Maintain Your Leather Furniture With The 4 D’s

Cleaning Tips


Maintain Your Leather Furniture With The 4 D’s

Like this bright and elegant Ashley Signature Design Alliston Living Room Group in salsa red, leather living room group can elevate the style and comfort of any room. Modern leather living room groups come in a myriad of colors ands textures to fit any style. Leather is more durable than it’s ever been. In fact, modern leather upholstery is as sturdy and pet friendly as microfiber. But leather does require some care. Like our previous blog on cleaning fabric furniture, this is a comprehensive recipe for cleaning your luxury leather furniture.


  • 1 Vacuum Cleaner In Good Working Order
  • 4 Or 5 Clean, Light Colored Microfiber Rags
    (More if your leather furniture is bigger or dirtier.)
  • 1 Compressed Air Duster Can
    (The kind of compressed air cans you use to clean computer keyboards.)
  • Equal Parts Vinegar And Water
    (Add up to two drops of an essential oil of your choice.)
  • A Box Of Baking Soda
    (Use a fresh box–if you use one that’s been in the refrigerator, you could transfer some of the smells it absorbed onto your furniture.)
  • A Bottle Of Rubbing Alcohol
  • Cotton Swabs (Like Q-Tips) Or Cotton Balls
    (This depends on how stained your furniture is.)Equal Parts Lemon Juice And Cream Of Tartar
  • 1 Bucket Or A Large Container
    (Any container will work; a plastic cat litter tub that’s been cleaned out, a toy beach pail, a sink basin tub, or even a large bowl.)

Those Letters On Your Leather Furniture’s Tag Mean Something
Before you start this process, check your furniture’s tag located on the side of your chair and couch cushions and probably on the bottom of your furniture. There should be letters along the side or on the bottom of the tag of your chair and couch cushions and probably on the bottom of your furniture. They tell you how to overall clean your fabric furniture.

These Pieces Of Furniture Can Withstand All 4 D’s
Tags with an “E” or an “N” can withstand the entire process. Ashley’s Millennium leather kit also works well for these leathers.

Vacuum only! This Leather Need Professional Cleaning, Do Not Attempt To Clean Them Yourself:
Tags with “DC” mean “Dry Clean Only”. Tag’s with an “X” cannot be cleaned with solvents or water-based cleaners. They should be vacuumed and brushed only.

Furniture With A Combination Of Leather And Fabric
If your leather furniture has fabric pillows or is a combination of leather and fabric, follow our recipe for cleaning fabric furniture with the 3 “S’s.”

Spot Treat A Test Section
You should also spot test a small area of your leather furniture with the vinegar and water solution, the baking soda, the rubbing alcohol and the lemon juice and cream of tartar paste. Always choose a spot behind your furniture where no one can see. If it discolors the leather, you may want to consider getting your furniture professionally cleaned.

Warning #1
Be sure not to use cleaners containing silicone. Silicone can close up the pores of leather upholstery, causing them to tighten and crack.

Warning #2
If this is a delicate family heirloom, we do not recommend cleaning it yourself until you’ve consulted a professional cleaning company that specializes in leather cleaning.

Be Sure To Follow These Steps In Order
This recipe functions like any other recipe, so you must follow the steps in order, or else it won’t work or you may damage your furniture.

Step 1: Dip and Dab
When we say dip and dab, we’re not referring to the dance moves (although you may want to dip and dab when your furniture is fresh and clean), we’re referring to the way you should perform stain removal.

Grease Stains
For grease stains, use your baking soda to absorb the oils. Dab the baking soda directly on top of the stain; make sure to create an opaque layer of baking soda. Leave it undisturbed for a few hours to allow the baking soda to absorb the oil. This mean you should keep the dog, cat or kids out of the room when you’re stain treating. After a few hours, wipe the area with a microfiber rag. Repeat if the grease is not lifted. Do not use water or a moist rag; this can actually help the grease penetrate further into the leather and batting, making it harder to remove.

If someone (i.e. your partner or your kids) got ink on your leather furniture, it can easily be removed with rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip or cotton ball. Dip the cotton ball in the rubbing alcohol, and then squeeze it, so it’s not fully saturated. Dab the stain with the cotton and alternately wipe with the clean cloth until the stain is removed.

Scuffs, Blemishes And Dark Spots
Light colored leather is particularly vulnerable to scuffs and dark spots. Take your lemon and cream of tartar paste and apply it to the stain. Leave it for 10 minutes. Wipe it away with a damp cloth. Make sure that cloth was not used to wipe up the baking soda from your grease stain removal.

Step 2: Dust
Dust your leather furniture with the furniture attachment of your vacuum. Remove all loose debris and all of the remains of the baking soda and Lemon juice/cream of tartar paste. This is very important (see below). Use the compressed air duster can to dust out crevices, creases, corners, and around buttons, tufting, and rivets. Finally take a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off any excess dust.

Why Aren’t We Vacuuming First, Like We Did In The 3 S’s?
Remember that vinegar and baking soda science experiment you did in the 3rd grade? It fizzed over and made a bit of a mess, but it was cool, right? Not all over your gorgeous leather couch.

Also, depending on how acidy your lemon juice is, it may also react to the baking soda, keep these two treatments separate. So, in short, vacuum up all of the baking soda and lemon juice paste and save the fizzy reactions for bath bombs and the science fair.

Step 3: Daub And Damp-Wipe
Once you’ve addressed the major stains, dip a clean microfiber rag into your vinegar and water mixture and wring it until it’s almost dry. You need to daub your damp rag onto some of the surface stains until they’re gone. Then damp-wipe your entire surface of your leather furniture (or the leather part of your furniture) with a freshly moistened and wrung out rag.

Expert Tip: Because vinegar is food-grade, you can use a salad spinner to wring most of the moisture out of your rags. Just make sure you only put clean rags into the spinner.

Step 4: Dry-Wipe
Once you’ve damp wiped your leather furniture, take a dry, clean microfiber rag and wipe over every part that you previously wiped with the vinegar and water solution. This is to make sure your leather doesn’t get soaked. Soaking leather with water-based solutions is more damaging than helpful for leather. Because rubbing alcohol is a solvent and it’s used in very small areas, it does not harm leather.

Expert Tip: Alternate With A Leather Care Kit
If you clean and maintain your leather furniture, it can last a lifetime. A leather care kit works differently than our deep clean system, because it’s specially formulated to keep your leather soft and supple. Remember to alternate between your leather care kit of choice and the 4 D’s to keep your leather furniture looking like new for years to come.

Enjoy Your Sparkling, Elegant Leather Furniture
Leather furniture is durable and beautiful. It can add both comfort and class to any living area, like this Klaussner Troupe Stationary Living Room Group.

The mixing of color adds interest and the overstuffed, plush leather upholstery is heavenly comfortable. And you have the added peace of mind knowing that you can keep this set, and any other living room group, looking as good as new for the life of your leather furniture.

For More Info On Caring For Your Leather Furniture, Ask Value City NJ
Value City NJ is the tri-state area’s premier furniture retailer. Whether it’s leather, fabric, wood or a blend of different textiles, they can help you to keep your furniture looking like new. Contact us today to find out more.


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