Let's find out together how to keep leather sofas clean, we will evaluate both grandma's remedies and professional systems.
First of all make sure you know the skin type of your sofa. The skins are of different types, but their refinition generally returns to 2 different situations, that of having in front of a protected skin or an un protected skin.
Protected skin absorbs very little stains and especially liquids. Un protected skin (usually the finest), on the other hand, absorbs stains and liquids. Unfortunately, we have to behave differently with our sofa depending on the family.
Methods to recognize unprotected aniline or semi-aniline or Nubuk skins.
There are several methods for recognizing aniline skin:
- Lightly scratch the surface and check if this leaves a lighter scratch. If the sign is lighter in color, it is aniline skin.
- Dampen a finger and rub the skin slightly to see if it gets darker. It should darken slightly, but return to the initial color once dry.
These are the most effective tests that can be performed on the spot. Over time, you learn to distinguish the skin from the aniline from the appearance and texture to the touch.
Methods for recognizing protected skins.
- Scratch the surface slightly and see if this leaves a lighter-colored scratch. If the sign is not lighter in color (i.e. the color remains the same), it is a protected skin.
- Using a cleanser should remain on the finish and not darken the skin.
- The surface should have a certain shine.
These skins bring together the best characteristics of a natural material (the skin) and thanks to the technology of tanning they turn into a product of more uniform appearance and color (thanks to the application of pigments on the surface). A finish is then applied to the surface that makes the skin more resistant to wear. The pigments and finish applied to the skin, however, partly change its softness and texture to the touch. The higher the amount applied, the less soft the skin.
Some tips for cleaning and maintenance.
For good skin storage, it is important that the sofa or armchair is not in the vicinity of direct sources of heat, such as radiators, or exposed to sunlight or halogen.
- Avoid using or leaving sharp objects on the leather couch. The skin is very durable, but it is not damage-proof.
- Fix your leather sofa at least 50 cm from heat sources such as stoves or radiators to prevent drying of the skin.
- Protect your leather sofa from direct, and indirect, sunlight. Certain skins, such as aniline or semi-aniline skins, may fade over time.
- Avoid air pollution with cigar or cigarette smoke and kitchen vapors, which can cause discoloration or change in skin color.
- Sprinkle the skin with a cloth, preferably once a week.
Cleaning skins (excluding Nubuk) with products from specialized companies.
The general advice is of course to dust the sofa daily with a soft cloth. Also use the vacuum cleaner, but with special tools that do no damage.
Periodically pass with a solution of warm water and neutral soap using a coarse sponge (not colored), clean, soft, slightly wet and continuously rinsed. Do not rub, but pass with a slight movement and immediately after rinse the sponge again.
Stay away from the white seam threads with a dirty sponge so as not to blacken them.
On request, as an optional option, 2 bottles containing a cleaner (leather cleaner) and a protective cream (leather Protector) are delivered. These professional products should be used in addition to the normal maintenance mentioned above.
- Clean the skin with Leather Cleaner, if necessary, preferably once a month if the furniture is used daily, but at least 4 times a year. Don't rub aggressively! Clean with the sponge until all the dirt and stains are absorbed.
- Treat the skin with Leather Protector after each cleaning (dry sofa!), to maintain its softness and original appearance. Leather Protector is a highly advanced product to give the skin good resistance to liquid absorption. It forms a breathable and invisible barrier that improves stain resistance and promotes cleanliness, preventing fat from ruining the skin. Do not use on suede (nubuk)
- The spots expand immediately. Use Leather Cleaner to remove the stain. Do not use uns recommended detergents that could cause significant damage. For water-based stains and coffee, ketchup, milk, etc. Use Leather Cleaner.For oil-based stains or other water-not soluble stains, clean with a clean, dry cloth. Consider that the rest of the stain dissolves in the skin within 24 hours. Do not use Leather Cleaner, Leather Protector, water or soap on oil-based stains.
Usually, protected skins do not crack or wear out due to use, but because of the sebum and sweat that accumulate in the grain of the skin progressively consuming the finish. The use of Leather Protection Cream, combined with good cleaning, helps prevent cracking and skin wear.
Leather Protection Cream simply applies to a soft cloth and distributes evenly on the surface of the skin, insisting especially on the most used areas, such as seats, armrests, footrests and backs.
Soft Cleaner It is a gentle cleanser that does not alter the original features or the finish of the skin.
Leather Soft Cleaner removes dirt stains and water-based stains. Many other cleansers contain solvents such as alcohol or minerals, which make them particularly effective, but tend to attack the finish or dry the skin.
