How to Clean and Shine a Leather Couch

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner with soft-brush attachment

  • Distilled water

  • 2 buckets

  • Liquid moisturizing body soap

  • Soft rags

  • White vinegar

  • Linseed oil

  • Spray bottle

  • Commercial leather conditioner (optional)

Preserve the beauty of your leather couch by occasionally cleaning and shining the surface.

A leather couch is an elegant addition to any living room. Just like any other type of furniture upholstery, it is important to periodically clean leather couches. Although leather is a durable material, take care when cleaning leather so the surface does not become damaged. Clean and shine leather couches using the proper products and methods to preserve the leather itself.


Step 1

Vacuum the couch, using the soft-brush attachment to remove loose dust, dirt and debris. Make sure to vacuum in the crevices of cushions.

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Step 2

Pour 1 qt. distilled water into bucket. Add a squirt of liquid moisturizing body soap to the water. Use your hands to mix up the soap and water. It is important to use distilled water. Some tap water contains contaminants and chlorine, which may damage the leather. Fill another bucket with plain, distilled water for rinsing.

Step 3

Dip a soft cloth into the soapy water. Wring out the rag well.

Step 4

Wipe down the surface of the leather couch with the damp rag, using a circular motion. Work in sections so the soapy water does not dry onto the leather couch.


Step 5

Rinse each section immediately with a rag dipped in the bucket of plain water. Wring out the rag well so that it is not dripping with water.

Step 6

Dry each section of the leather couch with a separate clean cloth. Go over each section with another clean cloth to restore shine to the surface.


Step 7

Apply a leather conditioner to further shine the surface. Use a commercial leather conditioner or make your own by combining 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts linseed oil into a clean spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to combine the ingredients.

Step 8

Spray the leather conditioner onto a clean, soft rag. Wipe down the leather couch, using wide, circular strokes. Allow the conditioner to sit on the leather for about 10 minutes, or the time recommended by the leather conditioner manufacturer.

Step 9

Buff the leather couch with a dry cloth.


Read the tags on your leather couch for specific cleaning instructions. It is important to make sure that the type of leather couch you are cleaning does not prohibit the use of any of the above products. Always test the product you are using on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather before applying it to a more noticeable area.


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