Leather Care Guide
Why Should I Clean My Leather?
Cleaning is an essential part of caring for your leather furniture.
It not only removes dirt and oils, which over time break down the leathers protective coatings, but will also help to maintain the moisture balance in the leather. This is important for keeping the leather supple and makes it less likely to absorb spillages.
Always test cleaning products on a small unseen area prior to a complete clean.
During the cleaning process, keep a careful eye as to what is coming off on your cloth and what is happening to the surface of the leather. When cleaning leather, foam cleaners have been proven to be the most effective and safe for modern leather furniture. We recommend Eaz
y Clean Shampoo because it is extremely effective in lifting the dirt off leather and is very quick and easy to use, unlike a lot of other alternative cleaners on the market which can be very labour-intensive and difficult to apply.
It is best to avoid spot cleaning or localised cleaning and aggressive scrubbing. Two or three gentle cleans give a better result with much less chance of damage to the leather. To clean a small area, on a cushion for example, apply foam to the whole cushion panel and
carry out the cleaning process over the whole area, with more attention given to heavily soiled areas. That way,if there is any colour change it is much less obvious as a whole panel rather than just in the middle of a cushion.
In most cases it is only possible to clean dirt off the surface of leather and not out of it.
If, after several light cleans, stains or marks still remain on the leather, it does not mean that the product used has not worked, but rather that there is damage to the leather and needs restoration work carried out by a qualified leather technician.
How To Clean My Leather
Lightly vacuum or brush the surface of the leather, this lifts light dust and crumbs etc.
Prepare a bucket of warm water and add 3 to 4 squeezes of cleaning shampoo. Using a damp sponge,lightly wipe down the surface of the area to be cleaned,rinsing regularly. This stage introduces moisture to the surface and starts the cleaning process.
Using the foam cleaner, apply to an inconspicuous area (e.g. an outside arm or back cushion) and leave for approximately 15 to 30 seconds. The foam starts to lift the dirt. Agitate gently with a sponge, rinsing frequently and adding more cleaning product as required. The size of the area you work on depends on how quickly the foam dissipates.
After agitation, lift the foam off with an absorbent paper towel (or white terry towel). If the foam is allowed to dry then any dirt that it holds is left on the surface.
When you have cleaned once, check the results and repeat the process as required. Several gentle cleans are better than one heavy scrub. It may not be necessary to clean the whole piece of furniture each time. Outside arms and backs do not get as much dirt or body contact as the seats, arms and back cushions and may only require cleaning once a year.
Contact areas (seats, arms and back cushions) need to be cleaned more often. It is always best not to let dirt build up as this can permanently damage the protective coating on the leather.
On pale or off-white leather, if a blue/grey shading remains after several cleaning attempts, get some further advice (and read our article on dye transfer at www.EazyCareProducts.co.uk ) as this is the most likely cause and cannot be removed with a general cleaning regime.
When you have achieved a satisfactory result, we always recommend that the leather be treated with a Leather protector.
By using Eaz
y Protect you are guaranteed perfect long lasting results every time along with complete protection against dirt, dye transfer and spillages, it is the only product guaranteed to look after your leather.
Make sure that the leather is completely dry after the cleaning process (if required use a hairdryer to speed up the process, if not, do not use until completely dry). Apply a light coat of protector to an area and wipe over with a white lint free cloth. A thin coat of protector is all that is required and any excess should be wiped off. Allow to dry naturally or use a hairdryer. Repeat the process on the entire area to be treated; you can apply a second coat (if required) in the same manner. It should be touch dry in approximately 20 to 30 minutes. (We would recommend not sitting on it for approx 1 hour after touch dry, protectors take 48 hours to completely dry, but it is not necessary to wait this long before you use your furniture and it will not harm the protecor.)
Cleaning Aniline Leather
Pour a small amount of cleaning shampoo into a bucket of warm water. Rinse a sponge out in the bucket (the sponge should be damp and not loaded with the liquid, rinse out first) and wipe down the surface to be cleaned to remove any excess dirt, this also dampens the leather. Using the shampoo foaming bottle, apply some foam to the sponge and use this on the area to be cleaned. Agitate gently with a sponge, rinsing frequently, add more cleaning product as required. After agitation you should lift the foam off with an absorbent paper towel (or white terry towel). If the foam is allowed to dry then any dirt that it holds is left on the surface.
This last step may be difficult on some variations of aniline leather, but frequent rinsing of the sponge ensures that the dirt is removed.
Tip: Keep the area you are cleaning small and do not allow to dry. Try not to concentrate on one particular area at a time, it is better to have a general clean rather than concentrate on individual patches.
After you have cleaned the leather and let it dry, always treat the entire suite with a protector. This is a very important part of the cleaning process as the pores of the leather are now open and more susceptible to dirt and grease. The protector fills the pores and forms a
covering to help protect the leather for longer.
