Leather is a stylish and smart choice for lounge furniture coverings, but in order to keep it in top condition, it will need proper maintenance. Although serious cleaning is best left to the professionals, you can keep the leather in good condition yourself with a bit of regular attention. How you do this will depend on the type of leather.

Pigmented leather

Pigmented leather is more affordable than many other types and is the most common type used in furniture. It has an artificial grain layer added to the original grain layer, which will be sanded down to remove any imperfections. The leather will then be coloured to give it an attractive appearance. It will need to be cleaned regularly as any build-up of grease or oil can weaken the bond between the leather and the colouring. You should clean up any spills immediately, and wipe it down once a week with a damp cloth. It will need a specialist clean once a year. While you can try to do this yourself with a proper leather cleaning agent, the safest option is to hire a professional leather cleaning service.

Aniline leather

Aniline is a form of leather that has been immersed in a bath of transparent dye. The dye allows all the natural imperfections and blemishes to show through, which results in a very natural look and a soft and supple feel. However, as it has not been treated with any protective coating, it requires more maintenance. Liquid cleaners cannot be used on it as they will just absorb the dye, so you will need to use a specialist foam cleaner. This should be done every three or four months to stop the leather from becoming stained.


Suede is made from the inside of the hide and is a much more expensive type of leather. It is also very difficult to clean. Any spillages should be mopped up immediately with a dry piece of cloth or a paper towel. You can also try to remove stains with a non-coloured pencil eraser. Tougher stains will need a cleaning agent that has been made specifically for suede, but the possibility of damage is so great that it is safer to use a professional cleaning service.

If you are in any doubt, it is always best to use a professional service. They will identify the type of leather, use the correct cleaning method and ensure your leather is left as good as new. Contact a leather cleaning service for more information.