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Least Expensive Way to Soften a Leather Sofa

You have a beautiful new leather sofa, but the leather feels a little stiff. Or perhaps you have an ageing leather sofa that has toughened over time. It is possible to soften the leather at little expense. Chances are you may have several leather softening agents in your home already, and there are several commercial products available that are much cheaper than investing in a new sofa.

Home Remedies to Soften Leather

Two very inexpensive products you probably have around your house are vaseline and shaving cream. Both have been proven to soften leather. To apply vaseline, use a clean, dry cloth and rub it in until the surface of the leather feels dry. Use a second dry cloth to remove any excess and avoid greasy residue. Apply shaving cream with a clean, damp cloth. Rub it into the leather for a much softer finish.

Saddle soap is another great, inexpensive option to soften leather sofas. It also conditions the leather and helps prevent cracking. Other home remedies include mink oil, lanolin or a mixture of 500g of milk balm and 100ml of glycerine to cheaply cover large surfaces.

Commercial Leather Softening Products

Many products for softening leather are on the market. When choosing one, make sure is appropriate for leather furniture. Leather CPR is one option. It removes dirt and grime while softening the leather, and is proven to not irritate your skin.

Another product, called TENDERLY leather softener, is appropriate for many exotic leathers. It is a bit more expensive than the home remedy options listed above, however.

Other Considerations

Always test out leather softening agents, whether you are using a home remedy or commercial product. Choose an inconspicuous area of the couch to try out the product, in case it has adverse effects. If you know the manufacturer of your leather sofa, contact it to obtain a list of products that are appropriate to use. In some cases, using products that aren't approved can violate the terms of your warranty.

Many new leather sofas feel stiff at first, but keep in mind it will soften over time with regular use. Avoid always sitting in the same spot. Change it up so the leather will wear evenly. If an old leather sofa is stiff and the leather is cracking, it might be time to give in and buy a new sofa.

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About the Author

Dorian Gray has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009. She has written extensively on the topics of architecture and design for national magazines such as "Architectural Record" and regional publications such as "At Home in Arkansas." Gray also writes about the topics of beauty, health, nutrition and travel. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas.