Maintaining Leather Upholstery
The more you look after your leather lounge, the more likely it is to last longer.
We recommend avoiding any heavy duty cleaning agents as they can permanently damage or break down the leather. Instead use a damp sponge with some warm water to lightly remove any stains. The sooner you can attend to stains or marks the better as they become harder to remove over time and require more scrubbing.
Any stains that can’t be removed with a damp sponge should be attended to by a professional leather lounge cleaner immediately (within 24 hours if possible). A good example of this is dye transfer which commonly occurs when colour transfers from throw cushions and stains the leather material. These marks can sometimes become impossible to remove if left for too long.
It is worth noting that when it comes to leather you get what you pay for. Vinyl leather-look couches will not last very long without cracking and breaking down. There are also some cheap hybrid leather materials coming out of foreign countries that will also break down very quickly. It is worth spending the extra money to purchase something of a higher quality that will stand the test of time.
We recommend avoiding people that are not experts in leather cleaning. For instance, many carpet cleaning companies offer leather cleaning services. Unfortunately they lack the expertise to identify which techniques and cleaning materials to use and in many cases the customers leather lounge can end up being permanently damaged as a result.
With general use, particles of dirt and dust, along with a range of other substances build up on the finishes. Under magnification, these particles are sometimes sharp and jagged in shape, which act as an abrasive and wear away the topcoat lacquer that protect the leather itself. Once the lacquer has worn away, the pigment colour soon follows.
A common occurrence is when soiling settles in the creases that form in the leather with regular use, particular on the seats. With the flexing of the leather, the finishes break or crack which then expose: the leather itself to perspiration, which if left untreated will eventuate into splits through the leather.
Leather absorbs perspiration even through the finishes that are also deteriorating as a result of the acids and other constituents contained in perspiration. As this happens, the leather becomes saturated by oils and the applied finishes are not able to hold their adhesion to the leather’s surface and start to wear away at a rapid rate, often leaving a dark mark in appearance.