Leather is one of those materials that are timeless. It commands respect, gives an air of sophistication and opulence and just has a luxurious look and feel to it. It is also incredibly durable. For many hundreds of years, different members of nobility throughout the world used leather as a covering for their furniture, from lords and ladies to kings, queens and even emperors.
There is no denying the appeal of a leather sofa and if you have one we are sure you will agree. Another thing we are sure you will agree with is that leather is a beautiful, hard-wearing and exquisite material when it is looking its best. When a leather sofa is not looking its best, however, it is a lot less aesthetically appealing.
Does your leather sofa need attention? Are there stains, dirt and grime on it, that has perhaps been building up for many years? If it’s time to show that leather sofa some love and attention, you need to invest in a good leather sofa cleaner. What is a good leather sofa cleaner, you ask?
In the following guide that’s what we are going to look at, as well as providing some helpful tips and advice so you know what you should be looking for in a cleaner for your leather sofa.
Top 10 Leather Sofa Cleaner UK
First in our list is not technically a leather furniture cleaner, but it can be used as an important part in the cleaning and restoring process. As the name suggests, the Leather Recolouring Balm from Furniture Clinic is designed to repair any scratches and restore the colour of leather products, like sofas and other furniture.
If your sofa has been exposed too much to direct heat or sunlight, has been scratched up by your cat or dog, or the colour has simply dried and faded out in areas, this is a great option. The important to note, however, with this balm is that while it is suitable for various leather items beyond furniture, like clothing, car seats and bags, it is only suitable for absorbent leather. Therefore, if your leather sofa has any kind of protectant coating on its surface, this will be no good.
For those it is suitable for, you are rewarded with a product that is easy to use and as there are 21 colour choices, you will find it easy enough matching the right balm to the right tone of leather on your sofa (and other items).
From Restorers: The Leather Care People, the Aniline Leather Cleaner is predominately formulated to help you maintain and clean your leather furniture if it features aniline leather. It has been designed with the help of some of the country’s foremost leather technicians to provide a professional product that professional leather cleaners use.
Easy to use, it can tackle even the most stubborn grime, dirt and stains to have your leather sofa looking better than it ever has. Although designed for aniline leather products, it can work on several other kinds of leather too, such as antique two-tone leathers, semi-aniline, two-tone, bonded and pigmented.
Similar to the above, this cleaner will not work on protected and sealed leathers. If you are not sure whether your leather is sealed or not, you can check by dripping a small amount of liquid onto it, if it is absorbed and gone within a few minutes, you know it is unprotected.
We really like the fact that this comes in its own spray bottle and does not need to be mixed or diluted. It’s ready to go, the moment it arrives.
Another popular and highly reputable brand across the board when it comes to cleaning various surfaces and materials is Stardrops, who are responsible for the next product. The Stardrops Leather Clean & Feed has been formulated to deeply penetrate into the fibres of the leather to break down the grime and dirt, whether its on armchairs, sofas or just the cushions.
Although it is a very powerful cleaner, that is not all it does. It also provides nourishment for the leather to breathe new life into it, while providing protection for it against future cracking and drying out. Just like all the other products we’ve featured so far, this comes premixed in a handy spray bottle. You simply need to point it at the affected areas and then rub using a clean cloth. It’s as simple as that.
One of the reasons so many people choose Stardrops products over others on the market is because of their commitment to the environment and not using harsh chemicals. They have proven time and time again that you can still have a tough and effective cleaning solution without endangering the planet and life on it unnecessarily.
Renapur may not be a name you have heard of yet, but if you own a lot of leather goods that you need to take care of, including leather sofas, now might be the time to learn about it. To say that Renapur products are popular is an understatement. The company has sold 1.5m pots of the Leather Balsam we want to talk about in this review, since 1994. Many of those sales are from repeat customers who are convinced the Balsam is the best cleaning option for their leather gear.
What does it do? It does not just clean, but nourishes, conditions, restores and also provides waterproof properties. If your leather sofa is not looking as soft and inviting as it once was, the Renapur Leather Balsam can help with that.
