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A beautiful piece of leather furniture, such as a sofa or armchair, is likely to be the centrepiece of your living room. Buying one is an investment, and the item will likely be enjoyed for generations. However, it is worth remembering that not everyone in your family will have the same love and respect for the furniture as you do.
Children and pets have their own priorities, and being careful and respectful of leather furniture is not always highest among them. Other potential problems include damage to the leather from over exposure to sunlight and general wear and tear. So how can you look after leather furniture? Here are some hints for keeping your sofa in good condition throughout its long life.
Take care of leather furniture by keeping it away from direct sunlight. Too much sun affects the appearance of the leather and can weaken it over time and cause it to crack. Likewise, don’t leave your furniture too close to a fireplace or any kind of heating.
To make sure that your sofa looks its best at all times, give it a dusting once a week. If dust is allowed to build up, the sofa will be harder to clean and the risk of stains is increased. Use a vacuum cleaner for those tricky corners, and your sofa will stay dust free and healthy.
Also, take particular care of your favourite spots, the areas of the sofa which take the strain so to speak, as these are the most vulnerable to long-term damage. Try changing your favourite spot from time to time, as this will alleviate some of the stress your sofa experiences.
In many cases your leather furniture can be cleaned with a damp cloth. It is important to make sure that the cloth is not too damp, but a small amount of water with a touch of gentle soap on a soft cloth will get rid of most everyday stains.
It is worth bearing in mind that Aniline, the most expensive leather type, should not be made wet at all; instead use a specialised cream cleaner. Most leather furniture is made from corrected grain leather, often referred to as ‘pigmented’, and for this it’s fine to use a damp cloth for cleaning.
Build up a lather around the area concerned, and then rinse it with a clean damp cloth. Do not let any water stand on the leather for even a short time, as this could result in unsightly watermarks. Finally, polish the surface with a dry cloth.
If your sofa has been stained with something a little tougher to remove, try applying a little bit of toothpaste. After a couple of minutes, wipe the area with a damp cloth. Don’t scrub too hard as this may damage the leather. Anything tougher could be dealt with by a dedicated leather cleaning fluid. These come in different strengths, so make sure you have read the label, and know which type of leather your sofa is made from. For more serious stains or damage, make sure you get the advice of a professional leather cleaning service.