How to Clean Real and Faux Leather Furniture


There are advantages to both real and fake leather furniture. While they look the same at first glance, there are some important differences in cleaning these kind of upholstery that every leather (or pleather) furniture owner should know. Our upholstery cleaning services in Kansas City, Olathe, and Overland Park, KS are customized for every type of upholstered furniture, including leather.


Sometimes caring for your leather or faux leather furniture can be tricky, but with the right methods, you can maintain the longevity of either kind of upholstery.


Dust or vacuum both: Both leather and faux leather have pretty resilient-seeming surfaces, but they are both still slightly porous. Dirt can easily get ground into the upholstery if not gently and regularly removed.


Spot clean leather: Leather is one of those tricky materials, like hardwood floors, where less is actually more. You don’t want to use too much water or too harsh of a cleaning solution on your leather as it can cause drying and cracking. Clean only the areas that are dirty or stained with a soft cloth and water or a mild detergent.


Wash faux leather and rinse: Faux leather is more durable against cleaning solutions and water. You can wash the furniture all over with a mild detergent, but make sure to completely rinse the upholstery with warm water and a clean sponge. Don’t forget to get in all the cracks and clean all of the soap from the faux leather surface.


Cleaning mold and mildew: For tricky stains and mold, you can use rubbing alcohol (sparingly!) on your faux leather furniture. For real leather, however, this method is too harsh. Instead, use a vinegar and water solution sprayed on the moldy areas. Don’t wipe these solutions on either upholstery because you could grind the mold spores and stains deeper into the surface. Instead dab or let the spot dry.


Conditioning: Use a leather conditioner regularly to keep your real leather upholstery from cracking. Use a silicon-based spray to polish and condition your faux leather furniture.


Sometimes stains can be trickier than these DIY methods can handle. Fire damage and water damage pose specific cleaning challenges for the upholstered furniture in your home. For all upholstery cleaning needs in Kansas City, MO, you can call ServiceMaster DSI. Our professionals are well-versed in cleaning a variety of fabrics and retuning your furniture to beautiful condition.

6 thoughts on “How to Clean Real and Faux Leather Furniture

  1. I’m from Dallas and I’ve spot cleaned my furniture but the water leaves bigger stans how do you keep water from leaving stans? .

  2. I am very happy to be here because this is a very good site that provides lots of information about the topics covered in depth. Im glad to see that people are actually writing about this issue in such a smart way, showing us all different sides to it. Please keep it up. I cant wait to read whats next.

  3. I just bought a sectional which is 5% polyurethane (outer coating) and 95% polyester under the polyurethane. I didn’t realize it when I bought it, but this is faux leather. I would appreciate any information you can provide regarding care and maintanence (e.g. cleaning, polishing?, etc). I didn’t take care of my last faux leather sectional and the outer coating started chipping off after four years. Thank you for your help.

  4. Hello, my husband bought a very expensive yet “fake leather” faux sectional 85% Polyester, 15% Polyurethane to be exact, anyways somehow my daughter managed to get the “ink” from a glow stick that popped right on our newly purchased beloved sofa. I’m guessing she tried to wipe it down. So now I have what looks like dirty streaks and also this very light green/yellowish bubbly sitting right on top. One of my main concern is the faux leather bubbling up or is it the ink?. I didn’t even notice until after 3 hrs that she had left for school. I’m afraid of pulling off the bubble stuff. I need help.

  5. I’m so happy to visit your page. I learned a lot of information and tips about cleaning leather furniture. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I bought a baileys jumbo cord corner sofa can’t find what the material is it leather joking leather will I know it’s joking leather and fabric I want th know how to clean the leather part as it’s not real leather

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