How To Care For Your Leather Lounge

July 26, 2018
Leather lounge

A leather lounge is a huge investment and one that you hope will last you for years to come so it’s very important that you know how to properly care for the item that gives your lounge room its name.

With proper care, leather is an extremely long-lasting, durable material which can retain its look and feel for many years. In fact, most people say it even improves with age as it relaxes with use.

Many people are surprised to know that there are different types of leather which require different types of care.

It’s very important that you do your research before attempting to clean your leather lounge so that you are aware of the correct method and materials to avoid damage.

In any case, test your products on a less visible area of your lounge such as the side of a seat cushion before applying product to the entire lounge.

That way, if your leather has an adverse reaction to the product, the damage will be concentrated to one hidden area rather than the entirety of your lounge.

There are a few steps you can take to ensure your leather lounge remains a proud feature of your home for years to come.

First, let’s take a look at the common types of leather that you’ll find on lounges.

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Full grain leather

Full grain leather
Full grain leather shows the natural characteristics of the hide. Source: Hunker

Full grain leather is made from the strongest and most durable part of the hide, located just beneath the hair. Full grain leather comes from handpicked hides with minimal imperfections and as such, it is known as a premium product.

Full grown leather is known as a more natural product than other leathers as it has undergone less treatment and therefore shows off the natural markings and grain of the hide.

Because of its natural beauty and limited processing, full grain leather is more susceptible to staining as it absorbs liquids more than corrected grain.

Corrected grain leather

Corrected grain leather
Corrected grain leather has a uniform look from being stamped. Source: Ozpato

Corrected grain leather, also known as top grain leather, is made from hides that have had their top layer sanded and buffed to remove any imperfections.

Hides with prominent imperfections are turned into corrected grain leather as these markings will be removed in the processing.

After the hides have been sanded and buffed, an artificial grain is stamped into the hide to give it a uniform look. This is the leather you will typically see leather handbags, wallets and even car seats made from. It is a cheaper leather than full grain as it uses lower quality hides which are heavily processed.

It is, however, very durable and food and drink stains can be easily wiped away before soaking in.

Avoid overexposure to sunlight and heat

Beautiful brown leather lounge
Source Bay Leather Republic

An important thing to remember if you want to keep your leather lounge in showroom condition is to avoid placing it in direct sunlight or near heaters.

Over time, sunlight can fade leather leaving unsightly faded patches and heat causes leather to shrink.

Take care with oils and perspiration

Exposure to body oils and perspiration over a long period can damage the leather coating and cause discolouration.

This is particularly the case for people taking medication such as blood pressure or chemotherapy tablets as they are excreted through the skin and can discolour leather.

Vacuum regularly

Leather lounge in lounge room
Source: Coco Republic

Vacuum your lounge regularly using the vacuum’s soft brush attachment to collect any built up dirt, ensuring you remove the seat cushions (if removable) and clean underneath them.

The soft brush attachment is best as it won’t scratch the leather or leave any marks.

Be sure to vacuum your lounge before cleaning so you’re not rubbing dirt into the leather.

Clean spills straight away

Take extra care to wipe up and food or drink spills straight away to avoid them soaking in and causing water marks.

For full grain leather, try to blot the spill to absorb it rather than spreading it by wiping.

Cleaning up spills as soon as they happen is especially important for full grain leather which is less protected than corrected grain.

Use leather specific cleaner

Avoid homemade leather cleaning solutions and detergents, ammonia, bleach or generic cleaning sprays.

These products are not designed to clean leather and could cause more damage to your lounge than the initial stain.

Purchase a trusted leather cleaner and read the usage instructions on the box. As always, test them first before committing to cleaning the entire lounge.

Condition your leather

After cleaning your lounge, it’s important to give it a good condition with a quality commercial leather conditioner. Gently apply the conditioner using a microfiber cloth remembering to test it first.

Using a conditioner will ensure the leather remains soft and supple and won’t dry out and crack. Depending on the location and leather of your lounge, conditioners should be applied every six to twelve months.

For individual advice on caring for your leather lounge, consult the store where you purchased it. They will be able to recommend suitable products for your lounge and put you in touch with a professional leather cleaner for emergency care.

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