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How to Care for Your Leather Furniture

Posted on 10/19/2023

Leather furniture exudes elegance and sophistication, making it a popular choice for homeowners seeking to add a touch of luxury to their living spaces. However, to ensure your leather furniture maintains its timeless appeal and durability, proper care is essential.

That’s why we are here to share our expert tips and tricks on how to properly care for your leather sofas, sectionals, recliners, and more. Keep reading to learn valuable insights on how to protect, clean, and maintain your leather pieces.

Understanding Leather Types

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When it comes to caring for your leather furniture, the first step is understanding the type of leather you have. Differentiating between genuine and synthetic leather is crucial. Genuine leather comes in various types, including full-grain, top-grain, and bonded leather. Each has its own unique characteristics and care requirements.

Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is made from real animal hide and is prized for its natural, luxurious look and feel. It is a durable material that ages gracefully, developing a unique patina over time. Here are a few common types of genuine leather:

Full-Grain Leather: Full-grain leather is the highest quality and most natural form of leather. It retains the complete grain of the hide, making it incredibly durable and breathable. It often features imperfections and natural markings, which add to its character.

Top-Grain Leather: Top-grain leather is slightly more processed than full-grain but still retains the outer layer of the hide. It is smoother in appearance and more resistant to stains than full-grain leather.

Corrected-Grain Leather: Corrected-grain leather has surface imperfections corrected using sanding or buffing. It is then embossed with a consistent texture, making it more uniform in appearance. This type is less breathable than full-grain or top-grain leather.

Aniline Leather: Aniline leather is known for its natural and unprocessed appearance. It is highly breathable and showcases the unique grain patterns of the hide. Aniline leather is typically dyed using transparent dyes, allowing the natural markings and variations to show through.

Bonded Leather: Bonded leather is made by bonding leather scraps with adhesives. While it contains some genuine leather, it is often less durable and has a synthetic feel.

Split Leather:Bonded Leather: Split leather is derived from the lower layers of the hide. It is less durable and may be used in areas of furniture that are less visible.

Synthetic Leather

In contrast to genuine leather, synthetic leather is man-made and does not come from animal hides. It is typically composed of various synthetic materials, such as polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). While synthetic leather can mimic the look of genuine leather, it may lack the durability and breathability of the real thing.

Initial Care

Placement and Avoiding Sunlight Exposure

The placement of your leather furniture is the first line of defense in maintaining its pristine condition. To prevent premature aging and fading, avoid placing your leather pieces in direct sunlight or near heat sources like radiators and fireplaces. Overexposure to UV rays and extreme temperatures can lead to drying, cracking, and loss of color in the leather.

Regular Dusting and Vacuuming

Dust and debris can accumulate on your leather furniture over time, affecting its appearance and comfort. To combat this, make regular dusting and vacuuming part of your cleaning routine. Use a soft, lint-free cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to gently remove dust and particles from the surface and crevices of your furniture.

Dealing With Spills and Stains

Immediate Action to Take

Accidents can happen, and when they do, swift action is essential to prevent lasting damage to your leather furniture. If a spill occurs, blot the area immediately with a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain. For solid spills, carefully lift and remove any residue without applying excessive pressure.

Leather-Specific Cleaning Products

When it comes to cleaning stains on leather, it's crucial to use the right products. Generic household cleaners can be harsh and damage the leather's finish. Instead, invest in leather-specific cleaning products designed to gently lift stains without harming the leather's integrity. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results

Conditioning Your Leather Furniture

Why Leather Conditioning is Important

Leather, like skin, can become dry and lose its natural oils over time. This can lead to stiffness, cracks, and a dull appearance. Leather conditioning is crucial because it replenishes these lost oils, keeping the leather soft, supple, and resistant to damage. Conditioning also helps to maintain the leather's color and luster.

Choosing the Right Leather Conditioner

Selecting the appropriate leather conditioner is essential for effective conditioning. Look for a conditioner that matches the type of leather you have, whether it's full-grain, top-grain, aniline, or another type. Always perform a patch test in an inconspicuous area to ensure the conditioner doesn't adversely affect the leather's color or texture. Apply the conditioner evenly using a soft cloth or sponge, following the product's instructions.

Preventing Cracking and Fading

Avoiding Extreme Temperature Fluctuations

Leather is sensitive to temperature changes. Avoid placing your furniture in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, such as directly in front of heaters or air conditioning vents. Rapid temperature shifts can cause the leather to contract and expand, leading to cracks and weakening of the material.

Avoiding Extreme Temperature Fluctuations

Leather is sensitive to temperature changes. Avoid placing your furniture in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, such as directly in front of heaters or air conditioning vents. Rapid temperature shifts can cause the leather to contract and expand, leading to cracks and weakening of the material.

