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Leather sofa maintenance: how to proceed

In the maintenance of leather sofas, it is advisable to have a clear idea of how to treat the materials, so that the product maintains its original characteristics, can be adequately cleaned and be kept in good condition for as long as possible.

The prerequisite for any leather sofa maintenance operation includes the knowledge of the materials used to manufacture it. The leather is, in fact, of different types and its precise identification will allow you to operate safely and more efficiently. As a general rule, leather finishing can be of two different kinds, each with its peculiarities:

  • Protected leather: absorbs minimal stains and almost no liquids
  • Unprotected leather: generally more valuable, has a higher absorption capacity

If you need to identify unprotected leather, you can operate by slightly scratching the surface and checking if the operation leaves a lighter colored scratch. Alternatively, you can moisten your finger and rub the leather lightly and notice if it becomes slightly darker in color, just to return to its original nuance once it dries up.

On the other hand, in presence of unprotected leather, it is sufficient to act in three different ways: scratch the surface slightly and make sure that it does not leave a lighter colored scratch; make sure that the leather shows a certain brightness; apply a detergent on the surface, that should stay on the superficial finish without being absorbed and darken the material.


Also, remember that treated leathers are the result of a synergy between natural material and manufacturing techniques to create surfaces that are more uniform and more durable.

As for the actual maintenance of leather sofas, the first advice to follow is to contact the manufacturer for instructions and assistance, especially if you are unsure of how to proceed. However, there are indeed some general rules that you can always follow:

  • Do not keep the sofa near direct sources of heat or exposed to direct sunlight
  • Avoid using sharp objects on the surface of the leather sofa which, even if very durable, is not indestructible
  • After any washing operation, make sure that the skin leather dries naturally and at a room temperature
  • Avoid air pollution in the proximity of the sofa: cooking vapors and persistent odors such as cigar smoke can affect the performance of the material
  • Dust the leather sofa with a soft cloth several times a week
  • If you use a vacuum cleaner, make sure to apply the proper accessories – such as small brushes and avoid contact with accessories that can damage the leather
  • Periodically, wash the leather with a simple solution of lukewarm water and neutral soap and a clean, soft and slightly wet natural sponge, which should be rinsed often
  • Avoid rubbing the sponge on the leather but move it on the surface with a slight, delicate movement, then rinse again
  • Always request the assistance of the sofa manufacturer or seek for the help of specialized personnel in case of persistent stains or deeper cleaning