Cleaning Guide for Leather Sofas – The Steps You Should Take

Cleaning Guide for Leather Sofas – The Steps You Should Take

While most people spend their time trying to keep sheets and towels looking good, leather is something that looks better as it ages. Even if the goal is to have a well-worn sofa with a beautiful sheen, leather furniture requires commercial cleaning to stay in shape. After all, the piece should be well-loved and not neglected!

To keep a leather sofa looking good, you should do two types of cleaning. Deep cleanings and simple maintenance are both crucial to tackle stains and other issues.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Leather Couch?

It’s best to do regular cleanings as part of the routine to keep your sofa looking good. Each week, you should dry dust the couch using a microfibre cloth to remove crumbs and dust build-up.

A soft bristle brush extension on the vacuum can help with that. Overall, you just add it to your normal vacuuming routine.

However, you must get more serious about stains. Once a month, do a deep clean. Wipe down the sofa with a wet wipe and finish it off with some leather conditioner. The wetness gives it the deep cleaning, and the conditioner prevents discolouration and cracks.

Materials Needed to Clean a Leather Sofa

Here are the things you need to clean your sofa:

  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Clean microfibre towel or washcloth
  • Leather conditioner
  • Ice (optional)
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)

How to Clean Your Leather Sofa

You only need a few materials for weekly cleanings to keep the leather sofa maintained. Grab a microfibre towel or washcloth, some dish soap, and your preferred leather conditioner to start.

1. Wipe Down Your Sofa

You can buy commercial leather wipes, but you can make your own. Just use a clean towel and some warm, soapy water. Add some dish soap to your dampened towel and start wiping the sofa surfaces, including the back, armrests, sides, and cushions.

2. Dry It Off

Once you’ve wiped down the surfaces, dry the sofa with a microfibre towel or washcloth to make sure that there’s no water left before you condition it.

3. Condition the Leather

Make sure you read the directions on the leather conditioner, so you know what’s recommended for your sofa. That way, you know how much to use. Once you have your preferred conditioner, apply it to all surfaces of the leather. Genuine leather is made using cattle skin, so it’s almost like putting lotion on your skin to keep it moisturised.

Removing Stains

Since leather is very absorbent and you can’t put it in the washing machine, you must ensure that your stain treatments make it better instead of worse. The good news is most stains are removed with household items.

1. Start with Soap

Most stains, such as ice cream and spilled coffee, just require some dish soap to clean them. Add some soapy, warm water to your damp cloth, applying it to the area.

2. Scrub in a Circle

As you’re working out the stain, you should rub it in smaller circles. Don’t go in a line back and forth because that causes wear and tear. Make sure you’re not using too much water, and work in circles to wipe down the spot before drying it off with a clean towel.

Removing Grease Stains

There are multiple ways to determine if you’re dealing with grease stains. If you know you dropped something greasy on the leather, there’s no guesswork at all. However, if the mystery stain still shows after using a damp, soapy washcloth or feels slimy when you touch it, grease is likely the culprit.

Here’s what to do:

1. Sprinkle Some Baking Soda

Just sprinkle a small pinch of baking soda onto the stain, letting it sit for a few hours. That way, it absorbs the oil.

2. Wipe the Stain Away

Once your baking soda sets into the stain, you can wipe it away using a soft, dry cloth. Repeat that with a damp cloth for your second wipe-down to remove the extra baking soda.

Removing Ink Stains

Ink stains are unsettling, but they can often be removed with cleaning materials you already have in the house.

1. Grab Rubbing Alcohol

Put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and gently dab at the stain to lift it. Make sure you’re dabbing and not rubbing because you don’t want to spread the ink.

2. Pat Dry

Once your stain is gone, dry the area with a clean washcloth by patting it. Repeat the steps as needed if the ink stain is still there after it’s dried.

Removing Wax and Gum

It’s easy to panic whenever you see something sticky on your leather sofa, such as gum or wax. You may worry, but the trick here is to get the substance to harden and then remove it. You’re not rubbing or blotting it away, which is safer for the leather.

Here are the steps to take:

1. Cool the Area

Place a few ice cubes in a re-sealing bag and hold it over the affected area. The gum or wax is bound to harden, but it might take a while. Don’t be stingy here; take your time to get it as stiff as you can.

2. Scrape It Gently

Once the sticky substance is hardened, you may pick the mess away with a spoon or your fingernails. However, you shouldn’t use anything with sharp edges, such as a knife. This could scratch or tear your leather. Even a fingernail may do that, so be extremely careful during this step!

3. Consult Your Manufacturer

Sometimes, these steps don’t work, so you should reassess the situation. Look at your manual or talk to the manufacturer. Some damages might require a professional.


Leather sofas are beautiful and can add character and elegance to any room. However, it needs to look its best throughout the years so that it matches your décor and becomes a staple.

Regular cleaning is crucial here, and this cleaning guide for leather sofas can help you stay on top of things. Whether it’s a routine wipe-down or you need to remove stains, you now have the information necessary to do the right thing.

Ready to speak to us?Call 1300 141 946


About the Author

Hi, This is Amelia. I work as a commercial cleaning operations manager at Clean Group. I also handle the customer support responsibilities on behalf of the company through a team of 10+ fully trained support professionals. Besides managing a team of cleaners and ensuring healthy communication between clients and cleaners’ teams, I handle customers’ complaints and grievances, especially the ones that need special or immediate attention. If you need help sorting out the best cleaning for you or just want to chat, feel free to connect.

Read More About Amelia
Clean Group Sydney - Call Button Icon