Leather Furniture Care
Saddle up to learn more about caring for leather and suede furnishings.
Leather is a popular material because it is so tough. Cleaning is easy too, since it can be gently vacuumed and damp-wiped as needed. Accomplish deeper cleaning with a leather conditioner or saddle soap.
Although commercial conditioners are best for large pieces such as sofas, a homemade leather reconditioner (see recipe below) will work well for smaller pieces, such as footstools or chair seats.
- Don't sweat small scratches. They often heal over time, becoming less conspicuous. Any noticeable deep scratches in leather upholstery can be covered with a commercial leather dye.
- Manufacturers sell touch-up kits in the same color as the furniture. (Consider buying one or two kits when you purchase the piece, in case the color is discontinued.)
- If you have several leather pieces, label the kits to avoid confusion. If a touch-up kit isn't available or you've acquired a vintage piece, check with a shoe or leather repair shop for the closest match.
Care Tips for Suede
- Vacuum suede with a soft brush attachment or use a soft clothes brush.
- Use only made-for-suede leather cleaners.
- Freshen and restore with suede brushes and soapstones (the typed used on suede shoes).
- Remove small spots with art gum erasers.
Adapted from the book, Making a Home, Meredith c. 2001