How to Clean a Leather Recliner?

How frustrating is it to see your favorite piece of furniture turn dull, dark, and dirty? Have you started to lose hope that you will never be able to restore it to the shining glory it once was? When it comes to keeping leather clean, you need to understand that it needs regular care and maintenance so it can last for decades. No harsh detergents or chemicals will work on leather because they will strip off its protective layer, and it will start to wear off. Please do not treat your leather recliner like any other piece of furniture made from ordinary fabric because it requires your utmost care and attention.

We have compiled some amazing hacks that will not only keep your leather recliner clean but also restore its sheen to make it look as good as new. The tools and materials you might need for the methods we will discuss are found in just any household! These tools and materials include a vacuum with a brush attachment, vinegar, a small bucket, and cotton or microfiber cloths.

Get that dust off!

Before we get to the thorough cleaning of your best leather recliner chair, the first step is to get rid of the dust and debris that settles on the surface of the leather. Use your vacuum with its brush adjustment attached to remove all the dust and debris off the leather surface. Do not miss the spots between the cushions if your recliner has any. Once you are done vacuuming, wipe the entire surface with a microfiber cloth or cotton.

After you have cleaned off the dust and wiped your leather recliner, please take a good look at it to check which parts need more attention during thorough cleaning than others. Some parts may look worse than others, which is okay.

Vinegar to the rescue

This step will make a homemade diluted vinegar and water solution. The diluted solution has proven to work wonders in cleaning leather furniture. Take equal parts of water and vinegar into two bowls. Grab a small bucket and mix the contents of both bowls in it and mix well. Your homemade solution is ready to be used! Take a microfiber cloth and dip a part of it in the solution. Wring the cloth to be damp but not wet and gently wipe off any problem areas on your leather recliner. Keep rinsing the cloth between a few turns to avoid transferring dirt back to the recliner.

After cleaning the whole recliner, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe it all over the surface. Avoid letting the leather soaking wet with the water and vinegar solution. The saturation of the solution can cause damage to the leather if left on for too long.

If you have scratches or spots in a few areas of your recliner, you can also use furniture correction markers. These markers work best if the color of your leather is on the darker end of the spectrum. Always test the marker in an unnoticeable spot before you proceed to use it all over the recliner.

Check this out: 5 Best Nursery Recliners To Purchase This Year (2022 Edition).

Condition and done!

For this step, you can buy a commercial leather conditioner from your local store to help restore the sheen on your leather recliner. After you are satisfied with the cleaning process above, use a small amount of leather conditioner and buff it into the leather in circular motions. Rub the conditioner in thoroughly and leave it on for at least an hour. Repeat these steps section by section for the entire recliner and let it air dry before you sit on it again.

Some more cleaning tips:

These are some quick hacks for problems like grease spots, removing ink, and removing dark spots.

Removing grease

Always wipe away grease spots with a dry cloth if they are fresh. Do not use water as it will help the grease soak into the leather, which you do not want. If the grease has dried, you can use some baking soda on the area impacted and leave it for a few hours. The baking soda will help draw out the grease, and then you can wipe it off.

Removing ink

You can use rubbing alcohol to remove ink spots from your leather recliner. Pour some on a cotton and wipe the spot until it is clean.

Removing dark spots

Mixing equal parts of lemon juice and cream of tartar will make the perfect solution to remove dark spots, especially from light-colored leather. Apply the mixture to the spots and leave for a few minutes. Wipe the mixture off to reveal spotless leather!

Frequently asked questions

  1. Can I use Vaseline on my leather recliner?

Vaseline can only be used to add shine, but it will not last for a long time. It is better to use a leather conditioner to have lasting effects on your recliner.

  1. How often should I clean my leather recliner?

You can clean your recliner every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on how dirty it is.

  1. Can I use nail polish remover on my leather recliner?

Any product that contains harsh chemicals should not be used to clean the leather, including nail polish removers.


Cleaning your leather recliner is easier than it sounds. Make sure you avoid products with harmful chemicals that saturate the leather and cause it to lose its protective layer. The guidelines we have compiled will help you save money because you do not need to call a cleaning service that breaks your bank every month!

Last updated: 15/05/2022

About Karen Miller

Hello! I'm Karen Miller, an interior designer from Chicago with a passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces. After leading designer at Chicago Interior LLC in 2010-2020, I started to share my expertise on home comfort. I'm excited to help you transform your home into a place of comfort and joy. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

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