Leather Soft Cleaner is solvent-free, does not attack the finish and does not damage the skin. Leather Soft Cleaner may remove the color or alter the skin only in the following cases:
- If the color of the skin is not resistant to any type of liquid. To verify this, you can pass on the skin a white and soft cloth moistened with demineralized or purified water. If the color stays on the cloth using purified water, leather Soft Cleaner, or any other product, will also remove the color.
- If Leather Soft Cleaner darkens the skin, it is extremely absorbent. The skin narrowed, it didn't really darken, but the individual color points came together, producing the effect of a darker area. In this case, simply pull the skin in all directions to lighten the color.
Leather Protection Cream is a water-based protective product for all skin types except nabuk. It is a truly amazing product, able to provide excellent protection against oil, water and alcohol-based stains and the accumulation of dirt.
Leather Protection Cream creates an invisible barrier on the surface by letting the skin "breathe".. Our system provides a first protective treatment of the skin and then cleaning and periodic treatments to renew protection. In this way, the cleaning interventions do not touch the original surface of the skin but the protection layer. In very porous skins, Leather Protection Cream prevents the deep absorption of stains that become almost impossible to eliminate.
For aniline skins, a double application of Leather Protection Cream is recommended on all the most used areas.
We recommend that you perform a complete cleaning treatment and renew the protective treatment for the furniture elements at least 2-4 times a year. When the skin is in highly used environments (TV area), more frequent cleaning and protection treatments may be required.
Furniture elements such as reclining armchairs are subject to a very wear-and-tear use. With the skin it is much easier to prevent problems than to have to solve them later.
Leather Protection Cream is not only effective at removing small surface scratches on aniline skins, but is also the final treatment to be applied after using the leather Master line repair and retouching products.
The fine leather is soft and luxurious, which is why it's an ideal choice for décor.
With the right care, the skin improves with time, and ensures many years of pleasant use.
Even the best skin, however, is prone to possible damage. Small repairs on site can be done by specialist service centres
If you want to use natural methods, for proper and regular maintenance of leather sofas, dust daily with a soft cloth and periodically brush with a brush of wild boar hair, which allow you to reach the dirt hidden among the thousand folds that presents the skin.
For cleaning you need: milk and vinegar, a bowl of warm water, a soft sponge, a soft cloth preferably in microfibre
Once a month, clean with a microfibre cloth and cleansing milk or with a solution of skim milk – a few drops of vinegar and warm water, especially in the presence of white leather sofas. Alternatively and/or in the presence of more noticeable dirt, pass a well-squeezed sponge, after soaking it in a solution of hot water lightly soaped with a neutral detergent or in which you have diluted a dose of Marseille soap or a spoonful of foam bath. In this case, follow an accurate rinse and dry well with a soft cloth.
If left to dry spontaneously, the skin tends to harden, to become dry and dry. Rinse with water only even if you have used skim milk, to prevent the sofa from sticking.
In the presence of a poorly used sofa, hosted by an environment kept constantly dusted and clean, in the absence of children and pets, for cleaning may be enough a well-squeezed deer skin, after soaking it in hot water. The latter already has a good degreazing power. To hot water we add detergent only if necessary; at least once a year, to preserve over time a soft skin and avoid cracking, treat the sofa with a specific cream, to be bought at specialized shops or shopping centers, although on the net they recommend the common cream that is used for the body.
We are convinced that these treatments do not cause harm but are not particularly effective either. Therefore, since companies usually offer a kit for cleaning and maintenance at the time of purchase of the sofa, it is usually sold separately.
In the presence of stains, not losing sight of the delicacy of the sofas, the solution to be used, sometimes prepared by hand with natural and ecological products present in all houses, varies depending on the type of stain. Particularly for grease stains, biro stains, wine stains, fruit juices and drinks in general, buffered promptly with a sponge or scottex, then cleaned with soapy hot water, due to 1 litre of water and 25-30 grams of neutral soap for more hostile spots, such as enamel or various paints, dried with absorbent paper , then cleaned with a solution of hot water and vinegar, due to 2 parts of water and 1 of white vinegar.
We have referred to these homemade solutions, but as we have said, it is possible to buy specific products, in turn marketed by the same companies operating in the sector, whose staff does not fail to provide information on the ways of use.
In any case, whatever solution you want to apply, try first in a corner not at the sight of the sofa, to check for the possible reaction of the skin; If the sofa is not perfectly clean, you will almost certainly notice the color difference between the treated area and the rest of the sofa. In this case, you just have to clean the whole sofa; I would advise against sprays that leave a sense of sticky on the couch; even in the presence of hostile stains, do not use aggressive products, such as naphtha and gasoline, solvents or products based on alcohol and ammonia.