By Erica Young
Leather furniture is durable and easy to clean, making it a great material choice if you have kids. A leather sofa can take a beating, even in an often-used space, like a family room. But after a while, all the inevitable rough-housing and food and drink spills courtesy of the kids can start to dull leather furniture’s soft finish and rich sheen.
But how exactly should you clean a leather sofa? Cleaners on the market made specifically for leather can be expensive, and sometimes full of harmful chemicals. Don’t waste your money when you can make your own all-natural cleaner at home! And the great thing is, you probably already have the ingredients on hand. Here’s how to best clean a leather sofa, or any leather furniture, with this simple DIY cleaner.
- White Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Essential Oil (optional)
- Microfiber Cloths
1. First, remove everything from your sofa: pillows, blankets, and small toys lurking between the cushions. Tip: take this time to put your throw pillow covers into the washing machine, what’s the point of a clean couch if your throw pillows are dirty and smelly?
2. Vacuum the sofa using an attachment, removing any crumbs or debris. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, between the seat cushions, and behind the back cushions.
3. Quickly wipe down the sofa using a cloth dampened with water. This will get the furniture prepped, and ready for the cleaning solution.
4. To make the leather cleaner: Mix ¼ cup vinegar, ¼ cup of olive oil, and if you’d like, 10 drops of essential oil. The vinegar will gently cleanse the sofa, while the olive oil will help to condition the leather. The essential oil is optional, but it will add fresh scent as well as additional cleansing properties. Lemon oil, for example, is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, and also helps to preserve leather and prevent it from cracking. We recommend using Lemon or Orange essential oil. Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl to incorporate them.
5. Dip a microfiber cloth into your cleaner and wipe the couch. Before cleaning the whole sofa, test a small area in an inconspicuous spot. Let it dry for about 10 minutes and then check for any discoloration. If you don’t notice any issues, continue cleaning the whole couch. Wipe the cleaner in circular motions, gently working it into the leather as you go. Apply more cleaner to your cloth as needed.
6. When you’ve covered the whole sofa with the cleaning solution, go back over it with a dry cloth, removing any excess oil. You’ll be left with a clean and fresh smelling sofa, full of its original luster.
You’re done! Wasn’t that easy? You can whip up a batch of this leather cleaner anytime your furniture is starting to look dull and dingy. The simple ingredients and quick results make this household chore a breeze. It can also be used on leather shoes!
Images used with permission, courtesy of Erica Young