September 21, 2021

By: Chelsea Shedden | Interior Architect

How to maintain your leather furniture

When it comes to quality furniture pieces, leather has always been the go-to material for long-lasting durability. Being a hero upholstery piece in many Australian homes, it’s more important than ever to give your leather some regular TLC so it can stand the test of time. 

With real leather no two pieces are alike, showcasing its natural grain and organic shape as it ages over time. Through everyday use, a leather sofa or armchair will naturally form creases and mold to your body as the filling settles, making it crucial to know how to preserve its original look and feel so that your furniture can age beautifully. 

Keep reading to find out the best ways to look after your leather goods. 

Protecting Your Leather

When it comes to wanting a long-term relationship with your leather products, a little extra love and care will help them age beautifully season after season. We have put together a list of do’s and don'ts when it comes to maintaining the longevity of your leather. 


  • Wipe off any spills immediately with a damp cloth so it does not stain 
  • Be mindful of skin contact on leather if you are taking certain medications or vitamins. These add a potency or acidity to body sweat and oils which can break down the top coat seal of leather surfaces
  • Purchase a quality leather conditioner to prevent the leather from drying out 
  • Use specific ink remover for leather to buff away pen marks 


  • Avoid exposing your leather goods to direct sunlight or high heat as it can cause cracking, peeling & discolouration
  • Never use general household chemicals to clean leather
  • Avoid wearing heavily dyed clothing with light coloured leather such as denim 
  • Don't overdo it with cleaning products, a soft damp cloth will do the job 

We recommend Guardsman Leather care products to help protect the material and keep your leather pieces looking new for a lifetime. Available as easy-to-use care kits or individual cleaning products, Guardsman also offers warranties for accidental spills and damages. The Guardsman leather care kit can be used on all types of leather, including our Pelle leather on the Oxford and Tatum sofas which is unsealed full grain aniline dyed leather.

Click here to view the range. 

How To Clean Your Leather


Since leather is a natural material, think of it as caring for your own skin. With a good skincare routine and quality products, you will maintain a beautifully smooth complexion. However neglecting to clean will result in a buildup of dirt, damaging your skin much quicker.

This same principle applies to your leather goods, where regular cleaning and conditioning will prevent it from drying out or cracking, helping your furniture look brand new all year round. Although many leather products have a surface coating already applied, this layer can erode quite quickly if its being constantly used with no cleaning routine.  

Using general household cleaning products is not recommended as they usually contain harsh chemicals and abrasives that will break down your leathers’ protective surface and cause a change in colour or cracking. 

If in doubt, just use water and a non-abrasive cloth to maintain the look of your leather on a regular basis. Gently wipe the surface to remove any dust or dirt and buff away any small marks to refresh its look and feel. 


PU Care

For the animal lovers supporting vegan lifestyles, faux leather is a great way to get the leather look in a more sustainable way.

Polyurethane forms a layer of synthetic materials made to mimic leather grains through its embossed surface. This is especially useful for dining or bar chairs as the material won’t warp or stretch over time, however these pieces won’t have the same longevity as leather. 

Much like real leather, PU is best cleaned by using a damp non-abrasive cloth to wipe away any dust or dirt. Since PU is not a natural animal hide, its surface does not need to be regularly conditioned or hydrated with oils.

Less is more when it comes to faux leather, so stick to warm water and wipe up spills immediately to stop any staining on your furniture.  

Types of Leather

Each with its own unique qualities, grains and finishes, here are a few examples of common leather varieties for furniture upholstery. 

Full grain

This leather is in its natural form and hasn’t encountered any correction. It absorbs the impact of everyday life to develop a gorgeous vintage patina surface. Generally quite dense, this leather can withstand tough everyday use. 



Aniline leather has no added pigment or corrections applied so that its stunning natural grain can show through. However this leather shows scratches, fade marks and will stain easier. You will also get that much-loved patina quicker with Aniline leather.



Semi-aniline leather is a more durable version of aniline as it is coated with a small amount of pigment to even out its colour. The leather composition is slightly less porous and is receptive to stains and damages, perfect for busy families and pets!