leather sofas Tag
It’s true that finger nail polish will remove marks on leather upholstery, but it also removes the dyes that are supposed to be on the leather, leaving a bleached out spot on your leather’s surface. Finger nail polish also wears down the top coat on fully-finished leathers, leaving them more susceptible to damage.
Fingernail polish remover took the color out of this couch when the owner tried to use it to remove the pen mark.
There are a number of other home remedies and wives’ tales about using home products on leather including. We discourage the use of:
Questions or experiences with nail polish remover? Post them in the comments!
Disposable cleaning supplies and baby wipes are so handy that people have started using them to clean everything, leather upholstery included. I urge you not to use them because, though you may not be able to see the damage immediately, these disposable cleaning supplies typically cause damage to the surface of your leather, often leaving them discolored and more susceptible to damage in the long run.
Almost all of these supplies contain alcohol, and alcohol is a big “no no” when it comes to leather. Alcohol breaks down the surface of leather and especially breaks down the protective coat put on most upholstery leather (called fully-finished leather). Once this protective coating has been broken down, leather is far more easily damaged by water, scratches, etc.
This couch has a slightly discolored mark because the owner used a cleaner with alcohol in it.
This footrest has been slightly discolored with an orange hue because of an alcohol cleaner.
There are a number of other home remedies and wives’ tales about using home products on leather. We discourage the use of:
Questions or experiences with disposable cleaning supplies and leather? Post them in the comments!
It is a common mistake to use shoe polish on leather upholstery. People try to use it on furniture and on their leather car seats, but it doesn’t work.
The leather used in upholstery is tanned differently from the leather in shoes. It does not soak up shoe polish like shoes do, so the polish will just sit on the surface of your leather and make a sticky mess.
Depending on the type of damage, you may have a number of other alternatives. Professional leather repair experts can usually fix scuffed, faded, torn or otherwise damaged leather for a fraction of the cost of replacing or reupholstering furniture and auto seats.
There are a number of other home remedies and wives’ tales about using home products on leather. We do not advise using the following:
- Olive oil
- Hair spray
- Window cleaner
- Finger nail polish remover
- Disposable cleaning supplies and wipes
Questions or experiences with shoe polish? Post them in the comments!
There are dozens and dozens of old wives’ tales on different household products that can be used to clean and repair leather. Heed my advice – don’t use any of the following products on your leather furniture! I’ve seen countless pieces of furniture ruined by these very things and wouldn’t want you to find yourself in the same predicament.
1. Olive oil: Lots of people use olive oil to moisten and condition their leather from time to time. It is also used to hide blemishes and dings on couches and chairs. While oil might make your couch look nice right this minute, you are really doing irreparable damage to your furniture. The oil will soak into the back side of the leather, eventually filling it up and causing ugly oil spots. Also, while some older leathers required some sort of moisture, leather today is tanned to hold in all of the moisture it needs. If you have a piece of leather that you want oiled because you want it to be soft regardless of how it looks (think baseball gloves), then oil may be OK. But, it is never advised on any type of high end or furniture leather.
2. Shoe polish: There are several types of furniture leather, and all of those types are very different from the type of leather used in shoes. Because of leather furniture’s different finishes, it will never mix well with shoe polish. The polish will just make a gunky mess on your furniture.
3. Beeswax: I’ve seen people try to use beeswax to water-proof leather. This can be a good option for leather work boots, but I do not recommend that you use it on leather furniture. It can make the leather stiff and waxy to the touch.
4. Hair spray: According to many a wives’ tale, hair spray can be used to fix just about anything from runs in stockings to stains in cotton to marks on leather. Don’t use it on your leather furniture. It probably won’t help the stain, it might have alcohol in it (which damages the surface of leather) and it will leave a sticky mess on your furniture. The sticky spot will attract dirt and oils, causing further damage to the spot.
5. Markers: People try to use markers to fill in spots on their leather furniture. As the marker will not match your couch exactly, I do not recommend it.
6. Window cleaner: Most people think of window cleaner as being one of the mildest of all cleaners. While it may be mild enough for most household chores, you should never use it on your leather furniture. It contains alcohol that will damage the surface of your leather, leaving it more susceptible to damage.
7. Finger nail polish remover: People use this to try to remove stains from leather, but it will also remove the dye, leaving your leather with a bleached looking spot all around the spot you were originally trying to clean.
8. Disposable cleaning supplies and wipes: Most of these contain alcohol, and you should never use alcohol on leather. It will break down the protective surface on your leather.
Good Rule of Thumb
Don’t ever use alcohol or acetone products on leather furniture. These two things are very commonly found in household cleaning products and will do long term damage to your leather, breaking down its surface and stripping its color.
Any questions or experiences? Post them in the comments!
Leather furniture and upholstery will inevitably face some wear and tear throughout its life, and there are many types of damage you can’t avoid. However, sun damage is one problem that can definitely be prevented. Too much sunlight and heat will fade and/or dry out your leather.
Couch faded by the sun
Fading is commonly seen in semi-aniline and aniline leathers, and it is less common in fully-finished leathers that have a protective topcoat. It’s a problem people frequently face, and, if you put your leather furniture next to a window that gets a lot of sunlight, you can see fading in as little as 4 to 6 months.
Drying will occur with any type of leather. The sun’s heat slowly causes the moisture and natural oil in leather to evaporate. Over time, if you don’t care for your leather properly, it will dry out and crack.
Badly cracked chair
How to Prevent Sun Damage
One crucial step to preventing fading and cracking is to, if possible, keep your leather furniture out of direct sunlight. You can do all the right things to protect your sofa, but, if it’s directly in front of a sunny window, it is only a matter of time before the heat takes its toll. If you do need to place furniture in front of a window (we know, most people do), invest in some blinds to shade your furniture from the sun during the hottest, sunniest parts of the day. Those blinds will be a lot cheaper than taking your leather upholstery to a professional for patching and re-dying later on down the road.
Another important precaution to take is to clean and protect your furniture 3-4 times a year with a leather conditioning kit. For tips, check out our post on how to clean and protect your leather.
On a final note, do not try to treat your leather with olive oil or any other type of oil—it will end up causing major damage in the long run.
Questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you!
My customers are confused about different types of leather – either because they aren’t sure what they should look for when it comes time to buy new furniture, or because they have a problem (like a scratch or stain) that needs to be fixed. This quick guide should help you understand the big picture. If you have other questions, leave them in the comments below!
1. Fully-Finished Leather:
Fully-finished leather, seen frequently in furniture brands like Lazy Boy, Palliser, Natuzzi and Elite as well as in automotive interiors, has a durable surface finish that resists scratches and staining. Fully-finished leathers make up approximately 85% of leather used for furniture and 99% of leather used in the automotive industry today.