Beginner’s guide to leather sofa cleaning

Leather is one of the most durable natural materials nowadays, however cleaning leather sofas can be a challenge. As long as you clean and care for it properly it will last longer and keep it’s fresh and luxurious look. Think of leather cleaning in comparison with your skin.

It’s gentle and it changes over time, but with good quality products and the right treatment, any leather couch can remain its brilliant outlook.  Almost every home has a couch, they can be all types of materials like suede, linen, leather & more. We spend a lot of time on them, therefore sometimes stains are inevitable. Every material has different tricks that can help you clean them. When cleaning suede sofas, for example, you should never use water. But every leather is different! 

Cleaning a Leather Sofa

The trick to cleaning a leather sofa is to use saddle soap or leather dew once a week with a soft cloth. What is saddle soap? That is easy! This product is a combination of soap and oil that is often available from shoe repair shops and furniture stores.

But first, you need to do some prep work. In this guide for beginners, we will share with you all you need to know to clean your leather sofa, armchair & other furniture. You will also find some additional tips about repairing cracking leather furniture. 

Before starting with our tips, as professionals, we advise you to always use scotchgard protection on all of your upholstery.  Scotchgard is one of the best products for stain protection on the market, which is ideal for all household items like curtains, pillows, upholstery, mattresses, and your beautiful leather couch. It is a product that creates an invisible barrier which prevents couches from getting dirty if you accidentally spill something on them.

Organize and Prepare Yourself for Cleaning

Start with some prep work and gather all the materials you will need. Put together some cleaning supplies and then you don’t need to trouble yourself by thinking about what you forgot in the process.

✓ Vacuum cleaner

✓ Saddle soap/gentle soap

✓ Leather cream

✓ Water

✓ Soft cloth

✓ Leather Cleaner

✓ Leather Filler 

✓ Leather Dye


When you are all prepared, start your cleaning adventure. (Additional tip is to play your favourite song while cleaning to cheer you up). We will start by vacuuming the sofa to remove any dirt or dust from the surface of the leather sofa. We recommend using the soft brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner to avoid hurting the material. 

When you vacuum remember not to use an aggressive pressure on the leather because you can destroy the material and the quality of your furniture. We recommend vacuuming your couch every couple of weeks. That way you will regularly clean away dust and it won’t gather in the small areas of the furniture.

Damaged Areas & Cracked Leather

If you are in love with your aged leather couch but it has clearly seen better days, then don’t worry. You can act to repair most of the damage on your leather couch due to usage and exposure. 

If your couch is brand new and you just want to maintain it’s brand new look, then move on to the next step. But for those of you who need some help with couch repairment-read the rest of these instructions. 

Take a clean industrial cloth and spray it with a little bit of water. The cloth should be a little wet before you start using it. Now take the leather cleaner and spray it all over the affected area. When you rub your finger on to the sprayed area you will notice that some dirt and soil is coming off! That is perfect.

Leave the leather cleaner to sit for at least a minute, it should be soaking down into the soil and slowly extracting the dirt. Then use the soaked wet cloth to clean the cracked leather. Use gentle pressure onto the furniture.

You may want to repeat the process 2-3 times if your couch or armchair is in a really bad condition. Before you move on make sure that you leave the leather to dry out. This is really important! 

Now you are going to need that leather repair filler we mentioned earlier. It will help you fill in the cracks and give your couch more life. Think of it as a pill to prolong the life of your leather sofa or armchair. The product has detailed instructions that will be useful when applying the filler. 

Don’t worry we are so close to the repairment you just need one more step to undertake before moving on with this beginner’s guide. Now that you cleaned the leather and repaired most of the damage, you just need to use a leather dye to bring back the colour of the most used part of your leather sofa. Make sure to choose a colour as close to the original as possible.  

Now that you have brought life back to your leather couch, let’s clean and nurture the entire wear.

The leather repair filler will help you fill in the cracks and give your couch more life.

Think of it as a pill to prolong the life of your leather sofa or armchair. The product has detailed instructions that will be useful when applying the filler. 

DIY Cleaning Solution 

After you vacuum gently, you should prepare your cleaning solution. When you create your own cleaning solution you have so much fun and the result is much more satisfying. Choose gentle soap to mix with water.

You can use both soaps in bar form or by mixing a few drops into some warm water for a diluted mixture. Your last option is to buy saddle soap. They are soaps cast-off for cleaning, conditioning, and protecting leather.

Here is the moment to remind you to use gloves o matter what solution you use. The skin on our hands is gentle and you should protect it when cleaning. Use soft cloth to wipe away the stains and gently clean the couch with the warm soapy mixture. 

Dry out the couch 

Use another soft cloth to dry out all remaining mixture on your lovely clean couch. We use our couches every day. That is why we should treat them regularly and pay attention to all cleaning details.

Also please be patient. Before we start with our next step the couch should be dried completely so wait at least 6 hours before continuing. You can open a window or turn on your air conditioning to ventilate the air in the room. This will speed up the drying process. 

Moisturize with leather cream 

Exactly like our skin leather needs to be moisturized regularly in order to stay fresh and look like new. Re-moisturize the material by applying the leather cream with a clean cloth.

Apply it with a circular motion for better results. Let it sink in, then buff to a shine if you want to add an extra shine. If you don’t have a special leather conditioner you can always make conditioner by yourself with home products. 

Voila! Your stunning leather couch looks brand new.  In order to maintain it clean and shining longer, repeat this procedure every couple of months. 

But these days everyone is super busy. We run from the office to the groceries, pick up the kids and cook dinner. If you want to save your time, leave the hard work to us Clean Expert. We are professionals and we love what we do! Get a quote or call us at 074 6722 2537 and we will be glad to help you! 


  • George Kosev

    George Kossev is a highly experienced and dedicated carpet cleaning specialist with over 15 years of expertise in providing top-quality carpet care solutions. As the owner of Clean Expert, George has built a reputation for excellence, reliability, and unparalleled customer service in the carpet cleaning industry.