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How to Clean a Leather Recliner at Home- Guidelines, 9 Handy Tips & More

Want to maintain the glamorous look of your leather recliner?

Then, this post on “how to clean a leather recliner” is for you.

Leather recliner offers numerous benefits. It brings not only hours of supreme comfort to you but also a luxury to your home decoration. Most importantly, leather furniture doesn’t go bad very soon. It is highly durable, long-lasting it can cope up with any temperature.

But getting a good leather recliner is not enough. Everyday use may lead to dirt and spills building up. So, it is equally essential to maintain the quality of your recliner.

Leather furniture gets old fast if you fail to maintain it properly. It’ll hold its appearance and beauty for many years, only when properly cared for.

Fortunately, cleaning a leather recliner is not very difficult. You can easily clean it at home with household items, and it looks nothing less than new.

Here is my post on how to clean leather furniture, especially for leather recliners. In this post, I’ve explained all the practical methods to clean any leather furniture. What’s more, you’ll also learn how to clean different kinds of stains off leather.

And don’t miss the general tips and FAQs section at the end of this post.

How to Clean a Leather Recliner- The Basics

Before you start cleaning your leather chair or recliner, learn the following basics.

1. Determine the Type of Leather

Several types of leathers are used for recliners and sofa. So, before you attempt to clean yours, you have to identify the type of leather you’re dealing with.

To determine the leather type, look for any tag attached to your recliner or sofa. If it doesn’t include any, look at the instruction book or written materials that come included with your furniture. You can also find the information regarding leather type at the manufacturer’s instructions online for your specific chair or sofa.

If you fail to determine the leather type, keep in mind top-coat protected leather is mainly used for leather recliners.

2. Look at The Care Manual or Tag

Check the care manual or tag for the cleaning instructions and warnings. Read the manual carefully to determine whether there are any cleaners or products that are not recommended, as these could be potentially harmful to the leather.

Give Your Recliner a Good Vacuuming/ Wipe the Dirt/No matter what type of leather your recliner chair is made of; the first step involves cleaning off all the loose dust and debris. You can use a vacuum cleaner to get the job done. After vacuuming, wipe your chair with dry microfiber or cotton cloth.

best vacuum cleaner

If possible, flip the recliner over to remove all the dust that has been trapped in the cracks, cushions, and reclining mechanism. This is important for “motorized,” “automatic,” or remote control recliners as the dust and debris may accumulate in the motor.

I recommend using a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Try to vacuum over your chair regularly. It’ll help to prevent wear and tear on leather furniture.

How to Clean Real Leather Furniture/ Recliner– Step-By-Step Guidelines

Natural leather is expensive than faux leather. So, you may call a recliner cleaning service or consult a professional to avoid the risk of damaging such a pricey item. However, if you are careful ad confident, you can do the job yourself at home.

Step 1: Cleaning the Recliner    

Once you’ve vacuumed your chair, clean the leather.

For this following the steps below.

First, make a cleaning solution.

You can prepare your cleaner with basic household supplies. Here I’ll mention two processes.

Process 1: Mix equal portions of white vinegar and water.

Process 2: Mix them properly until suds form at the surface. Try to use distilled water as tap water may contain contaminants such as chlorine which may be destructive to leather.

Second, test your prepared solution.

For testing purposes, apply the solution to a small area of the recliner that is not highly visible. Check that the solution isn’t going to cause discoloration or leave marks on the leather. If you don’t notice any damage, the solution is safe to use.

Third, clean your recliner thoroughly.

Dip a clean rag or a microfiber cloth into the homemade solution and wring it out thoroughly. Wipe the recliner down with a wet cloth or rag.

Once finished, take another clean cloth and soak it with only distilled water. Wring it out and wipe the recliner thoroughly with it. Then, with a dry microfiber cloth, wipe the chair thoroughly to dry off it completely.

Step 2: Use leather furniture cleaner and conditioner

best leather cleaner and conditioner

To get back the shine and restore the natural oils of your leather recliner, apply leather conditioner or cream. Try to use cream or a conditioner every six months.

Make sure the cream/ conditioner you apply is of good quality. Don’t forget to read the directions before use.

Instead of leather cream, you can use natural oil to condition leather. Apply a small amount of olive oil to a dry cloth and slowly rub it into the surface of the leather until it produces a nice shine.

** Be careful not to use an excessive amount of olive oil as it may make the surface greasy.

How to Clean a Faux Leather Recliner

Faux leathers are synthetic materials such as polyamide microfiber polyurethane, or PVC. These synthetic materials are backed with a softer fabric which is then embossed with a grain to resemble leather.

In general, faux leather recliners and certain types of vinyl are less expensive than real leather ones.

This type of leather can accumulate dust, stains, and discoloration. So, a deep cleaning is necessary now and again. The process of cleaning this material is somewhat different.

The best product to clean this type of leather is mild soap or detergent and water solution. Of course, you should spot the test first.

Step 1: Make the solution by mixing mild soap with warm water.

Step 2: Dip a clean microfiber cloth into the solution and wring it out to remove the excess water.