Unlike something cleaning and conditioning products for leather, you don’t need to match this to the specific colour of your leather, as it is colour neutral. It is reckoned that a 200ml pot will treat as many as 20 leather sofas, though it depends how dry they are. For the price this is available for, we think that is excellent value for money.
Further reasons to invest in this product include the fact it uses natural ingredients such as Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Carnauba Wax and Beeswax and is easy to use.
Rihard is another British company you may not have heard of, that offer a high-quality solution for restoring leather sofas (along with other leather products) back to their shiny, sophisticated and beautiful selves. This transparent balsam is colour neutral and therefore can be used on all colours of leather.
It thoroughly conditions and also provides the leather with much-needed nourishment to help it look better than it ever did. There is no mixing or diluting required with this product and it comes with a handy sponge applicator that makes using it even easier.
The ingredients list is short and sweet, consisting of only natural and organic substances like Lanolin, Coconut Oil and Beeswax to name a few. As it can be used on other products and goods consisting of leather coverings and content, whether its motorcycle clothing, hiking boots, jackets, saddles, car seats, bags, boots or shoes, it represents good value for money.
Wheelers have a fair bit of experience formulating and producing leather care products, as they have been doing it now for more than 30 years. They use the same methods and techniques now that they did back then, because why fix something that’s not broken?
The natural leather cleaning spray from the company is plant-based and designed to work on just about every kind of leather, apart from aniline.
As well as lifting all that grime and dirt that has built up over the years, it will also help to nourish and restore your leather to how it looked when you first bout it, and in some cases, even better. It has the light scent of lavender and includes spearmint and lavender essential oils alongside lemongrass and cotton essential oils.
Easy to use, you can start cleaning leather right away when it arrives because it comes in a practical and effective spray bottle. This offers you a lot more control over the coverage the leather surface receives.
Guardsman has been involved in the furniture care industry since the early 1900s. If that doesn’t speak volumes to the experience and expertise they have at devising and producing a high-quality leather cleaning product that does exactly what it says on the tin effectively, we don’t know what could.
The manufacturer’s Leather Renew 3-in-1 does everything in one handy bottle that you may need to buy three different products for from other manufacturers. It not only cleans your leather but also nourishes and establishes a protective barrier across the material to stop staining from occurring and make future cleaning much easier.
It has been designed to work efficiently with all leathers, apart from suede and nubuck. One of the issues that often exists with the very tough and hardworking cleaning formulas is that they are not gentle on the material they are cleaning. That is not the case with the Guardsman Leather Renew, as it is effective but gentle. The feel, look, finish or even colour won’t change on your leather sofa or other leather goods you use it on.
If you find heavily scented products off-putting, you will also appreciate the fact that Leather Renew does not possess a particularly strong scent, meaning your leather will just smell as it should – of leather.
Following on nicely from the above product, we have yet another that does more than just one thing to help the leather on your sofas and other furniture and goods you may have in your home. Rather than just being 3-in-1, however, HG has gone one stage further to make it 4-in-1. In addition to cleaning and nourishing the leather, it also improves the leather’s structure and enhances its colour.
All this cleaning, nourishment and protection is easy to achieve because although it does not come with a spray bottle, it is still simple to work with. Using a sponge or cloth, empty a small amount at a time on and rub the solution gently into the surface of the material.
You then need to wait for around 10 minutes and then polish it off using a soft cloth. You don’t need to even apply too much pressure at all.
Although this is different from the other products in the list, the fact that the Leather Honey concentrated leather cleaner needs to be prepared suggests how effective it actually is at its job. The Leather Honey team are an American-based, family-owned business that has more than 50 years’ worth of experience in the leather care and maintenance industry. This is evidenced in just how effective this cleaner is.
Not only is it effective, affordable and easy to use, it is also eco-friendly without any chemicals or powerful odours.
Once you have made the solution as per the instructions, you just need to use it with a lint-free cloth or a spray bottle. Cover the areas that need treatment, gently wipe down the surface and then leave it to dry. That’s all that’s involved.
