How To Clean A Leather Recliner: Your Personal Cheat Sheet
How To Clean A Leather Recliner

How To Clean A Leather Recliner: Your Personal Cheat Sheet

Is your leather recliner stained or dingy? Whether you’re looking for an emergency fix, or you want to bring life back to your well-used and well-loved chair, let us show you how to clean a leather recliner so that you can kick back in style in no time!

Perhaps you’re just wondering if getting a leather recliner is for you, or you just got yours delivered, and you are now worried about its maintenance, then this article has got you covered, too.

First, we congratulate you for taking a pro-active approach, which by the way is important with regards to care and maintenance of leather upholstery.

Reasons to Love and Care for Your Leather Recliner

Besides being pricey, here are some points on why taking care of your leather recliner is worth your while:

  • It’s durable.

Compared to a fabric recliner, yours should last you around four times longer. It has high resistance to tear, flexing, and puncture. And incredible as it may sound, worn-in leather is even stronger than brand new leather because it has become more resilient.

  • It ages well.

It seems it’s not only wine that ages well but also genuine leather. Aged leather looks, smells, and feels better. It acquires a natural patina, loses its strong scent in favor of something more subtle, and feels softer—hence, more comfortable. If your leather recliner has grown into you, then we understand!

How to Clean a Leather Recliner

While you’ll certainly get yourself a keeper in a leather recliner, it’s important that you know how to take care of your investment piece. Cleaning your leather recliner is basically easy. It just needs dusting now and then, occasional conditioning, and some emergency fix.

Before we go into the details, here are a few important things you need to remember:

  • Position your leather recliner away from direct sunlight and at least one foot away from heat sources to avoid fading, drying out, and cracking. And never in the course of cleaning leather should you use direct sunlight to dry it.
  • Use distilled water over regular water. Minerals from the latter can cause stains.
  • Do not over soak your leather recliner. Whether it’s a homemade solution or a commercial product, just dampen the cloth with it. If it’s too wet, then it can leave watermarks.
  • Always test your procedure and choice of cleaner, conditioner, or stain remover on an out-of-the-way spot and wait for 24 hours to see the effect.

For Maintenance Cleaning:

  • Your leather recliner would need dusting and vacuuming for routine cleaning.

A duster and a vacuum cleaner to clean the crevices will do the job. And because leather’s porous surface can absorb sweat and body oils, some wiping is also in order.

  • If you have a finished surface, then use a clean, lint-free or microfiber cloth slightly dampened with distilled water.

Others use a mix of water and moisturizing soap to remove dirt and grime. There are also dedicated leather cleaners you can apply as instructed. Wipe the whole area gently with the dampened—not soaking wet—cloth. Let dry and buff with a dry cloth, using gentle circular motions.

  • If you’re working with an unfinished or uncoated leather recliner, then wipe with a soft cloth and soft dry brush.

A leather cleaner may be used, but it may darken your piece. This should not be a cause of worry though. It’s also natural for unfinished leather to develop a patina over time.

For either finished or unfinished leather recliners, perform light cleaning every week to once a month.

For Conditioning:

You need to condition your furniture to replenish your leather recliner’s natural oils, For this, you will need a commercial leather conditioner, or you can make one yourself using the recipe below:

  • Homemade solution #1

Mix one part white vinegar with two parts linseed oil. Put the solution in a lidded jar and shake well. The leftover solution can be used for future conditioning sessions.

  • Homemade solution #2

In a bowl, put 10-15 drops of lemon or tea tree oil to two cups of white vinegar. Then, stir.

Using a soft cloth, apply your choice of leather conditioning solution to your leather recliner in a circular motion. As with routine cleaning, only dampen the cloth. Buff with dry, soft fabric after letting the leather absorb the solution for a few minutes. Condition your leather recliner every six to twelve months.

For Stain Removal:

Quick action is the key to avoid stains on your leather recliner. With leather, the longer you take action, the more difficult or impossible it is to remove them. Here are specific ways to handle different stain problems:

  • Spots and Spills

Step 1: Use a leather cleaning solution and blot—not rub, excess liquid as soon as it touches the surface. If you don’t have a cleaning solution, then dampen a cloth with a mixture of water and soap like Neutrogena or Dove to clean the area.

Step 2: Wipe off the soap residue with a clean cloth using distilled water.

Step 3: Blot-dry afterward.

Note: For unfinished surfaces, leave the job to a professional.

Pro tip: For dark stains particularly on light-colored leather upholstery, rub a paste of one part lemon juice and one part cream of tartar. Leave in for around ten minutes before applying another layer of the paste. Wipe clean with a damp cloth with moisturizing soap.

  • Ink Stains

Step 1: Apply a cotton ball dipped in alcohol or non-acetone nail polish remover to the ink-stained area. Do try it out on a hidden spot first. Leave on overnight.

Step 2: Wipe off with a cloth that is damp with a solution of liquid dish soap and warm water. This treatment is best for light-colored leather recliners. Alcohol and non-acetone nail polish removers can be harsh on leather and may cause lightening on the applied areas.

  • Grease Stains

Step 1: Refer to the cleaning method for spots and spills. If it doesn’t work, then sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the affected area.

Step 2: Allow the powder to work it for several hours.

Step 3: Brush the residue away.

Step 4: Wipe with a damp cloth and blot dry.

After successfully removing the stain, it is highly recommended to apply leather conditioner to nourish the surface and add a layer of protection from spills, grease, and inks.

There you have it! Your cheat sheet on how to clean a leather recliner! With some dedication and proactivity, your leather recliner will reward you with comfort and luxury for a long time.

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