Leather upholstery provides a luxurious and comfortable choice to the home or business owner. It also requires a great understanding of how to care for it and maintain it to provide the longest, useful life. There are generally four types of leather, and how they respond to cleaning and care is quite different. Protected leather (sometimes called finished or pigmented leather) utilize the maximum in tannery technology to create a product that is more uniform in appearance and color and has a strong protective layer that makes it quite cleanable with the right solutions. Aniline leather (sometimes referred to as natural or unprotected leather) are colored with a transparent finish o that you can see the actual grain markings. While Aniline leather is more susceptible to surface staining, a professional upholstery and leather care specialist can effectively clean this type of leather. The third type of leather is called Nubuck leather. Nubuck leather is aniline leather that has been brushed, sanded, or scratched to create a specific feel or look to the grain side of the leather. The fourth type of leather is suede, which is the flesh side of the hide and generally of lower quality. Both Nubuck and Suede leather are harder to care for and require very specialized solutions to clean. Proper care, maintenance, and professional cleaning of leather furniture will help your furniture look great and last longer.
General care and maintenance
Avoid using any cleaning products not specifically designed for leather. Most detergents, cleaning solvents, furniture polishes, all-purpose cleaning sprays, disinfecting sprays, ammonia, bleach, and pine cleaners can be harmful to your leather. Rely on vacuuming and dry towels as much as possible.
As much as is reasonably possible, try to keep leather furniture out of the direct sunlight. Intense direct sunlight and the related UV rays can dry out leather and cause cracks and color fading. Try to keep your leather positioned away from areas where it will be exposed to direct sunlight.
Wipe the leather furniture down regularly with a clean, dry cloth. This will remove dust from the leather and keep it looking its best.
As with all upholstery, regular vacuuming is crucial. Use the special brush vacuuming tool on your vacuum and a special crevice too to remove the dust and debris that build up in crevices and under cushions.
Wipe up spills immediately with a dry cloth or sponge and absorb as much of the spilled material as possible. For protected leather, you can resort to a moistened cloth if necessary. Use as little of water as possible to clean up any spill, and wipe the area dry afterwards. Never soak leather with water, detergent or soap. Doing this can cause more damage or harm to the leather than the actual stain you are trying to remove. Have your professional upholstery and leather care specialist test your leather at least every 18 months to see if an additional application of leather protector is needed to avoid stains.
Small scratches in your leather can often be buffed to look better with a clean, microfiber cloth. Deeper scratches and tears need the attention of a leather repair specialist.
Professional Cleaning, Conditioning and Protecting
At least every 18 months (more often for homes with pets and children) , you should have your Upholstery and Leather Cleaning Professional do a thorough, deep cleaning and conditioning of your leather upholstery.
Your Upholstery and Leather Cleaning Professional has access to the right specialty cleaning agents for aniline and Nubuck leather. They will also be able to test your leather to see if another protective treatment should be applied