Like others we have included, it can be used to clean everything else made from leather in your home, not just your sofas and will work on all colours. You can even use it with the more exotic leathers too, without worry or stress.
Chambers Leather Balsam Clear may be one of the newest products on the market, having been introduced commercially since 2015, but that doesn’t make it any less effective or great value for money. It has been formulated and used by professionals who spend their time working with leather and it is not just a restorer but a conditioner too.
Another great aspect of this product is that it is colour neutral so can be used to restore to life leathers in various colours, including even the lighter tones. All without leaving that annoying and unpleasant oily or sticky residue.
If you do not like the smell of other leather cleaners, then this leather balsam is a great choice, because it is unscented.
Leather Sofa Cleaner UK – Buying Guide
As you can see, there are a lot of great leather sofa cleaners out there right now. Cleaners that can help you to restore and maintain that elegance. Even the list above might feel too much for some of you reading this, though, which is why we have put together this buying guide to help you whittle the choices down more. There are some important considerations you need to make when buying a cleaner for your leather sofas and furniture.
The Type of Leather You Have
The first thing you really need to do before you move forward and buy any leather cleaner is to determine the specific type of leather that is used in the sofas or furniture you want to clean. As you’re probably aware, there are various kinds of leathers with different colours and tones, like Nubuck, aniline, vinyl and pigmented.
Each kind of leather is different also in terms of its softness, so you need to pick the right cleaner for the right leather.
Aniline and Nubuck leathers are designed to stop fast colour fading and staining from happening, while vinyl and pigmented leathers have waterproof properties and don’t easily scratch. The problem with choosing the wrong cleaner is that rather than cleaning and restoring your leather sofa, it could stain it and damage it even more.
Many leather cleaners will offer guidelines on the descriptions online or on the packaging as to which leathers they are designed for. You should always try a small amount on an inconspicuous part of the sofa just to make sure.
A Formula That’s pH-Balanced
Next, you need to check the pH-balanced formulation of a cleaner you are interested in. Generally, leather has a neutral pH value. As such, the leather’s quality can be adversely affected and even ruined if you use products that are far too alkaline or acidic.
Avoid Products with Harsh Solvents and/or Additives
Many cleaning products, including leather cleaning products, feature harsh solvents and other additives in their formula. These chemicals are added to the formula to increase its shelf life but can make them more damaging to the leather.
It is much better to look for leather sofa cleaners that use natural oils as this will lead to much better conditioning of the material and you are likely to get more years out of it too.
If you have a lot of leather products in your home aside from the leather sofas you want to clean, it may make sense to invest in a leather cleaner that is only suitable for use on leather. However, if you have a tight budget and only one leather sofa that needs to be cleaned, it may be more financially-sound to invest in a leather cleaning product that can be used on other surfaces and materials too.
How Often Should You Clean Your Leather Sofa?
This is a question we noticed that a lot of people were looking for the answer to, which is why we thought we would address it here. Leather is a very durable and hardwearing material. However, it still needs care and attention. If you don’t establish a regular cleaning schedule for your leather furniture, it will start to look a little worse for wear.
Ideally, you should be looking to spend at least some time every week cleaning your leather sofa. However, if it is used regularly and gets quite messy, you may need to clean it more regularly at least 2 to 3 times a week.
When cleaning it, you should clean it all, because as you clean one area of a leather sofa, it may change in colour, even just slightly, and if you don’t take a methodical approach, it will look patchy after you’ve finished treating it.
Leather sofas are great investments. They look great and can last a long time, much longer than furniture upholstered in other materials. As we’ve noted in this guide though, that’s only the case if you look after it properly.
With the above guide, you are armed with more than enough information to make the right kind of choices for your own leather sofas. The first time you clean them, it may take a few applications, if it’s been a while, but once you have to restore your leather to its original beauty, as long as you stay on top of it, you will have sophisticated and luxurious furniture that will stay that way for a long time to come.