Most people enjoy owning a lovely new leather sofa, the smell of the soft leather, the comfort and luxury of the reclining action and getting their lounge set up perfectly to relax in front of the TV in the evening. Unfortunately the same people have three children and a pet dog who also want to enjoy the sofa!
As a rule families can spend a few thousand on this sort of leather sofa set up and these very expensive items can be ruined in a matter of minutes with the wrong damage occurs so prevention is certainly better than a cure in this case.
The first tip is to consider carefully before spending the money whether this item will be able to survive in your home on a practical level. Leather sofas are lovely but for people who own two large dogs who enjoy chewing, getting one might be a bad idea. Think about the colour too, not in terms of just suiting your colour scheme but think lifestyle, a cream sofa would certainly be a bad choice for families with young children or pet. You can also check on the various types of leather sofas available for one that tends to be easier to clean but check the manufacturers guide on this before a purchase.
As a rule you should then not allow anyone to eat on the sofa and keep drinks to a minimum and avoid hot drinks if possible as a spill can really damage the leather. Always check your clothing for dirt before sitting on the sofa is possible. You must also start getting into the habit of cleaning any spillages straight away so that the stains do not become permanent.
Most items can be cleaned with a simple wet wipe or soft cloth and mild cleaning product in tepid water and then buff the leather dry using a dry soft cloth with a circular motion. Regularly taking off the cushions and giving the sofa a gentle vacuum clean before wiping over the whole unit is a good idea to maintain the cleanliness of the sofa. You should then apply a conditioning cream to keep the leather supple and maintain moisture in the fabric and giving the leather a protective barrier. It is a little bit like having a giant shoe to polish. Just make sure that the conditioning cream is the correct one for your specific sofa and if you are not completely sure of this then apply the cream to a spot you cannot see underneath the sofa and check it after a day to make sure it looks as it should but always read the product guide.
There may come a time when this gentle cleaning will not work and you will need to look at more of a restoration of the sofa after a serious stain but not all stains are a write off. For example, using a very damp cloth is better for very sticky lollipop or sweet marks from the kids just to break down the extra stickiness but again dry the area and use a conditioner afterwards and there’s no permanent damage.
Grease however can be a little more tricky to deal with, something truly greasy like meat juices or beauty products can be made worse with just soap and water, it can simple spread the grease all over the sofa so think before you start cleaning. If it is mostly a grease based stain you should then use paper towels or a dry cloth and blot the stain, gentle pressure to absorb the grease and then sprinkle talk powder of corn starch over the area and leave the powder to absorb the rest of the grease. After about four hours this should be taken care of then wipe it away, clean as shown before and condition.
Random acts like nail polish or tipex can certainly be more difficult to handle but these are salvageable. You must start the process with the soapy cloth and dry the area to see if this helps. If there is still an area with polish on you can try using an ear bud to gently scratch off the left over polish when dry. If this still doesn’t work you can try re-moistening the area with a soapy cloth and again using an ear bud or tea towel to scrub the area but you must not use anything abrasive or a chemical paint remover as these will damage the leather.
There may be minor scratches that develop from pet claws, here extra conditioning cream should be applied to protect the area and try to stop any further ones developing.
You have to install rules with the new leather sofa to try to keep it as new for longer, avoiding damage and stains and regular treatments will keep it looking amazing and if you do not have the time getting in a cheap professional cleaning service in to treat it might be much better than having to buy a new one.
Image: Jan Sokoly