Protective Measures for Leather

To shield your leather furniture from potential damage, consider using furniture covers or throws when not in use. These protective measures can help reduce exposure to dust, sunlight, and other environmental factors that may cause fading and deterioration. Additionally, maintaining a consistent indoor humidity level can prevent leather from becoming too dry or too moist.


For larger or more complex repairs, it's highly advisable to seek the expertise of a professional leather specialist to ensure a seamless restoration.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Instructions

Cleaning leather furniture requires a delicate touch. Follow these instructions to keep your leather sectionals and sofas looking new:

• Start by removing loose dirt and dust using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.

• Next, dampen a clean, soft cloth with water and mild, pH-balanced leather cleaner.

• Gently wipe the entire surface of the furniture, focusing on any stained or soiled areas. Avoid using excessive water, as it can damage the leather.

•Once cleaned, use a dry cloth to blot away excess moisture and let the furniture air dry naturally.

Repairing Minor Leather Damage

Scratches and Scuffs

Minor scratches and scuffs on your leather furniture can be addressed with simple DIY solutions. For superficial scratches, gently rub the damaged area with a clean finger to help redistribute the leather's natural oils. For deeper scratches and scuffs, you can use a leather conditioner to moisturize and blend the affected area. If necessary, you can also consult a professional for more extensive repair work.

Small Tears and Blemishes

Small tears and blemishes can be unsightly but can often be remedied. Leather repair kits are readily available and can be used to mend minor tears and conceal blemishes. Follow the kit's instructions carefully to achieve the best results.

Leather Furniture Myths Debunked

Leather care is often surrounded by myths and misinformation that can lead to improper maintenance practices. Let's debunk some of these common misconceptions to ensure you're giving your leather furniture the best possible care:

Myth 1 - Leather Doesn't Need Cleaning: While leather is naturally resistant to dirt and stains, it still requires regular cleaning to remove accumulated dust and oils. Neglecting cleaning can lead to a dull appearance and potential long-term damage.

Myth 2 - Water is Safe for Cleaning Leather: Excessive water can harm leather by causing it to swell, lose shape, and potentially lead to mildew growth. Always use a damp, not wet, cloth for cleaning and avoid soaking the leather.

Myth 3 - All Leather Products Are the Same: Different types of leather require specific care products and techniques. Using the wrong cleaner or conditioner can harm the leather's finish or texture. Always choose products tailored to your leather type.

Myth 4 - Leather Can't Be Repaired: Minor damage like scratches, scuffs, and small tears can often be repaired using DIY kits or professional services. Don't assume that damage is irreversible without exploring repair options.

Myth 5 - Conditioning Leather Makes It Greasy: Properly applied leather conditioner should absorb into the leather, leaving it nourished and not greasy. Using the right amount and buffing off excess can prevent a greasy residue.

Myth 6 - Sunlight is Good for Leather: Direct sunlight can cause leather to fade and dry out. Protect your furniture from prolonged exposure to UV rays to maintain its color and suppleness.

Top Flexsteel Leather Sofas

When it comes to incorporating leather furniture into your home, Flexsteel leather sofas stand out as an excellent choice. Renowned for their quality craftsmanship, comfort, and style, Flexsteel leather sofas offer a range of options that cater to various preferences. Let's explore some of our favorite models to elevate your home decor and comfort.

Flexsteel Mustang Power Reclining Sofa with Power Headrests (187362PH): The Mustang Power Reclining Sofa offers a perfect blend of modern functionality and luxurious comfort. With power reclining and adjustable headrests, this model allows you to customize your seating experience. The rich leather upholstery and stylish design make it a centerpiece of relaxation and style.

Flexsteel Town Power Reclining Sofa with Power Headrests (101062PH): The Town Power Reclining Sofa combines contemporary aesthetics with cutting-edge technology. With power reclining and adjustable headrests, it provides optimal comfort and support. Its sleek profile and leather upholstery make it an ideal choice for modern living spaces.

Flexsteel Westside Leather Sofa (104162PH): The Westside Leather Sofa is the epitome of relaxation. With its deep seating and plush cushions, it offers an inviting retreat after a long day. This model's casual yet elegant design complements a wide range of decor styles.

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Shop Leather Furniture Near You

Van Vreede’s is one of the best furniture stores in Green Bay, Oshkosh, and Appleton, WI. We offer an extensive range of leather furniture, including sofas, recliners, sectionals, and more. Whether you're seeking classic elegance or modern sophistication, you'll find furniture options to suit your style and preferences.

With a wide variety of brands and models, you can explore different designs and features to discover the perfect pieces for your home. Visit our furniture stores to shop for the best living room, dining room, bedroom, home office, and outdoor furniture and create a living space you'll love for years to come.

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