Leather furniture isn't cheap, by anyone's standards. Replacing the furniture is even more expensive than buying it brand new. If you want to avoid any of these situations, where you may have tears, discoloration, or possibly even staining of the leather, you'll want to make sure that you either start caring for your current set of furniture now, or plan to properly care for your next set of leather furniture. Cleaning your leather bench isn't all that difficult, either. Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep it clean. Here are three solid ways to prevent damage to your leather bench.

Step 1: When you get stains on the leather portion of the bench, make sure that you wipe them off in fairly short order. Allowing these stains to sit on the leather for any length of time will cause slight discoloration, or excess dirt buildup that leaves its finish appearing dull. With some warm water, and regular soap, using gentle strokes, you'll be able to remove most stains pretty easily.

Step 2: Use a leather conditioner every few months to help keep the material moisturized. When you allow the leather to dry out, it will begin to show its age much more rapidly. To avoid this, using a leather cleaner and conditioner, such as Lexol, will help keep the furniture looking brand new. Some conditioners will also help prevent any dirt and grime from building up near the stitches or seams of the bench.

Step 3: Keep your leather bench out of direct sunlight. If the spot where you keep it is in direct sunlight, whether through windows, a patio door, possibly even windows next to your entryway, you'll want to move it into a darker spot. Bright, direct sunlight will cause the leather to dry out, even if you're using a conditioner and cleaner on it. This is one of the easiest ways to care for your leather bench, and ensure you aren't replacing it after a few short years.

Save yourself some money over the long run. If you're having to replace your leather furniture, or debating on whether or not the maintenance required is worth owning this type of material, but the fact is that caring for leather is not near as hard as most consumers make it out to be. Spending an hour every month, with a couple hours every 3-4 months to condition the leather storage bench properly will go a long way towards keeping it shining like brand new.