Caring for Leather Furniture


While it is the most durable, easy to clean upholstered or fabric furniture material available, leather still has special needs when it comes to care and maintenance. A few simple tips keep it healthy.

Leather is very easy to clean and maintain. If anything, it requires less care than many consumers think necessary. Here are some quick tips for keeping leather furniture looking great.

General Maintenance

Dusting once a week or so will help maintain the general appearance of the leather. Leather can be dusted using a soft cloth or soft brush vacuum attachment. Natuzzi emphasizes the importance of using a non-abrasive surface to clean the leather, so as not to harm the finish. If using a vacuum attachment, do not rub the brush directly on the furniture.

For stains and spills, always test a small, discreet section of the leather with the cleaning method before trying it out on the main body of the furniture. Differences in types of leather, dying processes and finishing techniques can alter how cleaning affects the leather.

Liquid spills should be cleaned with an absorbent cloth or paper towel. Do not press down, as this may push the spill into the leather.

For stains, warm water may help. Do not soak the cloth or the stain, but rather slightly dampen the cloth and gently remove the stain. If necessary, use a mild, colorless soap to aid in removal. Again, do not press down, but rather pat and softly brush the area. Do not rub it, as this may affect the color or finish on the leather. Bernhardt Furniture recommends cleaning the entire area that includes the stain, not just the spot itself.


A protection cream or conditioner can be used on leather to maintain its finish and protect it from daily offenders, such as body oil and perspiration. Apply the cream or conditioner to a soft cloth, then rub it over the leather.

Do not overdo conditioning. Twice a year or so is sufficient and will keep the leather moist and healthy.

Other Important Tips

Keep leather furniture away from extreme heat. Robinson & Robinson, makers of the LeatherTrend line of furniture, recommends at least two feet between leather furniture and heating sources. Heat can dry out the leather, causing it to crack and fade. Along these same lines, it is important to keep the leather away from direct sunlight, which can have the same effects.

Above all, remember not to clean leather furniture with leather products that are not specifically made for furniture. Leather is treated differently for each of its many uses, and products designed for leather jackets, car seats, etc., can damage leather used for furniture. Make sure any products used indicate they can be used on leather furniture.

Leather will change in appearance over time. As the leather ages, the color will fade, and the leather may get softer. These are characteristics of natural leather and only add to the beauty and appeal of each unique piece of furniture.