Leather Care: 5 Tips To Prevent Scratches, Stains, Tears, And Fading

A person demonstrating leather care.

Leather furniture is an excellent choice for many homes because it's stylish, durable, and also flexible. Many people think that leather care is difficult, but that's not true!

Leather Care 101

With just a little bit of care and attention, you can keep your leather furniture looking like new for a much longer time than you think.

Leather has been used in furniture for centuries. It's no wonder it's so popular - it adds a touch of classiness to any room, clothing, or accessory it adorns.

So we understand that you don't want it to lose its original color and texture.

Not all leathers are created equal! Depending on how the leather is made, it can have different finishes and require different care routines to stay in perfect condition.  Let’s make a brief distinction between the most common types of leather found in the market. 

Pigmented Leather

It is the most widely used leather, thanks to its resistance and versatility. Its finish consists of a uniform surface of pigments (colors) and resins followed by a protective topcoat. This type of leather is ideal for frequently used items such as furniture and car interiors.

Aniline Leather

It is considered a naturally finished leather. This means that it is dyed with transparent dyes to enhance its natural characteristics like its grain or certain imperfections that naturally occur, ensuring that each piece is unique.  This type of leather has only minimal surface protection, so it's more sensitive to the effect of wear and requires attentive care.

Nubuck Leather 

Also called suede leather, it is actually aniline leather that has a sanded surface, this gives to this luxurious leather a fine, velvety look and feel. This leather is very delicate and requires special care by using specific cleaning and protection products.

Pull-Up Leather

It is considered a milestone of the fashion industry, thanks to the brand “Timberland” which is using it to produce famous footwear. This leather is finished using oils and waxes on the surface, giving the ability to lighten when stretched or folded.

Like the aniline, this leather has a delicate surface that requires regular maintenance.

The best approach to leather care is to use specific products designed to respect its characteristics such as the finish and the balanced pH. Don't throw some chemical frenzy on it, or it'll get irritated.

5 Essential Leather Care Tips

Below, we break down five tips to keep your leather furniture looking like it's supposed to.

1. Remove Dust And Dirt From Your Leather Furniture Regularly

Remove dust and dirt from your leather furniture regularly. This will help prevent the build-up of dirt and grime that can damage it over time.

Don't make this common leather care mistake: Dusting with common household cleaners that leave a dust-sticking residue. These cleaners can actually cause more damage than good, as they are not made to attract and trap dust. Even though your leather may look cleaner, the nasty, sticky residue left behind can accumulate over time.

For daily dusting, you don't need to go too far. A few sweeps with a dry microfiber cloth or Guardsman's Dusting Cloth will do the trick.

2. Use Leather-Specific Products

When it comes to choosing a cleaner or conditioner for your leather furniture, always choose one that is specifically designed for leather. A good leather formula will be pH balanced and won't strip away the natural oils of a naturally finished leather or wear away the protective topcoat that keeps pigmented leather healthy.

Oil-based or silicone-based products, despite their popularity, can be messy and damage the finish of the leather. We suggest opting for water-based and pH-balanced products instead. It is always very important to pre-test the products on a hidden area to check the color-fastness and to make sure you’re satisfied with the results.

Made by world-leading leather experts from Italy, Leather Clean and Renew is always a good choice for deep cleaning (regardless of the type of leather you have). 

You don't need to use a leather cleaner daily. With the Leather Clean and Renew, once a month is enough for a deep clean (assuming that you're dusting regularly).

3. Wipe Up Spills As Soon As They Happen 

Under certain conditions, your leather can fade, crack and deteriorate. When water spills onto leather, act immediately and blot the area with a clean, dry cloth. Do not rub the spill, as this can make the situation worse.

Remember this: The damage occurs as the water in the leather dries out, causing it to become brittle and crack. If you can catch the spill quickly enough, you should be able to prevent most of the damage.

4. Keep Your Beautiful Leather Out Of Direct Sunlight or Heat Sources

Keeping your leather furniture away from direct sunlight or heat sources is one of the most important things you can do to prevent it from fading.

Leather is a natural material, and it will fade over time when exposed to sunlight. The sun's ultraviolet rays will cause it to dry out, become brittle, and even crack, too.

If you must place your leather furniture in a sunny room, make sure to use blinds or curtains to filter the sunlight.

If you don't have any other choice but to put your leather furniture in direct sunlight, make sure to condition and protect it regularly to keep it from drying out and fading. How?

5. Use A Good Leather Protector

Leather furniture can be conditioned on a regular basis in order to keep it from drying out and cracking.

A leather protector like Guardsman Leather Protect & Preserve  will re-enforce leather’s topcoat, an invisible and breathable shield that will help repel water, body oil, and debris. It will even mitigate damage from excessive heat or exposure to sunlight thanks to the UV protection in its formulation. 

Applying the protector once a month is a good practice to make sure your couch or leather seats don't surrender to the elements in the future. Just make sure that you properly dust and clean the leather before applying the protector.

Guardsman Leather Protect & Preserve is designed to be used on naturally finished leathers (Aniline, Pull-Up) and on pigmented as well as e-leather. For Nubuck protection, it requires the usage of a dedicated protector which can be properly absorbed by this particular leather while preserving its velvety look and feel. 

Leather that Lasts

Taking care of your leather furniture is important to ensure that it lasts for years. By following these simple tips, you can prevent wear and tear, stains, cracks, and fading.

Regular dusting using the correct products, wiping up spills quickly, keeping it out of direct sunlight, and using a good leather protector will help keep your furniture looking exquisite!

Interested in learning more about leather care? Check out our leather collection today to learn more about Granite Gold®'s expert leather care.


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