We have found that Eaz...y Protect is the best and most effective product for complete leather protection after cleaning, because it is very simple to apply, has a quick drying time and is extremely effective in protecting leather from dirt and spillages. It is also one of the very
few protectors that assist in protecting against UV damage caused by direct sunlight, which causes leather furniture to discolour and fade.
Cleaning Nubuck leather
Nubuck leather is very sensitive and it is essential to follow a strict maintenance regime to ensure that the leather remains resistant to everyday dirt, remains looking and feeling soft and to stop rips and tears forming.
If you have allowed your furniture to become excessively dirty (highly used areas have become matted down and taken on a darker appearance) it is advisable to contact a specialist to restore your furniture.
All nubuck should be treated from new with watersoap protector. High-risk areas (arms, seats and backs) should be lightly vacuumed on a regular basis and treated with watersoap protector
Watersoap protector is a spray-on application that acts in a similar way to dry cleaning.
We do not recommend using any wet cleaning process on nubuck, as it is difficult to do and this should be left to an expert.
The best and most effective way of caring for nubuck is with regular treatment with a napping brush and a nubuck cloth, this is fairly simple and effective process.
The first step when cleaning nubuck is to break up the surface fibres with the napping brush. This is especially important on areas that have become matted with body oils. You can be quite aggressive with the napping brush, but always keep it moving so that you do not over-scrub one spot. Next, unfold and flatten the nubuck cleaning cloth wrap this tightly around a preprepared cylinder of sponge approximately 30 to 40 mm in diameter. You have created a tack roll that you draw across the surface of the nubuck.
Repeat this gently and evenly in all directions (if you clean in only one direction, you only clean one side of the pile). After doing this on the entire suite, wipe over with a dry sponge to reset the fibres. After this process, always treat the entire suite with Watersoap; this protects the leather against dirt and spillages.
How To Protect My Leather
It is essential to regularly protect and maintain the leather, between cleaning processes. Dirt and body oils that are allowed to dwell on the surface of leather for prolonged periods are the main cause of damage to all leather products.
Regular treatment of leather with protectors and maintenance sprays not only protects against dye transfer and dirt, but also keeps the leather hydrated, conditioned and less likely to be susceptible to rips and tears.
We recommend the Eaz...y Care range, because we have not found any other products on the market that can match the performance or overall value that these products provide. Our products come with a full money back guarantee!
Should always be applied to all new furniture, and after every clean that has involved a shampoo. Protectors form a barrier over the leathers surface and take the place of the coating that was applied by the manufacturer in the finishing process of the leather (which wears off after limited use). Protectors also form a barrier that stop spillages and dye transfer entering
in to the leather.
Remember, you can only clean dirt off the surface of leather and not out of leather.
It also creates a barrier to help keep in moisture which keeps the leather hydrated and soft, one of the main problems with most modern leathers, this can lead to ripping and tearing.
Tip: When buying a protector always check that it is suitable for your particular leather before applying.
We recommend Eaz...y Protect as the most effective product on the market today. It protects your leather against day-to-day dirt, spillages and assists against damage from UV light. Complete protection guaranteed or your money back!
Dealing with Damage
Removing nail polish:
When nail polish gets onto the surface of leather it can prove difficult to deal with.
Dont panic! Like any spillage it is easier to deal with if the leather has been protected with a leather protector.
If not, there are various forms of products on the market, that help it is always worth having one to hand.
Never attempt to WIPE nail polish off, as this spreads it to other areas that are not affected. You should DAB the wet nail polish with a dry cloth to remove the majority of it.
If nail polish has been allowed to dry, the best method is to lightly dab it over with a damp cloth (this softens the nail polish) and work slowly on the affected area,gently picking at it, taking care not to lift the surface of
Once the majority of the nail polish has been removed you can then apply a remover if required (take care, as some of these can be aggressive and damage the surface of the leather) this should remove any remaining nail polish.
After this has been done you may be left with a mark, or the leather may have lost the top coating, the only way to deal with this is to seek advice or to use a professional leather technician.
Ink can be removed from most leathers, if treated quickly. The longer that ink is left on the leather, the less likely it is able to be removed.
There are various products on the market from ink sticks (these resemble a stick-type glue which use a gel to draw out the ink), to solvent removers, which tend to be more aggressive and should be used with caution.
If in doubt contact your local leather technician for advice.
Dye transfer is dyestuff that is transferred to leather from items like clothing and newspaper. It is more usually seen on light coloured leathers but occurs on all colours, being less noticeable on darker colours.
If caught early, this can be removed with a dye remover, but if left, it can prove more difficult. If the dye remover does not remove the dye, it is advisable to contact a leather technician as the leather can often be successfully restored. Good protection in the first place can avoid dye transfer.
