How to Clean Leather Sofa at Home Like a Pro

Leather sofas offer timeless sophistication and comfort, making them a decorator’s dream. With dozens of colours and styles available, from mid century modern to the classic Chesterfield, you can easily find one that suits your taste and needs. 

Natural leather sofas offer the bonus of being relatively easy to clean and maintain, giving you years of quality use. To make sure you get the best out of your furniture investment, take some time to learn how to clean and maintain your leather couch like a pro – it’s a small effort for an enduring reward!

Tips On How To Clean A Leather Sofa

Knowing how to care for a sofa properly can make all the difference in retaining its appearance. The good news is, cleaning a leather sofa at home can be relatively easy if you follow the proper steps. With just a few simple cleaning supplies, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a professional. 

Read on to find out simple DIY cleaning tips which only require daily household products:

How To Remove Regular Stains?

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Due to its absorbent nature, leather cannot be washed like regular clothing. Stain treatments must be carefully evaluated to ensure they really improve the condition of the leather rather than worsen it. 

Things You’ll Need:

  • Clean washcloth or microfiber towel
  • Liquid soap or saddle soap
  • Warm water
  • Vacuum

Step-By-Step Process:

Step 1: Remove Dust and Debris

Dusting your leather sofa once a week will help maintain it clean and shiny. Use a vacuum with an upholstery brush to remove the undesired dust, pet hair, and filth. 

Step 2: Put Liquid Soap

Liquid dish soap is effective on most stains, such as those left by spilled coffee or ice cream. To treat the affected area, dampen a cloth with warm, soapy water and apply it.

Step 3: Scrub in Circles

Rub the area in little circles to get the stain off. Instead of rubbing in a straight line, which saves time but creates more wear, switch directions occasionally. Using a clean towel, dry the area after wiping it off in circular motions while being careful not to use too much water.

How To Remove Grease Stains?

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Some foods commonly leave grease stains on your couch, but only some people know how widespread grease is. Grease can be found in many of our favourite dishes, from baked cookies to deep-dish pizza. However, the oil may be to blame if a stain remains even after wiping it down with a damp cloth or if it has a slimy texture.

Things You’ll Need: 

  • Dry cloth 
  • Damp cloth
  • Baking soda

Step-By-Step Process:

Step 1: Sprinkle Baking Soda

Spread a little baking soda on the area and let it sit there for a while; the baking soda will absorb the oil, and the stain will disappear. 

Step 2: Wipe Away Stains

After the baking soda has had a chance to absorb the stain, wipe it clean with a dry, soft cloth.

Step 3: Double check

If you still see any traces of baking soda after wiping it down, give it another go with a damp towel.

How To Remove Ink Stains?

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Although ink stains can be alarming at first, they can be eliminated most of the time using common household cleaning supplies.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clean washcloth

Step-By-Step Process:

Step 1: Bring Out the Rubbing Alcohol

Rub some rubbing alcohol into a cotton ball and use it to gently dab at the stain until it begins to come out. 

Step 2: Dab the ink

Dab rather than rub to prevent ink from spreading and apply more rubbing alcohol to a fresh cotton ball and repeat.

Step 3: Pat Dry

Dry the area by patting it softly with a clean washcloth once the stain has been removed. If the ink spots are still visible after drying, repeat the process.

How To Remove Wax or Gum?

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Don’t freak out if your leather furniture gets sticky from wax, gum, or anything else. Instead of blotting or scrubbing, the trick is to harden the substance to remove it. 

Things You’ll Need:

  • Ziploc bag
  • Rubber gloves
  • Ice cubes 
  • Spoon

Step-By-Step Process:

Step 1: Cool Down the Area

Put some ice cubes in a Ziploc bag and place it against the affected area. Wait as long as possible for the wax or gum to solidify before removing it.

Step 2: Gently Scrape Away

Once it has solidified, you can remove the particles using a spoon. Avoid using sharp edges that could scratch or rip the leather.

Step 3: Consult the Manufacturer if Necessary

It’s essential to monitor your progress; if something isn’t working, take a step back and reevaluate. If you have any questions, it’s best to read the handbook or get in touch with the manufacturer.

What Is The Best Cleaner to Use on leather?

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Finding the right cleaner to use on leather sofas can be tricky, as you want something that will not damage the fabric while effectively removing dirt and dust. 

The best choice is a natural cleaner such as saddle soap or liquid soap and warm water, which will gently remove physical dirt and oil buildup without causing damage or cracking. If these are not available at home, you can consider using mild soap, such as Dove soap.

However, it’s recommended to test each cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area of the sofa beforehand to ensure that it does not cause any discolouration or damage.

What should you NOT clean leather with?

Photo by Joe Lingeman on  Pinterest

When cleaning a leather sofa, you need to be careful and mindful of the products and materials used. Avoid harsh chemicals such as bleaches, or detergents, as these can spoil the luster and texture of the sofa over time. 

Furthermore, never use furniture polish to clean a leather sofa since it will dim its appearance unexpectedly and damage its protective coating. 

The safest approach is to use a homemade mix of gentle soap in warm water or a specialised leather cleaner that won’t cause additional harm to your sofa’s material. 

How Often Should You Clean a Leather Couch?

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Cleaning a leather couch is essential to keep its elegant look and feel. The frequency of cleaning depends on how often the furniture is used and its location in the home. 

Daily wear requires weekly dusting with a soft, lint-free cloth which can remove the build-up of dirt, dust, and skin oils before they penetrate the material. 

Additionally, it’s essential to condition your leather furniture with a cleaner/conditioner 3-4 times per year to keep the material healthy and strong while also providing a layer of protection from spills and other accidents. 

With regular cleaning and conditioning, your leather couch will remain beautiful for many years.


Cleaning a leather sofa is essential for keeping the item looking new, and with our comprehensive guide, we believe you can find the best cleaning method for your couch. 

We have provided trusted instructions for procedures such as general or special care, allowing you to revive your leather furniture’s original look and feel. We hope you can get the most out of your furniture investment with these helpful insights!

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