Treatments for a Faded Leather Sofa

Updated April 17, 2017

You loved that deep Cordovan sofa when it was delivered to your door, but after several years of sitting in your family room, it's begun looking tired. You could buy a new one, but you're saving up money to buy a new car. That sofa doesn't have to be an eyesore, however, and there are ways to perk it up for very little money.


Use saddle soap, mink oil and other products that you may have around the house. Shoes, handbags and leather upholstery all benefit from these products' cleaning and moisturising attributes.


Saddle soap is composed of neat's-foot oil, glycerine, lanolin and beeswax, ingredients which soften leather and loosen soil. Mink oil is recommended for its ability to reduce the cracked appearance of old and dry leather while imparting some waterproofing, a consideration on an item of furniture subject to spills.


If your old piece of leather-upholstered furniture is past the gentle-cleaning stage, consider having the item redyed to restore or change its colour. While it's possible to to do this at home, using a professional gives better results.


Some prevention will cut down on the amount of time and money you spend refurbishing leather upholstery. Closing the drapes against sunlight during the hottest part of the day will do wonders to preserve the texture and colour of leather.


Cleaning products like saddle soap and mink oil are traditionally made of pure animal fats. Avoid those containing petroleum products and added drying agents, as they may damage leather with prolonged use. Leather takes to vegetable-based dyes nicely, eliminating the addition of excessive amount of chemicals to the home environment.

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About the Author

Susan Kerr began her writing career as a food columnist in 1987 before moving to business journalism as a reporter and managing editor in the Penn State area. Since then, Kerr has contributed content to military-related magazines, not-for-profit websites and other online media. In addition, she writes a weekly column for her hometown newspaper