive.

If you do not know the best way to care for your sofa we recommend you keep reading. In OneHowTo article we'll explain how to clean a leather sofa.

You may also be interested in: How to Clean Sofa Upholstery

Steps to follow:


To keep your leather sofa in good condition you should prevent major damage by cleaning it regularly to remove traces of accumulated dust. It is therefore recommended that every two weeks or so you run a a damp cloth over it - the water should be free of limescale. Take the cloth and pass it over the entire surface of the piece of furniture; this will keep it clean if it doesn't already have any stains.

But if what it needed is a thorough cleaning then you must be very careful and use products specifically designed to treat leather pieces to prevent it from cracking. This type of more intensive cleaning must be done a couple of times a year.

How to Clean a Leather Sofa - Step 1

The first thing you must do to clean a leather sofa is to vacuum it using a soft brush that will remove all the more visible dust and dirt. Take care to pass it over and through all the folds of your couch, since dirt is likely to have gathered in the creases and cracks.

Once you've vacuumed it, run a cloth dampened with a mixture of soap and distilled water over it in a circular motion, then rinse immediately with a cloth soaked in tap water and dry with a dry cloth.

How to Clean a Leather Sofa - Step 2

The next step is to polish the leather of the sofa with a specific product. You can buy leather conditioner that moisturizes and protects it or you can even make your own homemade leather polishing product by mixing two parts linseed oil with one part white vinegar. Put it all in a spray bottle and apply over the entire surface.

After this, apply a clean cloth to distribute the conditioner to every corner. Leave to act for a few minutes and then wipe again with a dry cloth to have all the piece of furniture well-polished and shiny.

Typically, after cleaning your leather sofa it will look a bit darker than it used to. Do not worry - soon it will regain its original color.


The tips we've given so far apply to general yet in-depth maintenance; even when you're very careful, though, it's likely that a leather sofa gets stained sooner or later. There are several tricks to remove stains from leather:

If the accident has taken place just now, cover the area with absorbent kitchen paper. Do not rub it - instead, let it absorb as much dirt as possible. After absorbing the stain with paper you can proceed in different ways:

  • Clean the rest of the stain with a cotton ball soaked in beer or alcohol.
  • If your sofa is light in color you should rub it with a cloth dampened in stiff whipped egg whites.
  • You can rub the peel of an orange, since citrus fruits have very good results for cleaning.
  • You can also use a flannel cloth, sprinkle it with talcum powder and then rub it on the area.

These tips will keep your leather sofa clean, bright and great for longer.


Do you have any tips on how to clean a leather sofa? Tell us in the comments section!

If you want to read similar articles to How to Clean a Leather Sofa, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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How to Clean a Leather Sofa