How To Care For Leather

Updated 2/27/23

BenchMadeLeather Samples

The Do’s and Don’ts of Leather Care

What is it about leather furniture that makes our hearts skip a beat when we see it? For one thing, it looks luxurious and inviting, like you could sink into it with a favorite novel for an hour (or three). For another, its natural beauty and texture add character to a room. And lastly, leather is exceptionally durable and may be easier to care for than upholstered furniture covered in fabric. Here are some basics to help keep leather looking its best.

The do’s.

• Dust frequently with a soft, dry 100% cotton white cloth

• Clean regularly with a soft, 100% cotton white cloth that is lightly dampened with water. After wiping, gently rub with a soft dry cloth to remove soil.

• Blot up spills immediately.

• Avoid placing furniture in direct sunlight, which can damage leather.

• Keep away from fireplaces and air vents that can dry out leather.

And don’ts.

• Never use polishes, oils, ammonia, cleaning fluids, solvents or detergents to clean. (The use of cleaning agents may cause damage and void the warranty.)

Take a closer look.

• Inspect your furniture from top to bottom looking for stains, food (an errant popcorn kernel?) and any loose articles like pens that could cause damage. Scratches are normal and actually enhance the look of leather. If you see a surface scratch, don’t panic. Most can “heal themselves” with just a little help from the heat of a blow dryer. Simply hold blow dryer at least 6” away to warm up the natural oils in the leather. Then, using just your fingertips, massage the oils into the scratch to help it disappear.

• Keep in mind that natural character markings should be expected on many leathers, and over time, leather will soften and develop a fine patina. To learn more, see Bassett’s Crash Course in Leather.

Leather Furniture Repair

Accidents happen. It's a part of life. Besides typical accidents, perhaps you have children who aren't particularly gentle on the furniture or a cat that likes to use your Ottoman as a scratching post. For the cat situation, the most immediate answer is to provide your cat with a better alternative and buy a scratching post instead. For the situations that can't be prevented (or if your cat is stubborn), below are some repair options. 

Repairing scratches in leather

While we recommend seeing a professional about damaged leather furniture, sometimes scratches are extremely minor and can be addressed with the leather tricks below:

The blow dryer technique: Sometimes you can fix minor scratches by running a warm (not hot) blow dryer evenly over the affected area. While doing this, gently massage the scratched area. 

Use a marker: While not ideal, you can use a marker, similar to the ones designed to mask scratches to car finishes, to touch up small blemishes. If you decide on this option, make sure to consider how it could affect your warranty. 

Repairing deeper scratches

For scratches that are deeper and have you concerned with the effect they are having on the aesthetics of your furniture, it's probably best to call a professional:

Call a furniture repair service.

Naturally, Bassett leather furniture is covered under our manufacturer’s warranty (see warranty for details). Leather Furniture Protection Plans, including the Guardian Signature Plus Furniture Protection Plan, offer even more coverage.

As fuss-free as leather furniture can be, there may be a time you need professional help. We recommend calling Leather Solutions at 866-875-7446.

They have sample pieces of all our leathers on hand, so they can offer better guidance if a mishap occurs – or if you would just like to hear about cleaning suggestions beyond our standard procedures.

Ready to transform one of your favorite rooms? Schedule an appointment with a Bassett Design Consultant today

Note for Guardian Plan Holders: Only blot stains before calling Guardian. Do not attempt to clean until given specific cleaning instructions. Many stains and damage issues are time sensitive. For this reason, you must notify Guardian within 30 days of a stain or damage occurrence.