How to Clean a Leather Couch?

Do you have a cozy leather couch at home? It may likely be the favorite spot in your home. This was the case for me. You’ll find me curled up on the couch, snacking and binge-watching my favorite shows. Not until friends came over and spilt wine on my couch, leaving the mess to me.

Since I couldn’t put it away, I researched solutions. I learned the ins and outs of how to clean a leather couch in the process, and my once-damaged couch now looks good as new.

Whether you’re dealing with peelings, scratches, stains, or general wear and tear, I’ll tell you about my experiences and tips on maintaining your couch. Let’s dive in.

how to clean leather couch naturally

Leather Coach Explained

Before you clean your leather sofa, it’s essential to know what type of leather you’re dealing with. The information would help you choose the best products for your leather care. That said, here are some of the commonly used leather on sofas:

Aniline leather: Dyed with transparent dye, Anile is famous for its natural grain and see-through markings. It also has a soft feel which is more prone to stains because it lacks a protective finish.

Semi-aniline leather: Similar to Anile, this leather type is also dyed with a transparent dye but with a thin protective coating on top. Therefore, it is stronger, less prone to stains, and inexpensive compared to aniline leather.

Pigmented leather: Pigmented leather is coated, contains dye pigments, and is coated with a polymer which gives it a uniform appearance. This makes it the least susceptible to stains and the most durable leather type for a couch.

Suede leather: Unlike other leather types, suede leather has specific care instructions. This is because the texture is more delicate. It also easily gets damaged and stained because it’s made from the animal’s underside.

Apart from Seude cleaning, which requires you to be more careful, the cleaning method for all leather types is the same.

How Often Should You Clean a Leather Couch?

The frequency of use determines how often you should clean. Like me, if it’s your go-to spot for watching TV or entertaining guests, dusting it daily and a thorough clean once a month will do.

Of course, you still have to clean stains and spills instantly to control them from setting in. However, if it’s tucked in the room and often not in use, you can dust it weekly and thoroughly clean it occasionally.

Also, as a general rule, it’s ideal to condition your leather. It not only serves as protection but also helps maintain its quality. Conditioning every 6-12 months works for most leather couches, depending on how often you wet-clean it.

Care Tips for Your Leather Coach

Compared to fabric couches, leather couches are highly durable and last 15-20. However, this is based on the leather quality and how well you care for it. Here are some tips you can use to elongate the lifespan of your couch:

  • Clean your sofa couch regularly to prolong its lifespan.
  • Always clean with a soft cloth and resist using too much water, as extra moisture can harm the leather.
  • If the stains are stubborn, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or use a specialized leather cleaner on the affected spots.
  • Protect your couch from heat sources and direct sunlight. Extensive exposure to harsh elements can allow your leather to dry out and crack over time.
  • Protect your leather couch from dogs and other pets by trimming their nails frequently to avoid scratches.

cleaning leather couch with dove soap

How to Clean a Leather Couch Step-by-Step Method

About to get started with the cleaning process? You’ll need the following material and tools:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Leather cleaner and conditioner
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Mild soap
  • A small bucket and bowl
  • Water


Vacuum and dust the couch

Dust and debris build up over time and can cause damage to the couch if left unchecked. So, before cleaning:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner attachment or a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt.
  • If necessary, dust the surface to remove any lingering dirt.
  • Vacuum the side and edges of your couch. Remove them to vacuum the insides and underside if they can be dissembled. Also, ensure it gets into all the crevices and seams to remove any trapped dirt.

Tackle tough stains

Some stains may prove difficult to remove and require more attention. But not to worry, here’s how to clean leather couch stains that prove stubborn to disappear:

  • Ink Stains: When dealing with ink stains, most people recommend alcohol. Yes, it works, but only use it as a last resort, as it can discolor leather. A good alternative will be to use a damp microfiber towel in a mild cleaning solution. Focus on the area gently to blot the ink stains until they are gone.
  • Oil stains: A mix of baking soda and cornstarch can be effective here. First, use a paper towel to absorb grease and oil from the surface. Then Mix equal parts of baking soda and cornstarch in a small bowl and then apply to the affected area. Allow to sit for a few hours or overnight, then vacuum the room or clean the mixture gently with a soft cloth.

Wipe Away Grime

When getting rid of grime, you must go gently with a damp cloth. In addition, you should also avoid using excessive water. Excess moisture causes harm. Likewise, using hot water can make the leather shrink or wrap.

While you may have access to some of the best leather cleaners for sofas, like Weiman Leather Cleaner, and Lexol,  I’ll advise you double check to ensure it is friendly for your leather couch type.

If you want to clean the leather couches naturally, a mild soap like Saddle and Cassile with warm water could do the job. Make the cleaning solution in a bowl and dampen the cloth. Starting at the top of the sofa, wipe each part of the surface in a circular motion while reaching into the crevices and seams of the couch.

Avoid going too hard so the grime doesn’t stick to the leather. Also, wring and rinse to microfiber as you work; it needs absorbency to pick up dirt.

Dry the Couch

Buffing the leather makes the couch surface shine and removes any moisture left. Grab a dry towel and work around the leather from to bottom to get an even shine.

Condition the Leather

If let leftne, leather can dry out over time, often making it stiff, crack, or even. So conditioning between 6-12 is an excellent way to moisturize it. To get started, grab a conditioner that works for your couch leather. Leather Honey is one of the leather furniture cleaners and conditioners I trust in the market. Its richness in oil and vitamins is second to none.

Apply the conditioner on the couch, focusing on areas that receive more pressure, like the arms and seats. Allow it to absorb into the leather, then use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess conditioner.

Final Words

Cleaning your leather couch doesn’t have to be a headache. And with the tools and techniques I explained in this article, you can restore the bright look of your couch and maintain it for years.

Not only will you cut costs in the long run, but you’ll also get a sense of pride in your home. After all, taking care of your belongings is a form of self-care which shows you value yourself and your environment. That’s it. You now know how to clean a leather couch; take time this weekend to clean your couch and enjoy the results.

Titi Taiwo

Titi Taiwo is a passionate writer who's all about tech and giving expert leather advice. With experience writing for both online and print publications, Titi has collaborated with leading companies such as Pactnuel and Groomlog where she contributed her knowledge and expertise. Titi is always on the hunt for new and innovative ways to inspire and educate her readers. So if you're looking for some fresh tech insights or just want to up your fashion game, Titi's writing is your sure bet.

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