Upholding Your Leather Upholstery

Memorial Day Weekend is here. After the summer unofficially kicks off, many New Yorkers will immediately head out of town to commemorate the occasion. There are four basic non-vacation scenarios (and subsequent combinations) that will occur over the next four months: 1) people will go to their summer homes, 2) people will invite other people over to their summer homes, 3) people without summer homes will stay at home and 4) people without summer homes will invite other people over to their regular homes. Regardless of which scenarios apply to you, do yourself a favor and clean your upholstery; there’s nothing worse than a dirty leather couch during (what was supposed to be) a comforting get-together.

Your “upholstery” is the soft, padded textile covering that is fixed to armchairs and sofas. While there are many different types of upholstery, the most common, sought-after and valuable is (most likely) leather. Here’s a quick guide to cleaning and drying leather upholstery for the summer. If you’re planning on throwing an exorbitant amount of “summer bashes” this year, feel free to call Maid Sailors for a special rate.

Upholding Your Leather

“Pre-treat” dirty spots with a clean and wet soft towel; you can also gently pre-vacuum with a suction-reduction nozzle. If you don’t have a “super official” vacuum cleaner, you should invest in one; this one comes with all the necessary accessories for less than $100.

Next, make a homemade detergent comprised simply of shampoo, hot water and a sprinkle of salt. Dab the potion onto any stains and let it soak for 5–10 minutes. Continue to wipe and repeat until dirty spots disappear. Unless you’re actively trying to damage your couch, avoid applying too much pressure towards delicate leather surfaces. Regular cleanings (once every two weeks) will prevent your leather upholstery from developing cracks, experiencing dryness and losing texture.

You’re probably wondering, “…but guys if I’m wiping down my entire leather couch, won’t it take forever to dry?” You’re correct – but instead of forgoing the appetizer portion of the evening, you can save time with the following drying tips.

Place the upholstery surface outdoors. As long as it isn’t raining, the heat from the sun will provide an efficient, cheap and natural solution to your drying conundrum. Remember, too much of a good thing is a bad thing; avoid placing objects outside during the “peak heating” times (e.g. lunchtime).

Leave the windows open. Not excited about moving furniture outside? No worries – weather permitting, open your windows and let the sunlight and the breeze do the work while you prepare cocktails. Just make sure to close the minutes after (about) a half-hour; also, be cognizant about any unwanted intruders.


Your upholstery cannot be replaced – the only way to “repair” cracks, faded textures, and other damages are to, unfortunately, purchase a brand new couch or chair. In order to avoid such a disaster, make sure to uphold your upholstery on a semi-monthly basis with these cheap, easy and effective tips. Your guests will be glad you did and you’ll have another “spectacular summer.”

This article received contributions from here; visit for additional cleaning tips. 

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