How to Clean and Maintain All Types of Leather

When you have invested top dollar into beautiful leather furniture, you want to make sure it stays beautiful. When it comes to cleaning leather upholstery, it is best to avoid home remedies and keep it simple.

Your basic cleaning material should include: a vacuum cleaner with brush attachment, distilled water, mild, neutral-pH liquid soap or a cleaner designed for leather upholstery, and soft microfiber cloths. You can optionally also use a leather conditioner.

General rules:

  • Avoid excess rubbing
  • Remove dust regularly with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Avoid aggressive stain removers, soap, or any type of chemical cleaning solutions.
  • Avoid placing leather in direct sunlight.

Leather furniture should typically not be used outdoors or exposed to direct sunlight. However, if you need to use it outside, make sure you cover it with a rainproof cover when you are not using it.

Cleaning Genuine Leather vs Faux Leather

Caring for genuine leather and faux leather are two entirely different things. Here are cleaning steps to preserve each type of leather upholstery.

  • Mildly dust with a clean, dry cloth
  • Vacuum regularly with a soft brush attachment
  • Gently wipe the surface with a slightly damp cloth (use distilled water)
  • Clean using a leather cleaner. Tip: Always test it out first on a hidden surface.

  • Vacuum using the upholstery attachment to get rid of pet hair, dust, dirt and crumbs.
  • Spray a PU/vinyl cleaner – use a product specific to your upholstery
  • Do a regular mild clean.
  • Spray a protectant to repel dust and grime. This makes the need to cleaning less frequent.

NFM Leather Furniture Protection Plan

For extra reassurance, you may purchase a protection plan for leather furniture from NFM.Valspar Corporation provides the Guardsman Leather Protection Plan for a fee.

In the event of an accident (rip, cut, puncture or burn) call Guardsman. A leather specialist is there to help. Incidents must be reported within 5 days. 800-253-3957.

The plan covers your new leather furniture against accidental stains and damage, including

  • human and pet bodily fluids
  • food and beverage spills
  • ballpoint ink and lipstick (except on nude leathers)
  • accidental punctures, cuts, rips and burns

If an accident should occur, an authorized technician will repair your stained or damaged leather furniture. If the repair does not satisfy you, Valspar will replace the piece at no charge.

Guardsman also offers a complete line of leather care products — Leather Cleaner, Leather Cleaner/Protector, Ink and Lipstick Cleaner, Application Cloths and a guide to furniture care.