Leather Care Guide part2
Dos and Donts
Dont spray furniture polish near leather furniture.
Furniture polish may contain silicon extracts that can get onto the surface of the leather and make cleaning and restoration difficult.
Do clean your leather regularly. This is an important part of owning any leather product and prolongs the lifespan of the leather.
We highly recommend Eaz...y Care Shampoo, it is simple to apply and very effective in the removal of surface dirt.
Dont use baby wipes. They contain chemicals that damage the protector on the surface of the leather, baby wipes are designed to neutralise urine, and so you can imagine what it does to leather!
Do use a leather protector. This is very important as it provides a protective barrier over the leather and will help resist against staining and dye transfer.
We highly recommend Eaz...y Protect and Ultra Protect as not only do they protect against spillages and dirt, but will also assist against the damage caused by UV rays.
Dont let dirt build up. Letting everyday dirt build up on the surface of the leather is the surest way of permanently damaging it.
Do use a maintenance spray. Keeping your leather soft and supple is the best way to avoid rips and tears.
Regular maintenance is essential to the health and long life of your leather.
We recommend Eaz...y Maintain as it is the ultimate product for leather maintenance. It also acts as a cleaning agent to remove the day-to-day build up of dirt and dust. Used as part of a regular cleaning regime it will enhance and prolong the life of your leather.
Maintenance cleaning is an essential part of owning any leather product. If you do not clean your leather at least twice a year, you risk permanent damage that can significantly reduce the lifespan of your product.
By signing up to an annual maintenance plan you may be able to save yourself time and energy (it can often work out cheaper and you are GUARANTEED professional results) with the added bonus of relinquishing responsibility for the complete care of your leather suite to a professional.
Questions & Answers
Q. Can I get scratches and scrapes removed from my leather?
A. Most scratches and scrapes can be removed successfully. Anything from pet damage to cuts and light tears can be successfully repaired and re-coloured, always consult your local leather technician for advice before attempting any repairs yourself.
Q. Is it worth getting someone in to clean and condition my leather regularly?
A. There are a number of leather technicians who offer this service. It is worth considering this, as it doesnt only save you time, it can often save you money in the long run. We all have the best intentions of regularly cleaning and caring for something, but with the best will in the world it can be difficult to fit into a busy timetable.
Purchasing a maintenance program not only ensures that the leather is getting the attention that it requires to keep it clean and stop it splitting and cracking, but can save you money in the long run and avoid the need for replacement furniture in the future.
Some leather technicians can offer you a maintenance contract that also gives you an accidental cover built in, so you not only have the advantage of them knowing your suite, but you are only dealing directly with one person. It is always best to check this out before you buy.
Q. Will all leather last the same length of time, if properly looked after?
A. Not all leather furniture is made the same way.
Irrespective of the quality of the leather, the manufacturing processes and the quality of the frames and the foam used for the seating can all play a part in the lifespan of the furniture. But with proper protection and maintenance from day one you can significantly increase the lifespan of the leather, whatever the quality.
Using Eaz...y Care products dramatically increases the lifespan of your leather and guarantee ultimate protection.
Visit www.EazyCareProducts.co.uk for our complete range, and for more free and helpful advice.
Q. How much should I expect to pay for a reasonable quality leather suite?
A. The cost of leather furniture can vary from shop to shop, but as a rough guide, you should expect to pay in excess of £2500.00 for a reasonable quality suite.
Q. What should I do if I spill something on my leather suite?
A. Different leathers react to spillages in different ways.
Aniline and nubuck leathers are unprotected leathers and soak up liquids very quickly, making cleaning complicated. Protected leathers have a polyurethane coating over the surface as part of the manufacturing process and are easier to deal with. The best thing to do is protect the leather with a leather protector, this forms a barrier to protect the leather from spillages and makes them easier to deal with. These are available for all leather types, from protected to unprotected, and are guaranteed to extend the lifespan of all leathers.
Leather Care Products Explained
Q. What should I look for when buying a leather cleaning or care product?
A. There are many different leather care products on the market today, some good, some not so good; like many things in life you get what you pay for.
Cheaper products are often ineffective and offer little or no protection or cleaning values. They tend to be extremely diluted, which means that they will not give you the protection you require to maintain healthy and conditioned leather and offer very poor value for money.
Creams can be very labour intensive and can give the leather a permanent greasy feel. They take longer to apply, which can often put people off using them, they also offer little or no hydration qualities, essential to maintain the moisture balance in leather.
In our opinion we recommend you use a quality liquid product like the Eaz...y Care range.
y Care products have been developed, over many years, to make caring for leather simple and above all, very effective on all leather furniture. They are highly concentrated and offer two to three times the value of other cheaper diluted products, which means that you get the ultimate protection for your leather.