Finding your dream leather recliner is a satisfying experience. Coming home to sit in your super soft, reclining leather chair is the perfect way to relax after a long day.
They look great in any room and will be the envy of friends and family that come round to test it out.
So, considering how much time and money you put into finding the perfect leather recliner, you should probably put the same effort into maintaining it, right?
Regularly cleaning your leather recliner is the best way to slow down natural wear and tear and prevent spills and crumbs from building up, making it much harder to clean in the long run.
This article will tell you how to clean your leather recliner, step-by-step, plus how to remove tough stains and some tips on keeping your leather recliner looking good as new, year after year.
How to clean a leather recliner
Here’s a simple and cost-effective way to clean a leather recliner:
Before you get stuck in, make sure you know what type of leather you’re working with and what cleaning products and methods are compatible with your recliner to avoid any nasty surprises.
Once you’ve checked the warning tags and have understood all the cleaning tips, you’re ready to get started!
Step 2: vacuum away any loose dirt and debris
The quickest and easiest way to clean the surface of your leather recliner is to simply vacuum away any dirt and crumbs etc.
Make sure you use a softer attachment of the vacuum to protect the soft leather, using a hard tube or bard brittle attachment can cause scratches and rips.
When vacuuming, make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies to get all the dust and crumbs out. Leaving food crumbs within the folds of the chair will eventually lead to foul odors which can be hard to remove.
Step 3: wipe away remaining dust and dirt
For general cleaning you shouldn’t have to spend any money on specific leather cleaning products, household soap will suffice.
Try testing a small patch out of sight if you can, just to be sure the soapy water won’t cause any discoloration or damage.
Using a standard cleaning cloth with a warm water and milk soap solution, wipe down the entire chair to remove any dust and dirt that the vacuum missed. Focus more effort on patches that have any food stains etc.
You won’t need the cloth to be soaking wet, just damp will be enough. Too much water will be hard to dry and may damage the chair. Make sure you wring the cloth before using it on the leather.
Once you’re happy with the clean, take a second clean cloth and soak it in clean water and wring it out. Use this to wipe over the entire chair again, wiping away any soapy residue that may leave patches on your leather.
Step 4: dry the chair using a clean dry cloth
Using a clean, dry cloth, simply rub the chair all over gently to dry it off. Make sure the cloth is a soft texture, so it doesn’t leave any scratches behind.
Dry it as best you can, then leave the recliner to air dry for an hour or so.
Step 5: condition the leather to restore its natural oils
Once your leather recliner has fully dried, add a small amount of leather conditioner to a dry cloth and gently rub it into the leather until it looks shiny and good as new!
If you don’t want to purchase a leather conditioner, you can condition leather using olive oil. Just be sure to only use a small amount, otherwise it will be too slippery to sit in! Plus, if placed in a sunny place in your home, it may start to smell like fried leather – not good.
How to remove tough stains
If you’re dealing with more than just surface dirt and debris, you’ll need something a little stronger than soapy water. Here’s a short guide on removing tough stains from your leather recliner:
Method 1: using rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a great option for removing ink stains. If you live with young children, or you dropped a pen on your leather recliner and there are ink marks, you probably won’t be able to remove them with water alone.
Rubbing alcohol is also good at wiping away mold spots on leather, too. So, if you dab on some rubbing alcohol, you should find it comes off much easier than with water alone.
Here’s how to do it:
- Dab some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton pad (just enough, so it feels covered but isn’t completely soaked)
- Gently rub the stain in a circular motion until it goes away (you may need to use a new cotton pad if the stain persists
- Take a clean cloth and wash away any rubbing alcohol residue with clean water and dry the area with a clean, dry cloth
Method 2: using diluted vinegar
Tough stains will require a leather cleaner, but if you don’t want to purchase one, you can make your own using water and vinegar.
Here’s how to do it:
- Dilute a small pot of vinegar with clean water
- Dab some onto a cotton pad and squeeze out any excess liquid and
- Gently dab the stained area
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain has gone
Tips for preventing damage to your leather recliner
Using your leather recliner every day will result in the build-up of crumbs from food, spills from drinks and pet hair, if you don’t regularly clean it.
Here are some to prevent odors and general wear and tear.
- Vacuum the chair regularly – this is a great way to prevent everyday wear and tear and crumb build-up
- Condition the chair after cleaning – this will restore the leathers natural oils and keep it looking shiny and fresh