Caring for fine leather furniture is easy
Leah A. Zeldes, Tribune Brand Publishing
Leather furniture is a long-term investment that can last for decades.
"It's durable, and easy to clean," said Helene Brown, a designer with Baer's, a collection of fine furniture stores with 15
locations throughout Florida.
With care, a good leather sofa or chair can last years.
"Protected" leathers are especially durable, Brown notes. Also called "semi-aniline," this type of leather has a coating to resist stains and other damage. You can wipe it clean with a soft cloth.
Depending on what kind of leather you have, care varies, but the basics are similar.
Like other types of upholstered furniture, keep leather goods out of direct sunlight, which can cause fading. It's also a good idea to keep it a foot or two away from heat sources, which can be drying.
Dust your leather furniture with a soft, dry cloth and vacuum the crevices. For regular care, that's all you need.
For spills, blot up as quickly as possible with a soft, absorbent cloth. Don't rub. If the leather gets soiled, before trying any cleaning method, try it on a inconspicuous spot first advised Molly Tracy, marketing manager for
furniture makers American Leather.
Tracy says to use distilled water and a nonabrasive cloth. "We don't recommend tap water," she said.
If something more seems needed after the spot dries, Tracy says, try a mild lotion soap, such as Dove or Neutrogena. Don't use saddle soap, or any products intended for leather shoes or a car’s leather interior.
"With a grease stain, let it dry and soak into the leather first," Tracy said. If you let it alone for a while, the stain ought to dissipate.
More leather-care tips:
• If you use water to clean a stain on leather, clean the entire area where the stain occurred, not just the spot. But use water sparingly. Don't soak the leather heavily with water, which can do more damage and leave a worse stain
than the original.
• Never use anything abrasive on your leather furniture.
• Never apply any cleaning solvents, furniture polish, oils, varnish, abrasive cleaners, detergent soaps or ammonia to leather.
• Minor scratches on the leather surface may be gently buffed with a chamois or clean fingers. A little distilled water may help to work scratches out.
• For ink or other persistent stains, call in a professional leather cleaner.
• Keep newspapers, magazines and photocopies or computer-printed papers off the furniture to avoid ink transfer.
• Remember that leather is a natural product and imperfections are part of its beauty. Leather has natural markings, such as variations in its color and grain patterns and healed scratches and scars, so don't worry too much about a few extras.
When looking for that investment-quality piece of leather, look to Baer’s. The retailer carries brands such as Natuzzi Editions, Bernhardt and more — all 100% genuine
leather of the highest quality.