How to Clean a Leather Recliner: Tips to Keep It Squeaky Clean
How to Clean a Leather Recliner: Tips to Keep It Squeaky Clean

How to Clean a Leather Recliner: Tips to Keep It Squeaky Clean

Leather seats and recliners are an excellent addition to any living room as they add a touch of elegance and prosperity, no matter how bulky it may be. However, learning how to clean a leather recliner is not an easy task as you have to be careful of how you do it and what implements to use in the process.

Cleaning leather seats and recliners, in particular, takes more than a swipe and pass of a rag to be considered clean. It could be more detrimental to the leather if you did wipe it with just a rag as it might corrode and cause an adverse reaction with the protective oils that was used to cure it.

The Necessary Implements and Tools

Cleaning a leather seat, especially a recliner, requires some special tools and equipment as well as special conditioners and oils to keep your leather chair looking elegant and clean 24/7. Some of these tools and equipment include:

  • Vacuum

This tool is a cleaner’s best friend as it gets rid of debris quickly and easy, especially with the different attachments that it comes with. Leather chairs, in particular, need the soft brush attachment so that you can buff and clean at the same time.

  • Feather Duster

It doesn’t have to be feathers, but feather dusters are softer than other variants which mean there is little chance that a simple pass would do damage to the leather seat.

  • Leather Cleaner

Specialized soaps are available in car shops and hardware stores, and these are specially formulated to be mild and gentle, which is the best kind of soap there is for leather.

  • Conditioner

Much like a human’s hair, a conditioner needs to be applied to leather to maintain that sheen and glow that it has while on display.

  • Screwdrivers and Hammers

These are common tools found in a household, and you would not really use them as much, but it is nice to have them handy, so you can fix any damage you see or immediately tighten nuts and bolts when you see them.

  • Soft Cloth

The quintessential cleaning implement, soft cloth is absorbent and can deliver any cleaning solution efficiently. Make sure you get one that does have any debris or rough edges on it.

How to Clean a Leather Recliner: The Steps

If you have the time, then make sure to clean and maintain your leather furniture on a daily basis. However, if you live a hectic life, then a weekly clean and polish would work wonders for your leather recliner. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Check the Tags and Identify the Leather.

Before starting spreading some suds on your expensive leather chair, read the instruction manual or the tags that most chairs come along with and identify which kind of leather was used for your seat. Leathers used for chairs can often be identified using different codes dependent on the manufacturer, but each code corresponds to how you should care for your leather recliner.

Step 2: Dust and Vacuum Everything.

Rev up your vacuum cleaner and start with a soft brush attachment and run it through the external surfaces. When done, change the attachment into a smaller tube and begin with the in-seams and corners, as well as the different nooks and crannies of the chair.

Step 3: Wipe with a Damp Cloth.

After dusting everything, wipe away the surface using a damp cloth soaked in a cleaning solution. Wipe the surface again with a dry cloth, unless the solution requires you to let it dry.

Step 4: Treat Stains.

Check the surface of the leather recliner for any stains that you might have missed while wiping it down. Remove any stain using stain removers and wipe it clean.

Step 5: Apply Conditioner.

After you’ve wiped the leather recliner with a cleaning solution and removed all the stains you can find, apply a leather conditioner to help it maintain its glow and luxurious feel.

Step 6: Let It Sit.

Do let the leather chair rest for a while before letting people sit on it to give it more time to absorb the conditioner that you’ve carefully wiped it with.

Some DIY Solutions

All the talk about special leather solutions and conditioners often equate to a lot of money that you may or may not have. Sometimes though, it helps to know that there are alternative options that can help you save money in a pinch.

  • Good Old Soap and Water

Distilled water works best for leather and combining it with a mild liquid soap would produce a solution that can be used to wipe the leather with. Just mix them until suds form at the surface.

  • Natural Oils and Essences

Olive oil can be used as a replacement conditioner for leather seats, although caution should be observed as using too much will darken the leather and give it a greasy look.

  • Vinegar and Olive Oil

If the leather of your recliner is not responding to the active ingredients of the cleaner that you have used, then mix some olive oil and vinegar and dab it on the leather.

  • Baby Wipes

Wipes are often used for personal care, but they can also be used to wipe away dirt from leather recliners, especially wipes that have active ingredients that care for the skin.

  • Non-gel Toothpaste

Use a non-gel toothpaste to remove stains on leather seats. You will need a used toothbrush, of course, to spread it around the area.

  • Baking Soda

Baking soda is a miracle powder of sorts, especially when it comes to cleaning stuff around the house. It should be no wonder that baking soda is used for removing oil and grease stains off leather seats.

  • Rubbing Alcohol

If you notice a stain on the surface of your leather recliner, then get your rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs so you can immediately take it out. Just dab some alcohol on the swab and wipe the stain away with it.

  • Tartar and Lemon Juice Paste

Discoloration often occurs after some time, and this is a common occurrence among leather pieces of furniture. To fix this, mix equal parts of cream of tartar and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The resulting paste can then be used over the stained area and left alone for 10 minutes or so before wiping the area clean.

  • Hairspray or Eucalyptus Oil 

Homes with young children often pose the danger of markers on leather, which can be tough to take out. As a quick fix, spray on some hairspray on the stain and then rub it off until it comes out. Eucalyptus oil is another solution for marker stains.

Quick Leather-Cleaning Tips

Leather furniture–or any other furniture is an investment you have to care for. Otherwise, it won’t last long. Here are some quick tips for keeping them in tip-top shape:

  • Avoid placing leather furniture near viable heat sources like the fireplace or radiators.
  • Keep leather recliners clean by dusting it on a weekly basis.
  • Avoid placing leather furniture in areas where there is direct sunlight exposure.
  • Wipe away spills and stains quickly; do not wait for the best time for there is none.
  • Avoid excessive rubbing with cloths and dusters as this would cause friction that can deal damage to the leather.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to clean a leather recliner not only means knowing the entire process by heart. You also need to know how you can save some money by using different cleaning hacks and combining them into a workable process. It is also worth mentioning that the cleaning process for leather recliners can also apply to leather car seats and other stuff made of leather; you just need to be very careful in reading the instructions that it comes along with.

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