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Refreshing Leather and Vinyl Furniture for Spring

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Refreshing Leather and Vinyl Furniture for Spring

Spring is the perfect time to refresh your home, and giving your leather and vinyl furniture a deep clean is a great place to start. Proper care will help extend the life of these durable upholstery fabrics. Follow these tips to clean, condition, and protect your leather and vinyl so it looks its best for the new season.

Cleaning Leather Furniture

Dust and Vacuum Frequently

  • I like to dust my leather furniture weekly with a microfiber cloth to remove surface dust and dirt. This helps prevent buildup.

  • Vacuuming with a soft brush attachment once a month lifts dirt from crevices and removes embedded debris. Take care not to scratch the leather.

Know Your Leather Type

  • Aniline leather has been dyed but not treated, so it’s more absorbent. Use only mild soap and water. Condition more frequently.

  • Semi-aniline leather is lightly protected but still requires gentle care. Test cleaners first.

  • Pigmented leather has an opaque finish and protective coating. It’s the most durable type.

Clean with Leather Cleaner

  • Mix a mild leather cleaner like saddle soap with lukewarm water. Use a soft cloth to apply it gently to the surface.

  • Avoid cleaners with harsh detergents or chemicals, which may strip the finish.

  • Rinse residue with clean water and pat dry with a towel. Allow the leather to air dry completely.

Treat Spot Stains

  • For ink or grease stains, use rubbing alcohol on a cloth, then rinse with water.

  • Food spills can be dabbed with a mildly damp cloth and dried immediately. Avoid over-wetting.

  • Consult a professional cleaner for dealing with tough stains that don’t respond to gentle cleaning.

Conditioning Leather

  • After cleaning leather, apply a leather conditioner to restore moisture and prevent cracking.

  • Use a product specifically made for leather. Lotions and oils can stain.

  • Rub the conditioner in with a soft cloth following the grain of the leather.

  • Allow it to soak in for a few hours, then buff off any excess.

  • Condition your leather furniture every 4-6 months to keep it supple. Aniline leather needs more frequent conditioning.

Protecting Vinyl Furniture

Wash with Mild Soap and Water

  • Mix a few drops of dish soap or laundry detergent with water. Use a soft cloth to clean vinyl.

  • Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads which could scratch the surface.

  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with a towel. Air dry completely.

Treat Stains Immediately

  • For ink stains, apply rubbing alcohol to a cloth and dab the stain gently. Rinse with water.

  • Use a baking soda paste for grease stains. Let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing.

  • Mild dish soap can handle food spills. Rinse thoroughly.

Protect with Vinyl Conditioner

  • Apply a vinyl conditioner like an acrylic emulsion polish every 3-4 months. This adds an extra layer of protection.

  • Rub it in with a soft, dry cloth using circular motions. Allow to dry fully.

  • Conditioners help resist staining and prevent cracking and drying out from sun exposure.


With some diligent cleaning and regular conditioning, leather and vinyl can look fresh for many years. Be sure to use only products specially formulated for each material. A little springtime attention goes a long way towards extending the life of treasured leather and vinyl furniture pieces.

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