Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oil Leather...But Not With Canola

Upholstery styles and the "is leather in or out?" dilemma is a bit muddled by trips to the furniture stores. Each store claims that whatever they have in stock is what "people are buying." Some claim that leather is best for heavy wear and some claim that fabric is the way to go. Leather may scratch, but with proper maintenance, the small marks and scuffs can be beauty marks instead of "damage."

There are several leather furniture cleaning tips that will keep your leather in service for years.

1) Move leather chairs and sofas away from direct sunlight. Harsh sun fades backs and arms. The heat can potentially dry the leather.

2) For routine maintenance, wipe leather with a barely damp soft cloth to remove dust.

3) Do not eat greasy foods in a leather chair. If you do, wash your hands. Oil marks from your hands may make a soft sueded leather shiny. It won't happen with one touch, but if you are prone to resting dirty hands on it, over the years it will show distinctly where you usually rest your hands. Potato chips are a huge culprit.

The Steam Team (, an Austin-based cleaning and restoration company, recommends leather furniture owners to have their furniture cleaned and oiled annually.

Conditioning furniture with cream at home is popular, but if dust and grime is not cleaned from the surface, sometimes dirt just develops legs and migrates. It does not "rub in" quite like with fabric, but it may collect and rub unto the cracks and folds.


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