You spend your hard earned money buying beautiful furniture for your house, so it’s important that you take the time to clean your leather lounge and keep it looking its best, right!? The problem is, there is so many ‘wives tales’ and home remedies getting around as to how best clean leather… leaving you wondering which is true, and possibly spiralling you into a world of so much conflicting information that you simply just do what seems easiest. Well, fear no more, we’re here to debunk the myths and help you understand how to best clean your leather lounge to keep it looking amazing for years to come. So, grab a cuppa, settle into a comfy (hopefully leather) seat, and get ready to become an expert!
Why Do You Need To Clean Leather and Vinyl?
When we (or our furry little friends) sit on leather or vinyl lounges, we transfer body oils, sweat and dirt. Without proper cleaning, this can all start to accumulate onto the lounge, leading (initially) to discolouration and (later on) the breakdown of the leather.
Leather is an animal by product – it is ‘skin’. As such, it needs to be treated like you would your own skin. Using harsh chemicals or soaps will strip the protective layers off the leather and won’t put any nourishment or moisture back in, resulting in it eventually starting to dry out, flake, peel and/or crack.
So you can understand we worry when we hear customers and house keepers tell me that they use soapy water, dishwashing liquid or spray and wipe to clean their or their customers’ leather lounges and recliners. Whilst this may seem the cheapest, quickest and most convenient way to clean leather, it’s actually a sure fire way to destroy leather in the long term. The chemicals in these products gradually strip the top coat on leather, and don’t add any moisturiser back into the hyde. Once this top coat is compromised, it will result in the leather drying out and therefore absorbing more sweat, body oils and general dirt, which will eventually lead to the leather peeling, cracking or perishing to a point where it can’t be repaired.
Regular cleaning with products that are specifically designed for leather lounges, and aid in both cleaning and also adding moisture are therefore pretty important!
How Do You Clean Leather and Vinyl?
The best way to maintain leather is to clean it with products that are specifically formulated to protect and add moisture into leather. Forget the generic supermarket products that are quick and easy and the wives tales. Your leather will thank you and will last for many more years if you use good quality leather cleaning and protective creams on them every 3 to 6 months.
Yes, that often!
When you undertake a thorough clean and condition, (or have a professional do so), the results are typically pretty remarkable! Many customers are amazed to see how dirty their leather actually was, and how good their lounge looks after it is properly cleaned and how soft it becomes after a condition. Here’s a few examples…
If you’re thinking that you will never have time or remember to properly clean your lounge every 3 to 6 months, then have a leather professional come and undertake the cleaning and conditioning process for you! At the same time, give yourself a pat on the back for maintaining your leather now as it will save you spending more in the long run on repairs or replacement.
How Do You Remove Stains From Leather and Vinyl?
Just like cleaning leather, the myths behind removing pen marks, ink stains, slime or food stains from leather are generally pretty unreliable. Using acetone products (eg- nail remover), magic erasers, hair spray etc may be tempting to use when you’re panicking about getting a stain off leather, but these ‘fixes’ also strip top coats off leather, strip colour out of leather, and can cause more damage than you were initially trying to get yourself out of. Word to the wise – don’t touch it! Call a professional!
Stains and damage to leather and vinyl can generally be fixed if you call a qualified leather professional who is skilled in the process of removing stains and restoring the colour and seals on leather and vinyl.
The ability to actually undertake the cleaning and repair work (and give you a high quality result) is niche, and should be undertaken by someone who is highly trained and is able to offer a warranty on their services. Unfortunately however, the number of companies who are offering leather
cleaning and repair as an add on to their carpet cleaning or pest control services is growing. Our advice to overcome having issues with a repair or being disappointed by a leather refurbishment would be to speak with a leather professional, not a generalist. A technician who focuses on leather day in and day out, will be able to give honest feedback on the condition of your lounge and whether what you’re asking for can actually be done. They should also be able to offer a variety of options for you to consider depending on your expectations and budget. They should also be able to offer a guarantee on their work.
Just remember, you wouldn’t use a painter to build a deck… the same analogy applies when it comes to cleaning or repairing your leather!
The Leather Doctor
The Leather Doctor is Australia’s largest network of specialised leather and vinyl repairers, who undertake intensive and ongoing training to ensure that the work they do, and the results they achieve, are going to be best in class. With a network of over 70 Leather Doctors, we’re able to service in excess of 8,000 suburbs across Australia.
Your local Leather Doctor can be found here, and is available to help with professional clean and conditions, repairs and even leather re-colouring.
So, the next time you’re wondering why your leather isn’t looking at good or feeling as soft as it used to or are in a frenzy wondering how you’re going to get the pen or nail polish stain out of your favourite chair, give your local Leather Doctor a call! With a free quote service, you’ve got guaranteed peace of mind.