Friday, March 13, 2009

How to clean leather furniture

“How should I clean my leather furniture?” It’s a common question from our clients.

Often, we hear that they have been using saddle soap. After all, it seems like the right thing to use, as certainly saddles are made from leather.

Despite what it seems like, it’s a mistake! You see, leather intended for saddles and leather intended for furniture are processed very differently.

Saddles are made from heavy-duty belt leather which is vegetable tanned to withstand the harsh environment of the out doors. It’s tough, highly durable leather and can stand up to the use of chemically harsh leather cleaners, like saddle soap.

Upholstery leather is processed differently. Using chromium tanning chemistry, the end result is soft, supple leather that is much more sensitive to harsh cleaners like saddle soap.
Think about your own skin. Would you wash your face with a strong household cleaner like 409? Certainly it would clean your face, however the drying and chaffing effect it would have on your skin is not desirable, particularly with repeated use. The same is true for upholstery leather.

The fact is that upholstery leather is acidic. It has a pH of 4.5 – 5. Harsh cleaners are highly alkaline. Consequently a chemical reaction occurs in the leather that breaks down its fibrous structure and stiffens the leather. Therefore it’s important to use leather cleaners that are chemically engineered (pH balanced) specifically for upholstery leather. If you would like more information about appropriate upholstery leather cleaners and conditioners, visit our under our consumer products button. Watch this video to see how a quality leather cleaner that is pH balanced to leather works:

Copyright 2009 Kevin Gillan

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