The Golden Rules of Leather Care
Leather is tough and resilient, but it isn’t impervious to damage. Leather needs to be treated with care, kept clean and protected from stains, drying, UV light, scuffs, tears, burns and scratches.
- Always apply protection. Why does leather need protection? Applying protection to your furniture when it is new, and reapplying it after every thorough cleaning will help protect your furniture from stains and damage. What protection product should I use?
- Keep your furniture clean. Keeping your furniture clean will prevent discolouration caused by soiling, it will also help protect the leather from the damaging affects of dust, sweat and body oils. Leather furniture should be dusted (or vacuumed) and wiped over with a damp cloth once a week. It should be thoroughly cleaned with a leather cleaning product every three to six months. What should I use to clean my leather?
- Deal with spills immediately. Stains are much easier to remove if you act quickly. How do I remove stains from leather?
- Keep your furniture at least 30cm away from any source of heat.
- Never place your furniture in direct sunlight. Sunlight will dry the leather and can cause fading.
- Be careful when moving your furniture. Lift it don’t drag it.
- Be careful when using blades near your furniture, and avoid leaving sharp objects on your furniture.
- Keep your furniture safe from pets.
- Take care when smoking. Leather is fire resistant, but dropped cigarettes will still cause damage.
- Select care products carefully. Only use products specifically designed for your leather type. What is my leather type?
- Always test products on a hidden area of your furniture before use.
- Never use strong detergents, chemicals (e.g. rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover), saddle soaps or hide food on leather furniture.
- Take care when using chemicals (nail polish, nail polish remover, cleaning products, etc) on or near your furniture.
- If you have white or light coloured leather, take care to prevent dye transfer. Dye transfer is a common problem, it occurs when dyes from fabrics (jeans, cushions, throws, newspaper print etc) transfer to the surface of leather causing a stain. Dye transfer is most problematic on light coloured leathers. It can be very difficult to remove. Dyes are designed to be permanent - the stains they cause can also be permanent. Always make sure throws and cushions are colour fast before you put them on your furniture. Never sit on your furniture in wet cloths. Do place newspapers, magazines, wet fabrics or printed plastic on your furniture. Even if you take all these precautions, you may still notice a gradual build up of dye transfer from clothing. How do I give my furniture added protection from dye transfer?