Featured articles on caring for your leather furniture

Caring for Leather Furniture
Cleaning gum off of your leather furniture without damaging it! PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Chris Repp   
Friday, 12 February 2010 15:27

      Here's a quick article on how to remove gum from your leather furniture.  Most all of my articles are taken from real in-home customer experience.  This one starts with a quick blurb on the background of the story or you can skip down to the step-by-step procedure at the bottom of the page.


        After digging out of the latest blizzard here on the east coast, I finally got out to a customer's home to help her with leather repairs.  The damages were 2 fold.  First, one of her children had gotten gum on the leather sofa and it hardened into the surface.  Second, a well-intentioned, if naive, carpet cleaning guy offered to try to clean it off with adhesive remover.  So when she called me she had both gum on the leather and discolored leather where the cleaner took off the color. Here are the pix:

First the sofa with the gum on the leather and the white discolored area under the gum:


Second, The gum has been removed using the technique I will teach you, but the white discolored area is still visible.


Finally, the area has been recolored and top-coated.  She was very pleased with the result.  (but the camera angle makes the leather color look funny but it looks right in person)  



     If the color comes off you will probably need to hire a leather pro to replace it. I'm happy to help anyone in the Baltimore/Washington area who needs help with leather repair.  You can learn more about hiring me by clicking here.

What to do if you get gum on your leather

      I'm also happy to teach you how remove the gum without removing the color so you don't need to hire me.  So in this case, how can one remove gum from a leather sofa without taking off the color or needing to hire a pro?  It takes a few easy steps.

  1. First, you want to soften the gum by heating it with a hair dryer.
  2. Scrape as much of the gum off as possible with a firm plastic scraper. (Pampered Chef scrapers work great)
  3. Heat the remaining gum residue with the hair dryer.
  4. Rub off any gum left on the leather with a soft, DRY cloth till it balls up and comes off
  5. Only then use a good leather cleaner to wipe the entire seat seam to seam.
  6. Follow with a good leather conditioner to moisturize the leather from the heat application. Click here for the leather cleaning products we recommend. 
Last Updated on Friday, 26 February 2010 08:21
Cleaning your own leather furniture vs. hiring a leather pro. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Chris Repp   
Friday, 08 January 2010 12:01

thanks to www.jaymar.ca for the leather furniture picture

     This article will help you decide when to clean your leather furniture yourself and when you should hire a leather professional to clean your leather furniture for you.  Here are the advantages I have  heard over the years to each option.  Then you can decide which works for you.

The advantages of cleaning your own leather

  1. With know-how you can- With good instruction and quality products, I find most consumers can easily take care of routine cleaning maintenance to their leather furniture.  The main problem occurs when people either don’t know what kind of leather they have or when they don’t use leather specific cleaning products.  Following the information on leather help.com and you can do routine leather cleaning.
  2. Quicker response-Some stains need to be cleaned quickly.  The longer they sit on your leather, the harder they become to remove. Ink, oil stains and dye transfers are some of the stains that get more stubborn the longer they sit on your leather.  In other words, you are at your home and even with a quick response a leather pro usually takes a few days to arrive.  So your ability to get to stains as soon as you see them gives you the best chance to remove them.
  3. Save $- It will cost you less money to buy good leather products then to pay a leather professional to do the work for you.  If you keep up with routine maintenance, they your leather will not be as likely to get so dirty that you’d need a leather professional.  Here are the leather care products we use and recommend.
  4. Protected leather cleans up easily- Most likely your leather is finished leather (Check with the article on knowing your leather to be sure).  If so, then you have leather with protection on the surface which holds dirt and most stains out of the leather fibers. Therefore, it is easier for most consumers to clean than more porous leather. 

The advantages of hiring a leather professional

  1.  Dirty leather needs a pro-  Maybe you weren’t ever told you should clean your leather routinely.  Maybe it just isn’t something you’ve had the time to do. Maybe your leather sits in a room with a fireplace and gathers soot.  Whatever the reason, if you leather gets noticeably dirty, a leather professional may be a better choice to get it clean. 
  2. Regular professional cleaning is simple and consistent- Some people like the simplicity and piece of mind of hiring a leather professional to clean and condition there leather every year or every other year.  Most good pro’s will tell you how to care for the leather in between visits so that you can still deal with specific stains, but they come out regularly to keep the entire set looking great.
  3. Repairs, re-coloring included- Many times what looks like soiling on leather is actually color loss,scratching or staining of the leather.  A leather professional will not only clean the surface of your leather but also touch up scrapes, discoloration or fading areas.  As a word of warning, many upholstery companies may add leather cleaning to their portfolio of services but be wary of hiring them. There cleaning may reveal more problems than they solve and they rarely know how to deal with the color restoration that is the heart of your leather’s problem.  Just ask lots of questions of companies that offer a wide range of services beyond leather.
  4. Delicate leather need professional help-  The small percentage of you that go through the testing in the “know your leather”article above and find you have aniline/semi-aniline, nu buck or pull-up leather, probably need the help of a leather professional.  These more delicate leathers can be a challenge for most homeowners to clean themselves.  At worst, more harm than good can be done if you try to clean a delicate leather instead of hiring  good pro to help you.


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 February 2010 14:37
Dye Transfers Guest Article. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 20 December 2009 23:20

Here is a guest article about Dye Transfers on your leather from our friends in Spain, Color Care. Find out more about their work at www.colorcare.eu.  Article by Owner, Lee Bryan.  Thanks, Lee.


Dye Transfers


     Dye Transfer is the dyestuff transferred to leather from clothing or newsprint. It is more usually seen on light coloured, protected, leathers but it can occur on any leather, though not as noticeably. If noticed early enough it can be successfully removed from most pigment coated leather with Leather Shampoo. If the cleaning process does not resolve the problem it will be necessary to call in an experienced technician as early as possible. The longer the dye sits in/on the leather the harder it will be to remove.

Using Leather Protect will help to inhibit dye transfer as the dye will sit on the protector and not on the finish of the leather. This also makes it much easier to clean off.

Owners of pale and off-white suites are recommended to adopt a gentle regular cleaning and protecting regime. If a grey/blue tinge is evident on the leather that does not disappear with light cleaning using a Leather Shampoo, you will need to call a technician in.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 December 2009 23:20
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