How to Restore a Leather Sofa

Written by brenda priddy
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How to Restore a Leather Sofa
Restoring leather sofas is not a difficult process. (Overstuffed Brown Leather Reclining Sofa image by James Phelps from

Leather sofas are often used in both modern and country decorative styles. Leather sofas can last for many years if well taken care of. Even if a leather sofa has been mistreated, and has dried out and become stiff, it is still possible to restore the sofa to its former beauty and flexibility. For best results do not rush this project, as patience is the key to a successful restoration.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Dish soap
  • Soft rags
  • Leather rejuvenator
  • Leather conditioner or olive oil

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  1. 1

    Clean the surface of the leather by mixing a few drops of liquid dish soap into a small bucket of water. Wash the surface of the leather with an old soft cloth, continuing to clean until the surface of the leather no longer leaves dirt marks on the cloth. You will probably have to use several rags before the surface of the leather is clean.

  2. 2

    Spread a layer of leather rejuvenator over the surface of the leather. Leather rejuvenator delivers a large infusion of moisture deep inside the leather and helps stiff and old leather regain flexibility once again. Allow the rejuvenator to sit on the leather for an entire day. Place the leather object in the sun to help the rejuvenator sink more deeply into the pores of the leather.

  3. 3

    Clean the surface once more with a soapy rag. If any dirt comes up, then you should repeat the rejuvenating process once more, following with an additional cleaning with a soft cloth. Continue to repeat these steps until the rag no longer produces any dirt.

  4. 4

    Finish the conditioning process by rubbing a commercial leather conditioner or olive oil over the surface of the leather. This will soften the leather even further and protect it from future damage. Work the over the surface of the leather in circular motions until no more oil or conditioner will absorb. Wipe away any excess moisturiser. Allow the leather to dry for 24 hours before using the sofa.

  5. 5

    Maintain the suppleness of the sofa in the future by conditioning the sofa once or twice a month. If the sofa starts to look dirty, clean with dish soap once again. Always follow cleaning with conditioning to protect the leather.

Tips and warnings

  • Leather sofas last longer when they are not placed in direct sunlight. Except when applying the rejuvenator, do not allow the sofa to be placed in an area that receives a lot of sunlight.

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