How often do I need to clean my leather lounge suite?
May 31 2017
Well firstly you should clean your leather lounge suite once a year. Like a car if you service it regularly and do the maintenance required it will last you many years with little to no problems.
When you are cleaning your leather lounge suite there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
- What type of leather is it?
- What product do I use to clean my leather?
- Do I need to apply a conditioner/protector to the leather after cleaning?
Generally there are 3 types of leather commonly used in furniture manufacture.
- Aniline Leather
- Semi-Aniline Leather
- Protected or Pigmented Leather
Aniline Leather is the most natural looking leather and has all the natural marks and scars in it that occur during the animals’ life be it cattle, (the most common) sheep or pigs. Only about 5% of all hides are made in to this type leather. It has the characteristics of being very soft to the touch and no two hides are the same. It does not receive any protection during the manufacturing process and as such is normally only put on premium lounge suites that are not in daily use.
Semi-Aniline Leather retains some of the same characteristics as aniline leather but during manufacturing it is treated with some pigments which gives the leather a more uniform appearance and a more consistent colour. It also makes it slightly more soil and stain resistant than aniline leather. While retaining some of the uniqueness and markings of aniline leather they are not quite so apparent and therefor the appeal is not quite the same upholstery.
Protected or Pigmented Leather can also be call Corrected Grain Leather is the most common leather used in furniture upholstery and as such is the most durable of all leathers. During manufacture, it is generally stamped to give the grain and then a polymer coating containing pigments is applied to give the colour and add protective qualities. This type of leather is much easier to maintain and stands up to more vigorous use. It does not have the uniqueness of other types of leather but its uniform colour and robustness makes it much more superior for upholstery.
As far as what you should use for cleaning your upholstery you should always use a proprietary brand cleaner. I prefer the cleaners that include a conditioner/protector with them so the leather is nourished and it reduces the chance of the leather cracking.
Never use soaps like dish washing liquid, velvet soap and washing machine detergent for cleaning leather.
Conditioners in the cleaning process are very important they will moisturise the leather and top coats on the leather and prevent cracking.
Leather cleaning is a very hands on cleaning process and takes quite some time, at times you may need to clean your suite 2 or 3 times to get the result you are after and remove all soil from out of the grain in the leather.