Learning to condition and clean leather sofas has been on my to do list for a while. When we moved earlier this year, we found a fan-tastic deal on a leather couch way, waaay back in the clearance section of the furniture store. The leather looked perfect with the exception of a small scratch on the back (which no one can even see). The best part was that it reclined on both sides. Score!
Since we have two rowdy boys in the house, that couch takes a beating. I would like it to last long after those boys leave the house…so we can actually use those recliners. That’s why I’m doing my best to keep that leather sofa in good condition.
Using a good commercial leather cleaner and conditioner is an obvious choice to keep the leather sofa in tip-top shape. You can call the manufacture to see which brand they recommend. Instructions on how to care for the leather are also often listed on the tag attached to the furniture.
Sometimes using everyday household products works just as well. It helps train us to use what we have (thus simplifying our life). Plus, it’s just one less bottle to store in the cleaning closet.
How to clean a leather sofa using everyday household products:
Here are a few ways I’ve cleaned my leather couch using everyday household products. If you try any of these, test the cleaning method in an inconspicuous area first. And keep in mind that you clean at your own risk. I’m not replacing any leather furniture in your house. 🙂
Whether you have a leather sofa or not, the vacuum can be your best friend when it comes to cleaning furniture. Remove all the cushions from your couch and vacuum underneath them. Then vacuum in all the other crevices to get rid dirt, dust and debris. Keep the inside of our couch clean is half the battle!
2. Moisturizing soap and water
I watched a video recently of a guy cleaning his leather sofa using a mixture of Dove soap and water. He wet a wash cloth, applied soap to the cloth, and scrubbed the stain on his leather couch. Then he buffed the water away. So easy! Here’s the video if you’d like to see for yourself:
3. Baby wipes
I never knew the wonders of baby wipes until 4 1/2 years ago when we our first child entered the world. They can clean almost anything! Now that I’m used to having baby wipes around, I may just keep using them.
I recently used baby wipes made for sensitive bums to clean gunk off of our leather couch. They worked like a charm. What I don’t know is if there’s left over residue left over that could build up. If you like the ease of baby wipes but are a little hesitant to use them on your furniture, something like these leather conditioning wipes may be a better option for you.
Vinegar is apparently one of those miracle cleaning products. Here is a recipe for a leather cleaner recipe I used a while back:
- 1 part vinegar
- 1 part extra virgin olive oil
- 2 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
Mix the vinegar, olive oil, and essential oil throughly in a small bowl. Dab on a soft cleaning cloth. Work in a circular motion. Rub in thoroughly then let it sit for about 10 minutes, then buff with a clean soft cloth to bring a shine to the leather surface.
5. Lemon juice and a cream of tartar
Lemon juice and cream of tarter can sometime have a bleaching effect. Since I have dark leather, I haven’t been able to test this. But I’ve heard from several of you that it’s easy to remove dark stains from light-colored leather by mixing equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar. Mix to form a paste, rub the paste on the stain and leave in place for about 10 minutes. Apply another layer of the paste, work it in, then remove with either a damp sponge or a damp sponge.
There you go! Those are 5 everyday household products that can keep a leather sofa clean. I will probably still use conventional leather cleaners periodically, but I like knowing there are options!
What’s your favorite way to keep leather furniture clean?
Need more cleaning ideas? Find all of our cleaning tips here!