How to Care for a Leather Sofa

Leather furniture can be high-maintenance, but it can also be a great investment. Real leather needs to be cared for correctly to make sure it stays looking great year after year. So how do you care for a leather sofa?

Caring for a leather sofa includes regular cleanings, regular conditionings, using the right kinds of products, and avoiding sunlight and excess moisture.

How do I Clean my Leather Sofa?

Like with most furniture, cleaning a leather sofa regularly is important to keep it looking its best. Leather has special needs and requires certain leather-safe products. Make sure anything you use to clean or polish your sofa is safe for leather.

First, use a dry, soft cloth, like microfiber to wipe off any dust or dirt on the surface of the sofa. Next, use a vacuum cleaner to clean under the cushions and every crack and crevice. Dusting off and vacuuming should be done at least 1x per week.

Next, you’ll use a soft damp cloth to wipe the surface of the couch. Then, you’ll use a leather-safe cleaning product; many recommend a simple mild dish soap and water. Some recommend a mixture of vinegar and water. You will use the cleaner with a soft cloth to gently wipe down the entire couch.


If food or drinks get spilled on your leather sofa, it can stain. You will need to take special care when cleaning the stain. Use a soft cloth to blot the stain; don’t scrub or wipe. That may be enough, but if the stain remains you can use a leather cleaner on the stain.

If you cannot remove the stain with the above methods, then you may need to hire a professional cleaner.

Pet Hair

Pet hair is a pain on any couch, and it can stick to leather and be hard to remove. Get rid of pet hair on your sofa by using a dry cloth to first wipe off the hair, then use a vacuum to get as much hair as possible. Follow up with a lint roller over the entire surface of the sofa.

How do I Condition my Leather Sofa?

Like cleaning, conditioning regularly will greatly contribute to your sofa’s longevity. Conditioning leather keeps it soft and helps prevent cracking.

To condition, use a soft cloth to run a conditioning mixture onto your sofa. Cover the entire surface of the couch. Be careful to just moisten the couch, not soak it with the conditioner. Allow it to dry for 12-24 hours. Leather sofas need to be conditioned at least 2x per year, more for dryer climates.

What are the Best Products to use on a Leather Sofa?

There are several products that you’ll need to properly care for your leather sofa. Basic tools and products that you’ll need are:

  • Leather cleaner– Search for a leather-safe cleaner at the store or make your own solution of mild dish soap or vinegar and water. Some companies sell leather cleaning kits.
  • Conditioner– Like leather cleaners, leather conditioners can be store-bought or you can make your own with an oil like lanolin, among others.
  • Vacuum– Use a handheld vacuum, or attachments on an upright vacuum, to clean dirt and dust from all the hard-to-reach spaces on your sofa.
  • Lint roller– This is great for removing pet hair and other small debris.
  • Soft cloth- Microfiber cloths are perfect for buffing and wiping down leather without damaging it.

Visit our blog for more information about leather furniture. Shop Metropolitan Furniture’s large collection of leather pieces here.

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