Leather upholstered furniture adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any living space. Its luxurious appeal and durability make it a popular choice among homeowners. However, to ensure that your leather furniture remains in pristine condition for years to come, it requires proper care and maintenance. In this article, we will explore essential tips for maintaining leather upholstered furniture, allowing you to enjoy its beauty and comfort for an extended period.

Understanding Leather Types

Before you start caring for your leather furniture, it's essential to understand the type of leather you have. There are different types of leather, such as aniline, semi-aniline, and pigmented leather, each requiring specific care methods. Check the manufacturer's instructions or consult a professional to identify the type of leather and follow the appropriate maintenance guidelines.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is crucial to prevent dirt and dust from settling into the leather. Start by removing loose dirt and debris using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Gently brush the surface to lift any particles. Avoid using abrasive materials that can scratch or damage the leather.

Once the loose dirt is removed, use a damp, lint-free cloth to wipe the leather upholstery. You can also use a mild soap solution or a leather cleaner recommended for your specific type of leather. Make sure to wring out the cloth properly to avoid excessive moisture. Wipe the leather gently, following the grain, and then use a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture.

Addressing Stains and Spills

Accidents happen, and it's essential to address stains and spills promptly to prevent permanent damage to your leather furniture. Blot the spill with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it can spread and penetrate the leather.

For stubborn stains, use a specialized leather cleaner or a mixture of mild soap and water. Apply the cleaner to a soft cloth and gently dab the stain, working from the outside inward. Avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents, as they can damage the leather.

Stains and Spills

Leather furniture requires regular conditioning and moisturizing to keep it supple and prevent cracking. Apply a high-quality leather conditioner recommended for your specific type of leather. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, and apply the conditioner evenly using a soft cloth. Allow the conditioner to be absorbed into the leather, and then wipe off any excess.

Conditioning should be done every six to twelve months, depending on the climate and usage of the furniture. It helps restore the natural oils and keeps the leather soft and flexible.

Protection from Sunlight

Direct sunlight can fade and damage leather upholstery over time. Place your leather furniture away from windows or use curtains and blinds to block the harsh sunlight. If it's not possible to avoid direct sunlight, consider using UV protectors or applying a leather protectant with UV inhibitors to minimize damage.

Preventing Scratches and Damage

Leather is susceptible to scratches, so it's essential to take preventive measures to avoid unnecessary damage. Keep sharp objects away from the furniture and use caution when wearing jewelry or clothing with metal embellishments that can potentially scratch the leather. If you have pets, trim their nails regularly to minimize the risk of scratches.

Dealing with Fading and Discoloration

Over time, leather upholstery may fade or develop discoloration due to exposure to sunlight or other environmental factors. To address minor fading or discoloration, you can use a leather dye or color restorer that matches the original shade of the leather. Apply the dye or restorer according to the manufacturer's instructions and buff it gently to blend it with the surrounding area.

For significant fading or discoloration, it's best to consult a professional leather restoration specialist who can assess the damage and provide appropriate solutions.

Professional Cleaning and Restoration

While regular cleaning and maintenance are essential, professional cleaning and restoration are sometimes necessary to revive tired or heavily soiled leather furniture. Professional cleaners have the expertise and tools to deep clean, remove stains, and restore the original beauty of the leather. Consider hiring a reputable leather cleaning and restoration service to ensure optimal results.

Storage and Seasonal Maintenance

If you need to store your leather furniture temporarily, proper storage techniques are crucial to prevent damage. Clean the furniture thoroughly, apply a leather conditioner, and cover it with a breathable fabric or plastic cover. Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and high humidity.

During seasonal changes, it's essential to perform regular maintenance to keep your leather furniture in excellent condition. Clean, condition, and inspect the furniture for any signs of damage or wear. Promptly address any issues to prevent further deterioration.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals, alcohol-based cleaners, or ammonia-based products on your leather furniture, as they can damage the surface.
  • Do not place leather furniture near heat sources such as radiators or fireplaces, as excessive heat can dry out and crack the leather.
  • Avoid using abrasive materials, such as rough cloths or brushes, that can scratch the leather surface.
  • Do not ignore spills or stains, as they can penetrate the leather and become more challenging to remove over time.
  • Avoid using excess water or soaking the leather, as it can cause water stains or damage the material.


Proper maintenance is essential for keeping your leather upholstered furniture looking its best. Regular cleaning, addressing stains promptly, conditioning, and protecting from sunlight are some of the key practices to ensure the longevity and beauty of your leather furniture. By following these essential tips, you can enjoy the comfort and elegance of your leather upholstery for years to come.