Leather is a popular choice for furniture upholstery because it can stand up to the wear of daily use and is excellent for homes with pets. Brands like Gus Modern for example sell amazing leather pieces. However, keeping the leather clean is a challenge of its own and special care must be taken to ensure that your leather furniture remains in good condition. If you are wondering how to clean a leather couch, here are step-by-step instructions to help you get started.

Step 1: Remove Dust and Debris: 


Before you use any cleaning products on your leather couch, you should make sure that the furniture piece is completely free of dust and debris. This will ensure that the cleaning solutions do not mix with foreign particles on the furniture, which can create additional stains.

You can easy remove dust and debris from the furniture piece by using a vacuum cleaner that has a brush attachment. Make sure to clean in between the cushions and seams.

Look for dust and dirt that also may have collected between the upholstery and arms of the couch if the arms are made from another material. After you have meticulously cleaned the furniture, wipe it down with a dry cotton or microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Look for Signs of Wear


After you have removed the dust and debris from the furniture piece, you should look for areas that show wear. These areas include places wear the leather no longer looks brand new or stains have formed. These are the areas that you will focus on as a part of your cleaning efforts. Take note of the various issues because you may need to utilize several different types of cleaners to successfully restore your leather furniture piece to like new condition.

Step 3: Rehydrate the Leather

To create a homemade leather cleaning solution, mix two parts linseed oil with one part white vinegar. Shake up the solution until it is well mixed and then apply it to the leather using a soft cotton or microfiber cloth. You should work in a circular motion, making sure to cover the entire surface of the couch.


Make sure to rub in the solution, without being too abrasive on worn areas and then allow the solution to sit for roughly 10 minutes. Next, buff the furniture piece with a dry, clean cloth to create a shine on the leathers furniture. To ensure that all of the excess oil and vinegar solution has been removed, you may need to buff the furniture piece a second time.

Step 4: Removing Stains


If there are stains or a recent spill on your leather couch, there are some things that you can do to remove the stain. However, different stains require different approaches when it comes to removal.

For grease stains, start by wiping the area with a dry, clean cloth. Don't put any water on the stain because the water could cause the grease to soak in furniture. If the grease has already dried, you should sprinkle baking soda on it and leave it for a few hours. Then remove the baking soda with a dry cloth.

For ink stains, you can try dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Rub the cotton swab over the stain, then use a blow dryer to dry the area. If the stain is still there, then try applying non-gel, non-oil cuticle remove to the stain. Leave the cuticle remover on overnight before wiping the area with a damp cloth.

To remove dark stains from white or beige colored leather, make a paste of equal parts cream of tartar and lemon juice. Then apply the mixture to the area of the stain and let it set for 10 minutes before wiping the paste off with a clean cloth.

Bonus Tip: How to Remove Mildew

Leather furniture should always be kept in low humidity conditions. Otherwise, it may become susceptible to mold and mildew. If your leather couch has been affected by mildew, a simple vinegar solution can help remove the stains. Use one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water on brown leather and one part white vinegar and four parts water can be used on lighter leather.

Once you have wiped down the mildew stains with the solution, make sure to allow the leather to fully dry before you condition it so that excess water does not become sealed into the leather.

3 Helpful Tips to Maintain Your Leather Couch

Now that you know how to maintain your leather couch, there are some steps that you can take to help your furniture last. To ensure that your leather furniture continues to look great for years to come, you should:

  1. Keep leather out of direct sunlight. Always make sure that you keep leather furniture out of direct sunlight. When leather is exposed to direct sunlight, it will dry and crack. This damage is irreversible and will mean that you have to replace the upholstery for your furniture sooner than you would like.

  1. Avoid eating or drinking while seated on leather furniture. The best way to avoid stains on your leather furniture is to avoid eating or drinking on your leather furniture. 

  1. Find the right products to clean your leather couch. Not all leather cleaning products always perform as labelled. In fact, some products may even do more harm than good. Always test any new cleaning products on your leather furniture in a small, inconspicuous area before applying to a larger area of the furniture, in case something goes wrong. You may also want consult a leather furniture specialist about which products to use before you test them out on your furniture for the best results.