How to clean leather chairs

Written by christine hayes
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How to clean leather chairs
(Photo by Christine Hayes)

Leather furniture is known for its durability, versatility and classic good looks. A simple leather chair can define the character of a room. Whether it's the casual comfort of a recliner, the clean lines of ottoman seating or the timeless style of a club chair, you want to keep your leather chair looking its best. Regular care and cleaning will help you prolong the life of leather furniture and have your chair looking as great as it did the day you brought it home.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soft, clean cloth
  • Leather conditioner

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    Care and Cleaning

  1. 1

    Dust your chair once a week with a soft, dry cloth.

  2. 2

    Vacuum the chair at least once a month. Use a hose attachment to clean in crevices and hard-to-reach areas.

  3. 3

    Contain spills quickly. Blot liquid spills with a clean towel. Buff the area dry with a separate cloth.

  4. 4

    Keep use of water and soaps to a minimum. Leather resists stains, so a clean, dry cloth or slightly damp cloth will take care of most spots and spills. Avoid soaps, polishes and cleaning products, especially those containing solvents. If a cleaner is absolutely necessary, choose one specifically designed for leather.

  5. 5

    Treat the leather a few times each year with a leather conditioner such as Leather CPR or Lexol. Some conditioners can leave a residue that attracts dust, so shop carefully and consult the chair manufacturer for recommended products, if necessary.

    Stain Removal

  1. 1

    Blot grease stains with a soft cloth.

  2. 2

    Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to tackle ink stains.

  3. 3

    For dark stains on light-coloured leather, mix equal parts lemon juice and tartar sauce. Apply the solution directly to the stains with a damp cloth. Wipe away the residue and pat the area dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Prevent fading and cracking by keeping your leather chair away from light and heat.
  • Always spot clean an inconspicuous area of the leather first to test for colour fastness.

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