Looking After Leather

Cleaning is perhaps something that is given too much emphasis. Leather furniture in a normal domestic environment should require little attention and any cleaning should be done only when necessary. It is not essential to the life of leather that it should be cleaned regularly, but at the same time an accumulation of dirt and grease over a period of time is undesirable, and obviously the longer it is left the more difficult it will be to remove. Dirt is abrasive and over a period of time in extreme circumstances will cause the removal of the protective coating.


  • Regular cleaning can be done simply by using a damp cloth, taking care not to soak the leather.
  • Use a cloth soaked in a mild soap/water solution (not detergent) and wring it out until damp. Apply the cloth to the surface of the leather in a light circular motion, turning the cloth regularly. Avoid aggressive rubbing action. Repeat with a damp cloth rinsed in clean warm water. Allow to dry and then lightly polish using a clean, dry soft cloth.
  • Vacuum frequently, also dust with a soft cloth.
  • Wipe away stains with a soft damp cloth as soon as they occur.
  • For a more thorough treatment, use a good quality leather conditioner once or twice a year.


  • Don’t use wax and spray polishes or saddle soap. Wax polishes and furniture spray often contain silicone which will, in time, produce an unpleasant sticky feel to the leather.
  • Don’t use household detergent cleaners or solvents.
  • Don’t soak the leather with excessive water.
  • Don’t position leather furniture close to sources of heat, i.e. radiators and fires as this may dry it out.
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight as this may fade the leather.
  • Finally, don’t over clean, leather really doesn’t take much looking after.