How to protect leather sofas
SO you’ve decided to bite the bullet and buy your dream leather sofa, only to find that your messy kids, partner or pets are aiding its quick demise. Never fear, with the right care you can easily prolong your sofa’s life and keep it looking good for years to come.
This is according to Ryan Beattie from Alpine Lounge, who says if you consider the cost involved in buying a new leather lounge suite, it will make you think twice about how you treat your furniture.
Beattie shares the following guidelines on how to properly care for your leather furniture:
Don’ts “Keeping leather in tip-top shape is not a complicated affair, but there are a few things that one should stay away from,” says Beattie. These are:• Heat and sunlight: heat causes leather to dry out and crack, so avoid placing it close to fireplaces or direct sun. “A quick test is to simply place your hand on your sofa – if it’s hot to touch, then it’s getting damaged and you should immediately put a throw over it and reconsider its placement.
If it’s warm to the touch, then you need to maintain moisture levels by frequently applying a well-renowned leather protector.” l Cleaning detergents: stay away from cleaning detergents that contain harsh chemicals, as well as silicones, oils, waxes and saddle soaps, as they can all cause more damage than good to your leather sofa. l Wiping: never wipe a stain, as this can cause it to spread further, rather blot it immediately with a clean dry porous cloth, so that the moisture gets absorbed into the cloth and does not spread all over the rest of the upholstery. ldyes and prints: the colour from heavily dyed or printed items is easily absorbed by leather, leaving unsightly stains. l Sharp objects: watch out for sharp objects that could pierce or scratch your sofa - they’re more likely to cause damage than add to its character.
If your leather is scratched or lightly marked, however, a light buff with a chamois should lessen its appearance. l Exposure to water: contrary to common logic, a stain should never be soaked with water as this in itself can cause a water stain and spread it.
Dos l Dust: getting rid of an accumulation of dust is as simple as vacuuming your leather furniture every couple of weeks and giving it an all-over wipe with a soft white cloth, suggests Beattie. l Wipe it down: if your teenage son has a tendency to jump on the leather sofa after his sports practice, or your dogs lie on it often, then it’s probably a good idea to wipe your sofa down more regularly so as to avoid chemical build up from body oils. l Test before cleaning: if you would like to attempt using a slightly damp cloth to clean, then be sure to test a discreet spot beforehand, making sure that the leather doesn’t absorb the water. “The same goes for leather cleaning products — always test a small inconspicuous area before trying to clean your whole sofa with it,” says Beattie. l Use a leather protector: prolong the life of your leather furniture by buying a leather protector product.
“Not only will it reduce the amount of intense cleaning needed, but it also minimises the amount of dirt that sinks into the upholstery.” lspecially made for leather: avoid any potential damage to your leather upholstery by buying leather cleaners, protectors, and conditioners that are recommended by the supplier you bought your furniture piece from or from a tannery. l Condition your leather: approximately every 9 to 12 months, using a good quality hide food that contains softening and nourishing agents. “This once-a-year treatment will prevent leather from drying out and cracking over time,” says Beattie. lstretch out creases: “I always get someone to give me an extra hand to help me stretch out any creases when I apply a product to my leather furniture,” says Ryan, who believes this allows one to get into all the hard to reach creases where cracking often occurs. l Seek professional advice: if you’re not sure what you’re doing or should the problem continue then it’s best to seek out a leathercleaning specialist for professional advice.
“Using specialist services may cost a bit more but they will achieve good results that will keep your sofa looking better for longer.”
Leather furniture is an investment that should be cared for appropriately and regularly to avoid deterioration, it’s worth all the effort in the long run,” says Beattie.
Never wipe a stain, as this can cause it to spread further, rather blot it immediately with a clean dry porous cloth.