Caring for leather upholstered furniture: DIY cleaning and minor repairs

Recommendation points

On the one hand, a presentable appearance, on the other – the constant need for careful handling and care. Leather furniture does not go out of fashion, despite the obvious difficulties in maintenance, so it’s time to learn how to clean it properly and fix minor damage to the upholstery.

Caring for leather upholstered furniture: DIY cleaning and minor repairs

What is specific to leather upholstery

Upholstered furniture made of genuine leather is perceived by us as something elegant, solid and durable. Many antique pieces of furniture upholstered in leather have retained their original appearance even after decades, so it is not surprising that the owners of modern sofas and ottomans want to achieve similar durability..

However, natural leather furniture is incredibly whimsical in care and cleaning, often its aesthetic qualities are put much higher than practical ones. Natural material lives its own life, absorbs everything that is possible: from liquids to odors. In addition, the skin is also subject to structural damage, it is able to dry out, wrinkle and be distributed in size, turning a neat and tightly covered sofa into something monstrous..

Genuine leather for furniture

The first step towards ensuring the durability of leather furniture is to normalize your lifestyle and household habits. Numerous pets, small children and guests can ruin the main decoration of the living room in an instant, simply through ignorance or carelessness. Skin, especially fair skin, does not tolerate dyed clothing, food and drink, and any careless handling.

DIY leather upholstered furniture care

The situation is aggravated by the fact that there are many types of upholstery leather. Some materials can be used for cleaning weakly concentrated alcohols or acids, while others are absolutely not. For patent leather, dust settling is not as bad as for porous leather, but the latter is more tolerant of temperature and humidity changes than the former. Let’s clarify that further we will focus on smooth and protected leather, but not on suede or bare.

Maintain appropriate operating conditions

Temperature 23 (± 2) ° С and relative humidity of air 65 (± 5)% are considered ideal conditions for keeping leather furniture. That is, the same conditions that are optimal for humans and most mammals. It is the sharp drops within the indicated values ​​that have the most destructive effect. In reality, leather upholstery can tolerate higher or lower temperatures, the main thing is that the climate is uniform.

Leather upholstered furniture care

The second most important factor is the protection of the skin from a wide range of radiation. These include direct sunlight, intense light of artificial nature, as well as thermal radiation from heating devices located closer than one and a half meters. As an exception, radiant long-wave infrared heaters can be cited, which are relatively harmless..

For these and other reasons, leather furniture should not be placed under windows, on open terraces and balconies, immediately in front of heating radiators and in any other places where it may undergo uneven heating or drying out. It is also important to maintain optimal humidity in the room and remove excess dust in a timely manner, preventing it from settling on the upholstery..

Leather upholstered furniture care

Do not allow direct prolonged skin contact with any kind of liquids, even with clean water. Near a leather piece of furniture, you should always keep ready cleaning products, specially selected for the type of leather upon purchase, as well as a package of clean absorbent wipes. Remember that the most painless way to remove dirt is in the first few minutes after they appear..

Periodic cleaning

The main reason why the skin gets dirty easily and irretrievably is its high porosity. With different manufacturing and processing techniques, this drawback can be eliminated, for example, by varnishing. In the usual case, it is assumed that the owner will independently carry out the treatment about 2-3 times a year in order to increase resistance to pollution. This processing serves two purposes..

Periodic cleaning of leather furniture

The first is to close the pores and make the surface hydrophobic so that the skin does not absorb liquids containing strong dyes, as well as oily substances. For this, mainly natural wax or special polymer means for protection and preservation are used. Before waxing, leather furniture should be cleaned with a cloth soaked in a weak water solution of mild hygienic soap, and there should be no visible dirt on the furniture.

The second purpose of the treatment is to restore the natural balance of acidity, moisture and grease of leather upholstery, to create a surface protective layer that protects against abrasion, fading and minor damage. For this, either special processing milk or ordinary whole cow’s milk is used. As in the previous case, the surface of the skin must be clean and dry before processing. Milk is usually applied twice as often as wax.

Leather furniture care

On average, a set of products for cleaning and caring for a leather sofa for 4 seats costs about 3,000–5,000 rubles, and it is enough for 2–3 years of use. Compared to the cost of genuine leather furniture, these are mere pennies, but the benefits of periodic processing can hardly be overestimated.

Removing stains and dirt

If wine or other highly dyeing liquid is spilled on the skin, especially light skin, first of all, you need to soak the residues with a completely dry cloth. Moreover, do not wipe, namely, soak: in no case should you rub the stain. Usually, this is how contamination is removed immediately and completely. If there are traces or stains, further processing will be required..

When cleaning leather, you need to try a wide range of mild cleaning products, from warm boiled water to isopropyl alcohol and laundry soap. This tactic is especially useful if the nature of the contamination is not reliably known..

Leather furniture cleaning

Special leather cleaners, usually offered in furniture showrooms, are quite effective and can deal with almost any kind of household dirt without damaging the upholstery in any way. If you do not have such a tool at hand, you can try all the substances at hand, except for aggressive acidic or alkaline cleaners, regular pharmacy alcohol, abrasive cleaners and compounds with dyes or a strong aromatic fragrance..

Removing stains from leather furniture

Only stains from a permanent marker, potassium permanganate or green leaves can be called absolutely not removed from the skin surface, everything else is quite realistic to eliminate by a sequential search of cleaning chemistry. When cleaning, it is important not to expose the skin to intense mechanical stress: only foam and gentle rubbing or soaking of stains. In the case of stubborn dirt from berries or felt-tip pens, ammonia and the aforementioned isopropyl alcohol will help, but the remnants of such products should be quickly removed with warm water and the skin should be well dried immediately after cleaning.

We eliminate scuffs and scratches

In caring for leather furniture, the most difficult thing is to prevent mechanical damage. To begin with, you should make it a rule to trim the claws of cats in time and remove rhinestones on jeans. It’s funny, but it is from these two factors that most leather products become unusable..

Damage to leather furniture

Serious injuries such as punctures and cuts, when not only the surface of the skin, but its structural layer itself are affected, can only be repaired with the use of repair compounds or the so-called “liquid skin”, or a complete constriction. Let us draw your attention to the fact that “liquid leather” is not a universal product and is not suitable for every type of upholstery. In addition, the place of repair will, to one degree or another, stand out against the general background and poorly tolerate dynamic effects due to the lack of adhesive qualities.

Repair of leather furniture with liquid leather

If over the years, bald patches or large abrasions have appeared on the leather upholstery, special restoration masks will help to get rid of them, restoring the upper protective layer. The peculiarity of their use is that they are applied over the entire surface of the product, and not locally, otherwise a noticeable color discrepancy is possible.

Before applying a protective and regenerating mask, the skin should be treated in a special way. In addition to thorough cleaning and drying, you will need to polish the surface with a special soft pad, that is, a sanding sponge. This is necessary to break the protective layer in undamaged areas, so that the new coating adheres to the base qualitatively. In addition, the sanded surface must be carefully wiped off with a special skin degreasing agent, which will improve adhesion and will not damage the structure of the material..

Repair of shabby leather furniture

In terms of action, restoration masks are very similar to dyeing compounds for leather clothing and shoes. They dry for about 8-10 hours, the effect of the restoration lasts up to 3 years, processing is quite possible to do even alone.

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