Step 3: Wipe all the leather sections of the recliner with this wet rag.

Step 4: By using another soft cotton cloth, wipe the recliner down. Use fresh water with each pass.

Step 5: Wipe off the excess water with a paper towel, making sure that no moisture remains at all.

** Be sure not to get this type of leather too wet as it may expose it to damage.

Step 6: Allow your chair to air dry completely.

**Direct sunlight may affect faux leather. So, protect it by closing the curtains or throwing on a cover when you’re not using it.

Step 7: Polish the surface- To protect the leather over time and retain some of its lusters, polish the surface of the recliner. Many types of polishes are available that are designed for vinyl and faux leather.

Before applying the polish, carefully read the application instruction. By following the instructions, apply the polish by using a clean, soft rag to the surface of the recliner.

Removing Stains from Leather

Water-based stains and oil-based stains are common for leather recliners. Cleaning stain from leather is a very different job.

Removing Grease Stains

Wipe up the grease stains right away by using a dry, clean microfiber cloth. If the grease is hard to remove, sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and leave it on for a few hours. It’ll draw out the grease. Gently brush the grease off with a cloth. Don’t use water on the grease stain as it may cause the grease to set in.

Removing Oil-Based Stains

You can use most oil-based stains by using mild soap and water. First, apply the recommended leather cleaner in the stained area. Then use mild soap and water mixture to remove the remaining stains. Wipe the area with a dry cloth by using a dryer dry the area.

Removing Ink Stains

Rubbing alcohol is the best item to remove stubborn ink stains from leather. Simply take a cotton swab, dab rubbing alcohol onto it. Wipe at the ink stains until they clear away. Dry the area completely by using a blow dryer.

Removing Mold

You can also remove the mold and mildew from leather by following the same method of ink stains.

Removing Water-Based Stains

Water-based stains include food particles, soft drinks, or mustard that stick on the leather. These look extremely dirty on the leather surface. However, these are also easy to clean.

First, blot the excess liquid with a microfiber fabric. Prepare mild soap and water solution. Apply the solution on the spot with a clean cloth. Gently rub the stained area in a circular motion. Wipe up this area with clean water to remove excess soap.

How to Clean Headrest On Recliner

Due to oil and product residue from hair, head, and skin, some recliner parts such as arms and headrests are more susceptible to stains.

For cleaning the headrest, follow the same method you apply for the rest of the recliner. Never forget to follow the instructions on the care label.

9 Handy Tips to Follow When Cleaning Your Leather Furniture

  1. Clean up any stains and spills immediately after discovering them to avoid marks and spots.
  2. Don’t forget to test your hand-made solution in a mon-visible area of your leather furniture to see whether the solution suits the leather or not.
  3. Keep your leather furniture away from the air conditioner to avoid dehydration of the leather that may lead to a crack on it.
  4. It’s not recommended to keep your leather furniture expose to direct sunlight.
  5. Keep away your leather furniture away from direct sunlight to prevent discoloration or fading.
  6. Never keep your leather furniture near the heat sources such as vent or fireplace to prevent cracking.
  7. After cleaning, always make sure your recliner chair is completely dry before using it.
  8. Never use cleaners or products not designed for leather. Use recommended cleaners to make the most out of your cleaning.
  9. If your chair or recliner becomes badly stained with grease or oil, it’ll need to be professionally cleaned.

Let’s wrap this up

Hope, after reading our post, now you have a clear idea of how to clean a leather recliner.
Follow the guidelines above for sparkling clean of your leather recliner.

Just remember that regular cleaning will ensure your reclining chair stays in good condition for you to enjoy comfort and support for years – even decades – on end.


How often should I clean a leather recliner?

The answer is you should clean your leather reclines as often as possible. It’s the most important thing that you have to do to maintain the quality of leather.

It’s a good practice to give your leather furniture a lighter clean once a week.

I recommend deep clean your leather upholstery once a month or at least twice a year.

Regular vacuuming or brush the leather furniture is important to remove the dust and grime. You should use a non-metallic brush. Always try to use the best cleaning tools and supplies.

Which is the best leather cleaner?

There are many leather cleaning products or cleaners available. Tyger Tonneau and protectant are the experts recommended cleaners. These cleaners are excellent for different furniture, including door panels, coated leather seats, and tonal covers.

How can I fix the discoloration of leather furniture?

Discoloration is a common issue of light color leather furniture. You can use lemon juice and cream of tartar to fix this problem.

Make a paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice. Take equal quantity of both items.

Apply this paste to the discolored area and leave it for 10-15 minutes. Wipe the paste away with a damp cloth.

What are the common tools you’ll need to clean leather furniture?

Some standard tools to get the job done are Soft dry cloth, Vacuum and microfiber cloth, or clean rags.

What household products can you use to clean leather?

Some of the best household products that you can use to clean leather are:

• Mild soap and water solution
• Vinegar and water solution
• olive oil for polishing
• Alcohol

How can I remove paint from leather?

Nail polish is good for removing paint.

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