Houzz Logo Print

Clean that Leather

16 years ago

I'm seeing a lot of customers come in to replaced their cracked and split leather furniture that is not all that old (10 years). Each and every one of them admits they have never cleaned their leather, so I wanted to toss out a post regarding that subject.

Leather is NOT a no-maintenance item. It is frequently sold as such, along with correctly claiming it will outlast fabrics four to one. Well, I can tell you it will only go that long if you follow a regular cleaning regimen.

Oils and dirt attack the tannins in the hide. Periodically, you need to remove these. Its not something you need to do obsessively, and typically you can do it 2x a year and that will suffice. I do my own leather furniture in my house when the clocks change Spring and Fall, as its always on a Sunday and an easy reminder.

You don't need anything fancy to clean hides. Get a bar of plain Ivory-brand soap, a damp washcloth....soap it up like you're going to give your kids a bath, and then do the leather. Follow with a rinse cloth. Don't get it soaking wet, and expect a little darkening when the water hits it.

I use Leathermaster products myself. I prefer them as they add a little punch to the hide when the protection cream is applied that makes the piece look like new again. Don't use saddle soaps or products designed for cleaning horse tack.

Clean your hides and they won't crack from tannin breakdown. It will protect your investment and give you that long life of the product.

Duane Collie

Comments (18)