How to clean white leather

by craftmin | February 21, 2018

White leather sofas and car upholstery made of light leather enjoy great popularity due to their appearance. However, the material does not only look nice, but also discolours easily. It’s enough to sit on it with your jeans and the surface gets a blue sheen. How to clean the white leather, we show you in this manual.

Step-by-step instructions: Cleaning white leather

1. Aspiration

First remove dust and hair from the surface of the sofa/upholstery using a vacuum cleaner. If necessary, use a brush attachment.

Hint: Even if no stains or other heavy dirt are visible on the leather, you should vacuum it regularly to prevent the formation of coarse dirt from the very beginning.

2. Cleaning

Next, you can remove the light dirt by simply wiping the surface thoroughly with a little distilled water and detergent. Before doing so, however, you should first loosen solid encrustations with a scraper or knife. Use a non-pointed object and be careful not to damage the material.

3. Remove stains

Now remove the more stubborn dirt from the white leather sofa. Depending on the type of stain, you must use different cleaning agents or household products:

  • Coffee / wine / juice: Carefully dab the liquid with some kitchen roll or something similar. Sprinkle the place with baking powder or salt. Carefully wipe it off after 12 to 24 hours with a vacuum cleaner or damp cloth. Repeat this until nothing is visible.
  • Water stains: Wipe the stain with a damp cloth and then wipe the surface thoroughly with a microfibre cloth.
  • Grease marks: Rub the greasy leather with baking soda or baking powder, leave it to work for about 24 hours and then remove it from the upholstery with a vacuum cleaner. You may have to repeat this trick a few times before the oil/grease is completely dissolved.
  • Leaking ballpoint pen: You should try to remove the liquid from a ballpoint pen immediately after it has leaked. On suede leather, you can use a leather eraser* for this purpose, while smooth leather should use a cloth soaked in milk.

4. Get rid of discolorations

Although you were able to remove the stains safely with our instructions, discolorations in the leather are often left over. However, you can also remove them with the correct treatment. There are three different ways to do this

  • Variant 1: Wet the discoloured surface with distilled water from a spray bottle and apply core or bile soap. Then clean the white leather with a cleaning brush. Then wait about 30 minutes before wiping the detergent with a microfibre cloth. Moisten it again every 3-5 minutes.
  • Variant 2: This possibility is rather unknown, but in some cases it can be very successful. Mix milk with water in a ratio of 1:2, add some starch and rub the surface of the leather cleanly.
  • Variant 3: If the discolouration is still visible after these two methods, you should apply a leather shade in the same colour as the sofa or upholstery. Detailed instructions can be found in the net.

Hint: Even with discoloured leather, care is better than indulgence. Therefore, put a blanket on the seat to protect it.

5. Nursing

Care is just as important as cleaning. However, this depends on the type of leather:

  • Smooth leather: Rub in the material with leather grease or alternatively with a household remedy such as Nivea body lotion and let the care work for at least 24 hours.
  • Out with leather: Rub the suede with a thin layer of non-greasy leather care and roughen the surface with a nubuck brush after approx. 12 to 24 hours of exposure.

6. Sealing

Finally, seal the leather sofa to protect it from discoloration and dirt. Apply the sealant onto the surface with a cloth and let it dry for about 12 hours. Depending on wear and tear, you should refresh it every 3 to 4 months.

Hint: Do not work the sealant into the material.