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How To Clean Faux Leather Furniture

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One of the biggest advantages of faux leather furniture (aka "pleather") is that you can get the appearance of beautiful leather for less than half the cost of true leather furniture. Faux leather comes in different grades, similar to real leather. It also requires care and maintenance similar to genuine leather. It's vital to properly care for faux leather furniture to keep it looking its best. So what are the best ways to clean faux leather furniture?

Here are a few ways that you can safely clean your faux leather furniture:

  • Vacuum the furniture (if applicable)
  • Use liquid dish soap
  • Use baking soda
  • Apply rubbing alcohol
  • Use distilled white vinegar
  • Rub in a mild laundry detergent
  • Use olive oil and vinegar

Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential to the overall appearance of your faux leather furniture. It can also help to increase the lifespan of your furniture, which is always a good thing. Continue reading to learn about the materials and methods that you can use to clean your leather furniture.

A faux leather seats in a modern home, How To Clean Faux Leather Furniture

Methods To Clean Faux Leather Furniture

Large family room with fireplace

Testing is especially essential when it comes to cleaning and stain removal, as you don't want to accidentally dye your faux leather or alter its color in any way. It's also important to remember that different types of faux leather will react differently to cleaning agents.

So, before you apply any of these tips to your furniture, it's best to test the solution or cleaning agent on a small inconspicuous area of the furniture. For example, the back panel or area beneath the armrest of your couch may be ideal for spot testing. Now, on to the ways to clean your faux leather furniture.

Things that you'll need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Olive oil
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Clean white rag
  • Baby wipes
  • Leather polish
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Leather conditioner
  • Vinegar or alcohol

Vacuum the furniture (if applicable)

Regularly vacuuming your faux leather chairs and couches can keep them free of debris, dust, pet dander, and lint. It's also best to vacuum your furniture before applying any type of cleaning or stain removal products to avoid the development of grime and caked up dirt.

Use Liquid Dish Soap

Only use mild dishwashing soap on leather furniture to remove stains and perform quick cleanups. It's always best to remove any stain on your leather furniture as soon as possible to keep it from setting in permanently. To clean your leather furniture using dishwashing soap, simply mix one or two teaspoons of mild soap with a cup and a half of warm tap water.

It's best to combine the dish soap with the water in a spray bottle or to pour it into a small bowl or bucket. You can apply this solution to your leather furniture by spraying it on or using a soft rag or microfiber cloth. After you apply the solution, be sure to wipe the furniture down again with just a damp cloth to remove any soap residue.

Click here to see this dish soap on Amazon.

Use Baking Soda

One of the best ways to remove grease and oil stains from faux leather is by using baking soda. To apply it, simply sprinkle the baking soda liberally on the affected areas and allow it to sit on the furniture overnight. Remove the baking soda the following day using a damp rag or microfiber cloth.

Apply Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol works wonderfully as a stain-remover and can typically be used on faux leather furniture. It can help to get rid of mildew and tough stains. To apply, use a soft cloth or cotton ball to rub the alcohol into the affected area. Once the stain has lifted, use a dry cloth to buff out any remaining alcohol that may be on the furniture. 

Use Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled vinegar is renowned for its amazing stain removing properties, which also happen to extend to faux leather furniture. You can also use white vinegar to deodorize your furniture

For stain removal, simply mix 1/2 cup of warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Next, spray a white cleaning cloth with the solution and then gently rub it on the furniture in circular motions until the stain is lifted.

Rub In A Mild Laundry Mild Detergent

Another easy way to clean and remove stains from your faux leather furniture is to apply a mild laundry detergent. For this method, you'll need to combine a cup of water with 1/4 cup of mild laundry detergent and pour it into a small bowl or spray bottle.

Next, apply the solution to the furniture and go back over it with a rinsed damp cloth to remove any residue. Lastly, gently wipe the furniture down with a dry non-abrasive cloth.

Click here to see Tide on Amazon.

Use Olive Oil And Vinegar

If you are looking for a 2-in-1 solution to clean your leather furniture, this may be it. The vinegar will help to deodorize and remove any stains from your faux leather furniture and the olive oil will help to moisturize it. To make this solution, combine a cup of olive oil with two cups of vinegar and pour it into a small bowl.

Mix the solution with a spoon and then dip a microfiber cloth or rag into the solution. Squeeze out the excess liquid to avoid drips. Gently rub the cloth on the furniture to effectively remove any stains. Follow this up by wiping the furniture down again with a damp cloth and buffing it with a dry cloth.

Quick Tips For Maintaining Faux Leather Furniture

Apply Leather Polish and Conditioner

It's common for faux leather to crack or dry out over time, particularly if it is exposed to prolonged periods of direct sunlight. Applying a good moisturizer can help soften the leather and prevent it from losing its color.

Dye Transfer

Certain types of clothing and accessories may contain dyes that can easily transfer onto the leather furniture. To protect your furniture, try to avoid direct contact with any deep denim dyes.

Don’t Put It Under Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can cause the surface of faux leather furniture to crack and peel. To be on the safe side, try to avoid placing your furniture in an area where it will receive hours of direct sunlight.

Attend to spills quickly

Always be sure to clean up any spills on the furniture immediately as they are more likely to permanently damage the material the longer they remain.

Check the care label

Before applying any homemade solutions or cleaners to your furniture, always check the care label to ensure that it is safe to do so. If you can't find your care label, be sure to do a spot test first.

Use Vinyl Protectant

A lot of faux leather furniture products contain a small amount of vinyl, which makes vinyl protectant ideal for maintaining them. Applying vinyl protectant to your furniture can help make cleaning less frequent, as they repel dust and debris.

Can you use a leather conditioner on faux leather?

Yes. You can use a typical leather conditioner on most faux leather products. Of course, it's best to read the care label of a product before applying any conditioner--and you can always do a spot test to be on the safe side.

Leather conditioners work great on faux leather because they help to reduce cracking, peeling, and they prevent water from damaging the material. Overall, they offer added protection and can assist with the breathability of your faux leather product. Not to mention they can also give it a nice shine.

Click here to see this leather conditioner on Amazon.

How do you clean urine off a faux leather couch?

The first thing to do if there is urine on your couch is to wipe it up with a dry cloth. For cleaning, you can make a quick vinegar solution by mixing a cup of vinegar with a cup of water. Apply it to the affected area using a non-abrasive cloth. The vinegar will work to prevent the urine from staining the couch. It will also help to get rid of the smell.

Can you use Clorox wipes on faux leather?

It depends on the grade of faux leather that you have. Some types of faux leather hold up well to ethanol-based alcohol or bleach-based disinfectants while others may dry out or stain easily. Before using a Clorox wipe to clean your product, it's best to check the care instructions first and/or do a small spot test.

Click here to see Clorox wipes on Amazon.

How do you stop a faux leather couch from peeling?

The main things that cause faux leather to crack and peel are exposure to UV sun rays and general dryness. The best ways to help avoid this is to prevent prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and to maintain your faux leather by applying oil (coconut oil, baby oil, olive oil, etc.) and conditioner to it. 

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that the above methods have provided you with a sufficient number of ways that you can clean your faux leather furniture. These methods can be applied to couches, ottomans, office chairs, and more. Taking care of your leather furniture by cleaning and maintaining it will keep it looking its best and help it to last longer.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

How To Fix A Large Hole In A Leather Couch

9 Types Of Leather Couches By Leather Type