How to Clean a Dull Old Leather Chair

Written by marcus twyman
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How to Clean a Dull Old Leather Chair
Clean an old leather chair. (brown leather rocker recliner image by James Phelps from

Sometimes it is possible to find furniture that is both affordable and of high quality simply by buying used. When purchasing a piece of leather furniture that has been used by someone else, it can tend to have imperfections such as stains, and general wear and tear. With a few simple materials and some patience, a used and dingy leather chair can be transformed into a show piece for a favourite room.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dove liquid hand soap
  • 2 buckets
  • Rags
  • Saddle soap
  • Fine boar hair brush
  • Leather sealant (silicone)
  • Leather polish (matching the colour of the chair)

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  1. 1

    Fill both buckets with warm water. In one bucket add the liquid hand soap. Place a rag in the bucket with just water, and wring it out. Wipe down the entire chair with this rag. Rinse the rag, and wring it out when it becomes too soiled. Switch to the bucket with the soap and water mixture. Wipe the chair down with this mixture, and wipe dry with a clean rag.

  2. 2

    Take a damp rag and dip it in the saddle soap. Work up a good lather by rubbing the rag back and forth across the surface of the soap. Wipe the soap across the entire surface of the leather chair. Wipe it clean after 5 minutes with a clean damp rag.

  3. 3

    Allow the chair to dry completely. Use another rag to apply leather polish to the entire surface of the chair, working it deep into any areas that have scratched or are losing colour. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the chair so that the colour is even.

  4. 4

    Use the boar brush to work the polish into the grain of the leather. Use short, rapid swipes of the brush to accomplish this. Do not push hard on the leather, but barely touch the surface.

  5. 5

    Use a dry clean rag to wipe the entire surface of the chair down, which will remove excess polish from the surface of the leather.

  6. 6

    Apply the sealant to the leather in the same manner you applied the polish. Use a dry, clean rag to wipe the chair clean of any excess sealant that may be adhering to the surface of the chair.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure that all rags are damp and not soaking because too much water will discolour leather.

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