How to Clean Leather Settees

Updated February 21, 2017

Leather settees require special care to clean, as the leather does not respond well to ordinary household cleaning products. Most products for cleaning carpets and fabric-upholstered furniture are too harsh for the fine, supple leather used on settees and sofas. The care of leather furniture is for most people a small inconvenience in exchange for the beauty and endurance of it. Take quick action when a spill occurs, then follow these effective cleaning techniques to save your settee from stains.

Blot spills immediately when they occur on a leather settee. Use a damp towel to press gently into the leather and absorb the spill.

Absorb stubborn spills by placing a 1/4 cup of salt in an old sock. Tie off one end of the sock and press it into the stain. The salt will help draw out the stain.

Remove the leather cover if possible and gently rub a damp towel from underneath the stain.

Apply leather shampoo and allow to foam before attempting to wipe away.

Treat the settee with leather conditioner, which can act as a repellent against future spills.


Don't use any cleaning product containing oil, silicon, or wax. This includes furniture polish and car cleaners that will eventually damage and crack the leather. Avoid using premoistened baby wipes to mop up spills on leather. Baby wipes contains chemicals designed to clean acidic urine. The alkaline ingredient in baby wipes will mar leather finishes. Be careful not to smear grease stains. Using water on a grease stain only spreads it around. Instead, blot off as much as possible and use leather shampoo.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Old towels
  • Salt
  • Old gym socks
  • Leather shampoo
  • Leather conditioner
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.