How to Clean and Maintain Leather Furniture on the Cheap

Leather is one of the most durable, long-lasting types of upholstery available

That’s why leather furniture is typically so expensive. Knowing how to maintain and clean your leather furniture (with ingredients you probably already have in your stockpile!) can help protect your pricey investment, keeping it looking amazing for decades to come. Leather cleaners and maintainers can cost up to $10. It costs $2 or less to make your own cleaners and leather nourishers. That’s a saving of 80 percent!

To Clean:

Clean your leather furniture with a damp, soft cloth. Just be sure the cloth is damp and not soaking wet. For tough dirt and grime, use a gentle moisturizing soap like Dove or baby shampoo. Lather the soap on with a cloth, being sure not to over-wet the leather, which can damage it. Do not rinse off the soap, just buff it away. The soap actually works as a leather conditioner. Never use strong detergents, alcohol or harsh chemicals to clean your leather furniture. All of these can permanently damage it.

To Maintain:

1. Wipe down your leather furniture with a clean, white cloth once a week. The white cloth not only removes dust and debris, it doesn’t leave behind any dyes like colored washcloths could. They also make it easy to see when you have removed every speck of dust.

2. Vacuum your furniture once a month or so to remove any deep down dirt or grime.

3. To nourish the leather, mix together two parts linseed oil with one part white vinegar. Mix or shake this “hide food” thoroughly. Pour a little bit of it onto a soft cloth and gently wipe the surface of your leather furniture. Work in circular motions until the entire surface is covered. Allow the furniture to sit for about 10 minutes and then buff the leather with a soft cloth until it’s shiny.

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