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How to Clean Leather Furniture

Learn how to clean leather furniture with this simple step by step guide – perfect for ottomans, chairs and more.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Lemon oil (optional)
  • Bowl
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Towels or cloths

Step 1: Assess the stain or mess

How you clean your leather furniture will depend on the type of stain or mess you are dealing with. Is it an ink stain? grease stain? or other? Identifying the problem at hand will help you when it comes time to creating the best solution for treating it (see step 3).

Step 2: Remove loose dirt.

With a dry cloth, brush off any loose dirt or particles from the surface of the leather furniture piece.

Step 3: Mix a cleaning solution.

For ink stains, use rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball to spot treat the stain in question. For grease stains, let baking soda (just a pinch!) sit on top of the stain (doing so will help absorb the oils). If you are unsure of the origin of the stain, or for general messes, simply mix together vinegar and water (at a ratio of 1:1). Dip a soft cloth into the solution (and wring out any excess solution), and gently wipe down the surface of the furniture piece. Dry with a clean towel.

Step 4: Condition.

If you want, you can also condition your leather furniture after cleaning it. For leather furniture that sees heavy daily use, conditioning once every year or so will help to keep your furniture feeling fresh. For homemade leather conditioner, mix vinegar and lemon oil (at a ratio of 1:1). Dip a cloth in the mix, and wring out any excess solution. Gently wipe the furniture’s surface.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.