How To Clean a Leather Couch
Cleaning Leather Care

How To Keep Your Leather Couch Looking Polished and Brand New

January 18, 2024 at 2:47 PM PST

We spend a lot of time trying to keep our homes clean. From cleaning the carpet and floors to tables to furniture, it’s natural to want everything to be spotless, especially when guests come over. When it comes to couches, they require a bit more maintenance for cleaning. For example, if you have a white couch, cleaning stains out of it might be harder. Certain types of couches might even be harder to clean, like a sectional couch because of the length.

While many people use a standard cleaning solution or even a Bissel to clean a regular couch, it’s gonna take a bit more labor to clean a leather couch. Leather makes for a durable material in couches, furniture, car seats, jackets, belts and other accessories, but you have to give it some labor of love to keep it looking top-notch and brand new. Leather couches are also great because they are both pet-friendly and kid-friendly. If you spill some wine on the couch during movie night, it’s so much easier to clean than polyester, cotton or fabric. Here’s how to clean a leather couch to make it shiny and brand new again.

How Often Should You Clean a Leather Couch?

Learn how to clean a leather couch with these products which can remove stains and keep it looking polished. Pictured: A leather couch in a living room with throw pillows and blankets.

Leather couches should be cleaned at least twice a year. However, if you end up spilling something on it or staining it, clean the couch immediately. Leather that is of a lighter color should be cleaned twice a year, while darker leather can be cleaned once a year. You should follow this routine for all types of leather couches including recliners, two-cushion sofas, chairs and pretty much any kind of leather sofa. For upkeep and maintenance, your leather couch should be vacuumed and dusted regularly, every week or so depending on how much dust and dirt are on the surface.

How To Clean a Leather Couch

Learn how to clean a leather couch with these items to get rid of stains. Pictured: A blue leather couch

What You’ll Need:

  • Leather conditioner
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Cotton balls (optional)
  • Ice (optional)
  • Ziploc bag (optional)

For leather couches, you’re gonna have to do more than just vacuuming. To clean a leather couch, start by soaking a microfiber towel in warm water and dish soap. Wipe down the couch with the towel, dry it off with another towel and then finish it off by wiping it with some leather conditioner all over the couch. This helps prevent cracks and discoloration in the leather and makes it look newer.

How to Remove Stains

Learn how to clean a leather couch and remove stains with this article on keeping leather furniture polished and clean. Pictured: A man sitting on a leather couch

Depending on the type of stain in your leather couch, it may be easy or difficult to remove. To remove regular stains like soda or coffee, some warm water and soap can go a long way. Just soak a microfiber towel in some warm water and soap to dampen it and scrub the area. Try to scrub in circles, but don’t put too much pressure on the surface. Just use enough pressure to remove the stain.

Now, if you’re dealing with grease stains on leather, this is a little bit different. Because grease stains tend to show up more on leather and create a slimy texture. To remove the stain, you’ll want to take some baking soda and cover the grease stain with it. Leave it alone for a few hours to let the oil absorb into the baking soda. Then, just wipe it away with a dry microfiber cloth.

How to Clean White Leather

Learn how to clean a white leather couch with a makeshift cleaning solution to get rid of stains. Pictured: A white leather couch.

If you have a white leather couch in your home, there’s a different method of cleaning to use for this color and type of couch. While you might think that bleach is the answer, it definitely is not and should never be used on your leather couch. Instead, create a cleaning solution of olive oil and vinegar. Spray the stain, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it away.

Cleaning Odd Stains

Get rid of odd stains like gum or ink by learning how to clean your leather couch. Pictured: A leather chair in a room

Whether the kids are playing with pens that happen to leak ink or accidentally putting gum on your leather couch, it’s important to know how to get these types of stains out in case of emergency. For ink stains, apply some running alcohol to a cotton ball. Gently dab on the stain until it starts to lift– do not rub it. Pat the area dry with a microfiber cloth.

Everyone (shamelessly) has probably put their gum in a place it doesn’t belong before. While we hope that you won’t stain your precious leather couch with gum, accidents can happen, especially with kids. To remove any gum stains and residue from your leather couch, you’ll need some ice cubes and a ziploc bag (weird combination, we know, but we promise this isn’t to heal a wound). Place your ice cubes in the Ziploc bag and hold it against the gum stain. Wait for the gum to harden and gently scrape it away. This hack also works well on wax.

When to Contact a Professional

While you can learn how to clean a leather couch with this guide, contact a professional for tough stains that won't come out. Pictured: A living room

Sometimes, you need to accept more drastic measures and call a professional if things seem to hit a roadblock. If you find yourself having trouble removing any tough stains, calling a professional ensures that any further damage will not be done to your leather couch.


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