Taking care of leather furninture

Dear Cleaning Lady,

I’ve just recently bought a leather sofa set. I would like to know ways of taking care of it – such as polishing – to maintain shine and also ways of cleaning. The sales people said I can’t use water as leather needs to be conditioned. Using water in the long run will make the leather harder and cracked. It was recommended by them to use cream/oil leather polisher for every 6 months. However, I find it expensive… I’m seeking your advice on alternative or better way of taking care of leather.

Patricia F

Dear Patricia –

The sales people were right – water can damage your leather furnitre. But the good news is that leather actually needs very little care with normal use as it has already been permanently preserved during the tanning process. Here are some tips on taking care of your leather furniture:

Use a clean white cloth or vacuum with a brush attachment to dust the furniture once per week. Don’t use any cleaners – this is all you need.

Fluff pillows and rotate them each week for even use.

If you do spill on the leather, blot immediately with a clean white towel. Spills often dissipate on leather with time and fade on their own. If you have a stubborn stain, consult your furnitre’s care guide – Ivory soap often works on leather stains. No matter what you use, always pre-test the product on a small area first, before treating entire area.

Keep it away from direct sunlight and heat (ie, vents or radiators) to prevent fading, discoloring or other damage.

Don’t rest newspapers or magazines on the leather as the ink can leach onto the leather.

Don’t stress over scratches or other imperfections – they are inevitable with time and add to the character of the furniture. You can use your fingers or a chamois cloth to buff out the scratch.

You should apply a leather conditioner to the entire piece a minimum of once per year to keep the furniture supple and protect against spills and stains.

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