How to Clean Leather Furniture Like a Pro

Cleaning leather furniture will remove dirt build-up and keep your leather supple.

Even though leather doesn’t get as dirty as other materials, it can benefit from cleaning and conditioning from time to time. You can use homemade or store-bought solutions to remove dirt build-up and common stains.

The Best Cleaners for Leather Furniture

How to Clean Leather Furniture Naturally: Step by Step

The best homemade cleaner for leather furniture is a mixture of half-white distilled vinegar and half water. The solution is tough enough to remove build-up but gentle enough not to cause damage.

You can use a combination of natural baby soap, water, and vinegar for a homemade leather conditioner.

If you prefer store-bought cleaners, consider a product like Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. You can get it in a spray or wipes. It will remove dirt and moisturize your furniture in one step.

How to Clean Leather Furniture Naturally: Step by Step

Leather is a durable material that’s easy to clean. Here’s how to clean leather furniture so that it looks vibrant again.

Step 1: Vacuum Debris

To remove dirt, dust, and crumbs from your furniture, begin by vacuuming it with a hose attachment. Don’t forget to clean under any removable cushions and in crevices.

Step 2: Wipe with Vinegar and Water

Dip a microfiber cloth in your solution of half vinegar and water and wring out excess moisture. Your cloth should be damp but never dripping wet.

Working in small sections, wipe the leather in circular motions. Then go back over the area you cleaned with a soft, dry cloth to wick away excess moisture. Rinse and rewet your cleaning cloth as needed. 

Repeat until you’ve cleaned the entire piece, focusing more on areas with noticeable dirt.

Step 3: Condition your Leather Furniture with a Homemade Solution

To make a natural leather conditioner, fill a bowl with 2 cups water, 2-3 drops of white distilled vinegar, and a tablespoon of natural baby soap. The baby soap contains oils that moisturize leather without leaving it oily.

Moisten a soft microfiber cloth with the solution and buff it all over your furniture.

How to Clean Leather Furniture with Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner

If you want to save yourself the hassle of separate cleaning and conditioning steps, use a 2-in-1 product.

Start by vacuuming the furniture to remove any loose debris. Then run a dry microfiber cloth over the piece to pick up dust. With your furniture dusted, you’re ready to clean and condition.

Working in small sections, spray an area and then wipe clean with a cloth. Next, use a fresh microfiber cloth to buff the area you cleaned into a shine. (To buff, run your cloth in circular motions.) Repeat until you’ve tackled the entire piece of furniture.

How to Remove Stains from Leather Furniture

Even though leather is one of the easiest to keep clean fabric types, staining still happens. So if you’ve cleaned your furniture and there are still stains, here’s what to try.

Note: It’s always a good idea to look for recommendations from your manufacturer for the best stain-removing products. Spot-test these methods in an inconspicuous place before using them.

Remove dark stains from leather – You can remove dark stains from your light leather furniture with a combination of equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar. Rub the mixture into the stain, allow it to sit for ten minutes, and then wipe clean using a damp cloth or sponge.

Remove water stains – When leather shows a water stain, it’s often mineral build-up from hard water. You can remove the water stain by dampening a microfiber cloth with water and rubbing it in circular motions until it disappears. Wipe dry afterward.

Eliminate mold stains on leather – Rubbing alcohol is a go-to for removing mold on leather. Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol with water and dampen a cloth with the solution. Rub in circular motions until the mold is gone. Next, rinse the area with a fresh cloth moistened with water and then dry.

Get rid of ink stains – Rubbing alcohol is effective at removing ink from leather. Mix a solution of 50% rubbing alcohol and 50% water and wipe the ink until it disappears. Rinse and dry afterward.

Get an oil stain off of leather furniture – The best way to remove oil from leather is to soak it up with baking soda. Sprinkle an ample amount of baking soda on the area, allow it to sit for at least 12 hours, and then wipe it off.

How to Get Bad Smells Out of Leather Furniture

If you’ve cleaned your leather furniture and it still has a bad smell, whether, from pet odors, smoke, or mildew, it is possible to get it out.

Start by sprinkling a layer of baking soda all over the furniture and letting it sit overnight. Baking soda can absorb and neutralize foul odors, which may work in some circumstances. After 12 hours, vacuum the baking soda off the furniture.

If baking soda doesn’t do the trick, look for an enzymatic cleaner safe for leather. These cleaners contain potent enzymes that feast off bacteria, which is the cause of most bad smells. Rather than making the odors, the enzymes eliminate them.

While most enzymatic cleaners are marketed as pet odor eliminators, they are effective at tackling numerous types of smells.