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Caring For Your Leather Upholstery

Leather Upholstery - Auto Interior

When most people set out to buy leather, they only consider the way it feels and looks. Unfortunately, they don't research the different types of leather and which one suits their needs the best.

Many leather owners are frustrated with their leather after only a couple years of ownership. They wonder why it looks stained, cracked, and faded when they thought that its high price tag would reflect its durability. Sadly, this is not always the case with furniture.

Here are the three types of leather used in furniture:

  • Aniline Leather- These leathers usually have little or no protective coating. The natural grain and patterns in the leather are still fully visible. Aniline leather is extremely sensitive to body oils, food stains, and liquid spills. Liquid can damage this type of leather. We don't recommend this leather for use in furniture if you have pet or young children because of it's high sensitivity and even higher price tag. It is a beautiful option for an area of the house that pets and/or kids are not allowed. Aniline leather is also called natural, pure, naked, and unprotected leather.

  • Nubuck Leather- This type of leather is in fact aniline leather which has been gently grated to create a soft, suede-like texture. Usually there is no protected coating so that every characteristic of the natural hide is visible. This type of leather is just as sensitive as aniline in that it absorbs food spills and body oils. We don't recommend this type of leather if you have kids or pets which will be on the furniture on a regular basis. Nubuck leather is also known as Chaps, Suede, or Bomber.

  • Protected Leather- This type of leather is the most resistant to wear and stains. It has a special coating to protect the leather from most food and drink spills. Protected leather comes in different shades and textures. Protected leather is also sometimes called pigmented, finished, or Italian leather.

Grossbusters - Leather Cleaning

Leather definitely does not make the toughest furniture. It scratches, stains, and fades much more easily than some synthetic upholsteries. Leather furniture producers recommend professional cleaning at least every 12 months.

Aniline Leather CleaningCream, almond, and other lightly colored leathers NEED to be cleaned regularly. If you wait until this leather looks dirty, it may not be possible to get that leather looking new again. This is especially true if you have nubuck or aniline leather. The reason is because unprotected leather can barely withstand any scrubbing at all. If the soil is caked on and embedded into the grain of the leather, it is tough to get out without scrubbing.

If you have pets that frequently jump on your furniture, leather is just not the best choice for you. Nubuck, aniline and even protected leather are all susceptible to scratching. One swift jump up from your cat or dog and that is all it takes to have several deep claw marks in your leather furniture.

If you choose to spot clean your leather between professional cleanings, be sure to never use "multipurpose" spot removers. As stated earlier, leather is quite sensitive and can be completely ruined by the wrong chemical.

Don't make the mistake that so many people make. Unprotected leather furniture should only be bought if you have no pets or children around. This type of leather is easily stained, scratched and faded. What's worse is that professional cleaning often times cannot even remove stains from unprotected leather. Be sure to do your research before committing to leather furniture.

Leather Cleaning

We can clean any protected leather that you have. Sofas, chairs, boots, vehicle interior and jackets are all within our expertise. However, we do not clean any nubuck or aniline leathers. This is because these types of leathers are extremely difficult to clean due to their sensitivity to chemicals and liquids in general. Many times, once unprotected leather is stained, it is impossible to remove the stain without damaging the leather.

How we clean your unprotected leather...

  1. First, we inspect the leather, searching for cracks, cuts, blemishes and imperfections. Areas in which the coating is weakened or nonexistent are susceptible to damage from the leather cleaning chemical.

  2. Once any and all problem areas have been identified and noted, we vacuum and\or wipe down the leather with a dry terry cloth towel to remove as much surface dirt, dust, and soil as possible before we introduce chemicals.

  3. Next we apply our special leather cleaner and conditioning agent to your leather. We are careful not to allow any chemical into areas which lack protective coating.

  4. Once the chemical has been adequately applied, we use the combination of a tampico brush and a leather buffing mitt to break up any tough soils on the leather.

  5. After the the entire surface has been treated and cleaned, we use a clean terry cloth to lightly buff the finished leather, giving it a smooth, clean look.

  6. Finally, we re-inspect the leather, making sure that every inch looks clean and that any problem areas identified earlier have not been further damaged.

Unlike other upholstery, leather is dry within minutes after we finish cleaning. Our leather cleaning process is done entirely by hand and usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes for an average sized piece of furniture.

If you need leather cleaning and live in the Olympia, Lacey, Dupont, or Yelm area of Washington, be sure to give us a call. Our local Olympia number is (360) 200-8825 or our toll free number is 1-855-937-8326. We are located at 3809 Golden Eagle Loop SE Olympia, WA 98513 about ten minutes from Hawk's Prairie.

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