Leather furniture makes a statement.
It has that timeless quality that keeps it in fashion while other trends come and go.
But if you fail to give it the care it needs – or you make some serious cleaning mistakes – the statement your leather furniture may make is “Yikes!”
We don’t want that to happen to you, so we’re filling you in on eight mistakes you should avoid when cleaning your leather furniture.
Here’s what you need to know to head off a leather-furniture disaster.
1. Not following the manufacturer’s directions
When you purchase your furniture, you should also be given a pamphlet or booklet about how to care for it. At the very least, it should have a tag somewhere.
Unfortunately, these instructions are commonly overlooked or disregarded altogether.
Don’t be that guy. (Or gal.) Pay attention to what the directions say and you’ll avoid major cleaning mistakes that can damage your leather for good.
2. Using your same old cleaning products
Everyone likes to save a bit of money wherever they can.
This desire may cause you to make a bad choice when it comes to cleaning your leather furniture: Using your usual household cleaners.
It’s a big no-no.
What you may not realize is that leather is absorbent. Using a cleaner that’s not specially formulated for the material can cause staining.
And your idea to save a few dollars flies out the window when your leather furniture has to be replaced or doesn’t look very nice at all.
3. Cleaning with just water
Never try to remove a stain or dirt from your leather furniture by getting it wet. It can actually push the debris further into the leather.
While it’s okay to wipe your furniture with a damp cloth, anything more than that can have devastating consequences.
There’s also the fact that water alone won’t remove odor and, if you live in a home with kids or pets, that’s a necessity.
4. Not doing a test
You’ve probably seen a warning that says something like, “Test in an inconspicuous area first.”
Pay attention. Even when a cleaner says that’s made specifically for leather furniture, you still need to test it.
The issue is that there are a variety of types of leather and different dyes that can be used, as well as treatments or finishes, which means it’s difficult to find one product that will work equally well for all the different types.
What works on one piece of furniture may ruin another piece.
5. Not attending to spills right away
While leather is absorbent, it doesn’t absorb as quickly as other upholstery materials. This may give you the (false) impression that you can put cleaning up a spill off until later.
As soon as there’s a spill, use a clean, dry cloth to blot the area. Don’t wipe or scrub.
The quicker you react to spills, the less likely the spots will cause permanent stains.
6. Using heat to dry your leather
It may seem to make sense that if you’re supposed to clean up spills quickly, why not help the process along with a little heat?
Here’s the why: Added heat (like from a blow dryer or other heat source) will make the leather dry out too quickly and can cause it to crack, as a result.
7. Failing to dust
It’s easy enough to remember to dust a bookshelf or an end table, but your leather furniture?
It goes unnoticed. And that’s a problem.
A little dust may not seem like a huge deal. But, over time, it can build up and be shockingly difficult to remove. That’s beside the fact that dust contains allergens and germs. Yuck.
Accumulated dust can also scratch your leather furniture.
To be safe, dust it once a week.
8. Not knowing when to call in the pros
DIY isn’t always the safest option for giving your leather furniture the best care.
When you’re in a situation with a large stain that covers a big area or you’re dealing with grease or oil, your best efforts may do more harm than good.
It’s time to call in the leather cleaning professionals. They can evaluate exactly what you’re dealing with and they have the expertise to treat it with the best solution.
Discoloration is also a reason to talk to the pros instead of trying to remedy the issue yourself.
Got leather? It’s good to know Knoll
You can avoid the most common mistakes that leather furniture owners make.
And when you run into a tricky situation, trust your friends at HammondKnoll to handle the job for you!