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How often should you clean a leather sofa? Do you need to clean it every single day?
Every week? Every month?
It’s a question I always found difficult, given the condition, durability, and longevity of leather sofas.
So, I looked for answers and I’m about to tell you the truth behind it.
Regular vacuuming of your leather couch should be done at least once a week, while deeper cleaning is recommended at least once every month. Experts suggest deep conditioning once every 4 to 6 weeks.
Before I discuss with you the typical schedule for cleaning leather sofas, it’s important that you know the different types and ways of cleaning leather sofas.
Back then, I believed that cleaning the sofa only involved wiping it down to remove crumbs, dust, dirt, debris, and other things that shouldn’t be there – I was wrong.
This, in fact, is just one of the ways of cleaning it, and it’s called spot cleaning.
You might be growing more confused because believe me – I was, too. So, here are the 4 different ways and intensities of cleansing your leather sofas.
Method #1: Spot Cleaning
Spot cleaning is the process of cleaning certain spots of the sofa, not the entire sofa.
You can consider the following as spot cleaning:
- Removing the crumbs from the surface
- Getting rid of dust and stuck up dirt on a spot
- Sweeping a particular spot
NOTE: The term “spot” cleaning is a direct translation of what to do when cleaning it. You’re simply cleaning the spots that need attention.
Method #2: Vacuuming and/or Sweeping
Now, sweeping or vacuuming is the method of removing dirt and dust from the sofa entirely.
And when I mean entirely, I mean the sofa as a whole, from the surface, the sides, the seams and crevices, and even the underside of the couch.
Vacuuming is different from spot cleaning because the latter focuses only on a particular spot, whereas vacuuming takes care of all dust, dirt, and crumbs for the entire couch.
Method #3: Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning is the more comprehensive process of cleaning the sofa.
This will involve vacuuming and sweeping the sofa, disinfecting the sofa, conditioning the sofa, and making sure that there are no unwanted odors from it.
For deep cleaning, it will involve the following:
For this, you can use a small sweeping brush or a vacuum cleaner. I use both because there are spots and areas on my couch that can’t be reached by simply sweeping.
You want to get rid of all debris of dust and dirt on the surface before you go to the cleaning part.
There are a lot of over-the-counter leather cleaning solutions out there that have been proven to be effective.
If you’re more of a DIY type of person, you can use a solution of 50/50 warm water and vinegar – you can add a few drops of essential oil, too.
Spray this solution on a microfiber cloth and wipe it on the couch’s surface in a slow circular motion.
NOTE: Do not be too generous with the solution. Avoid drowning the leather couch with liquids because it can seep through its fibers.
The process of disinfecting is simple – you just need to spray a disinfectant onto a piece of microfiber cloth, and then wipe the surface using it.
You can purchase over-the-counter disinfectants, but you can also use homemade solutions and staples, too, such as:
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Lemon + Vodka Recipe
Pour it in a spray can, and then spray it on a microfiber cloth, but not too generously.
Once you’re done disinfecting, the next thing you want to do is to deodorize the leather sofa.
The odor I loathe the most is the smell of sweat settling onto the surface of the leather couch.
It’s pungent, strong, noticeable, and it’s definitely not pleasant, I can tell you that.
The best deodorizer you could use is a leather cleaner. It’s an all-around solution you can use to clean, disinfect, and deodorize.
But, if you don’t have one, you can use baking soda.
Sprinkle baking soda onto the surface, and then vacuum it after 2 to 4 hours or until you’re ready to use it again.
Neither I nor experts recommend drying a leather sofa out under the sun. The radiation can damage the surface of the couch in ways you could not imagine.
So, how do you dry it? What I would suggest is to leave the leather couch in a well-ventilated area for about 24 to 48 hours.
Method #4: Conditioning
For the last and final process, conditioning is not actually “cleaning,” per se.
It’s more of a maintenance and care process that restores the moisture and strengthens the leather.
Conditioning is done by applying a leather conditioner on the surface of the leather.
Take the conditioning solution and spray it onto a microfiber cloth. Then, gently wipe the surface of your leather couch gently and carefully.
Now let me teach you how often to clean leather sofa, as well as how you can clean it for each process.
I don’t know about you, but after learning the best and most efficient ways of doing so, I followed it and I can’t tell you how happy I am with how my leather sofa turned out to be.
The frequency of cleaning will depend on what type of cleaning you’ll do, as well as how often you perform simpler and lighter methods.
Ideally, I do spot cleaning at least once per day.
This is because my couch is used often – the whole family sits on it during movie night, we sometimes eat junk food and popcorn while there, etc.
So, I tend to do it at least once a day.
If you rarely use it, though, spot cleaning it at least once every 3 days should be fine – even once per week is not going to be drastically negative.
For vacuuming and sweeping, I would suggest doing it at least once per week.
You won’t always need to search through the crevices, so doing it once per week would be fine, especially if you spot clean it daily.
Lastly, deep cleaning is recommended to be done at least once every 4 to 6 months.
Personally, I do it once per month just to ensure that no germs, bacteria, or bedbugs are there. I have a baby at home, so leaving it dirty and unclean will never be in my options.
If that’s the ideal schedule for leather couch cleaning sessions, what about conditioning? How often should you perform leather conditioning on your sofa?
I would suggest a timeframe of about 4 to 6 weeks in conditioning your sofa. If you believe this is too much, a lot of people highly recommend it.
It deeply cleans and conditions your leather couch, allowing it to remain in the same state even if it’s already years with you.
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about how often you should spot clean, deep clean, and condition your leather couches.
No, you cannot, and doing so can cause irreversible damage to the leather surface, as well as its inner workings.
The reason for this is that wet wipes or baby wipes contain high levels of alkaline, which is one of the primary components that could deteriorate leather.
Use a simple cloth and water solution instead.
Not properly conditioning leather can destroy it by losing the natural moisture and oil. In addition to that, it can also lose flexibility.
Have you ever seen leather surfaces crack? Yes, part of the main reason for that is because they are not conditioned properly.
So, how often should you clean a leather sofa? Now you know that the answer to that will depend on what type of cleaning you’re looking to perform!
I highly suggest doing spot cleaning at least daily or every 2 days to get rid of unwanted dirt and crumbs. If you think of it, it’s not that difficult to understand.
Be careful not to overdo it too, though, because it can do you worse than better.