Leather furniture is both a luxurious and functional addition to your home. Leather may be more expensive, but it lasts longer than many other furniture coverings. Cleaning leather can be tricky, however, because many cleaning products will damage the leather. If you care for leather furniture properly, you can enjoy its beauty for many years.

Cleaning Leather Furniture

Vacuum your leather furniture to remove loose debris. Use commercial leather cleaner to spot clean any soiled areas. You can make your own leather cleaner by adding a few drops of mild, moisturizing soap to a damp wash cloth. Work up a lather and wipe it on the leather. Don't get the leather too wet. Wipe off any visible soap suds from the leather and let it dry. You don't need to rinse the soap completely off, because it will condition and moisturize the leather. Buff or polish the leather to make it shine. Make sure you test any leather cleaning solution on a hidden area to make sure it won't damage the leather.

Remove Ink Stains from Leather

Remove ink from leather by dipping a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol. Wipe the rubbing alcohol over the ink stain. Use a hair dryer set to low to dry the area. You can also use hairspray to remove ink stains from leather.

Remove Grease Stains from Leather

Don't use water to remove grease stains from leather. Sprinkle corn starch or talcum powder on top of the grease stain and let it sit. After several hours, wipe the powder away. You can leave minor grease stains alone because, in time, they will be absorbed into the leather.

Remove Water Stains from Leather

Dip a clean washcloth in water and ring it out thoroughly. Gently wipe the water stain with the washcloth, moving from the center outwards. Continue to wipe until you have removed the outline of the stain. Gradually wipe less as you reach the outside edge of the wet area to blend it in with the rest of the leather. Blot the area to remove as much water as possible and let it dry.

Condition Your Leather Furniture

After cleaning leather furniture, restore its shine and suppleness by nourishing it. Use a commercial leather conditioner or make your own. Mix two parts linseed oil with one part regular white vinegar. Wipe this onto the leather sofa in a circular motion. Let it sit for several minutes and buff the leather to a shine.

Maintaining Leather Furniture

Keep your leather furniture out of direct sunlight so that it doesn't fade, dry out or crack. Keep leather furniture several feet away from heating vents, fireplaces or other heat sources. Dust and vacuum your leather furniture frequently to prevent the build-up of dirt and debris. Make sure you wipe up any spills immediately before they are absorbed into the leather.