Why People Love White Leather Sofas
Nothing can replace the look and feel of a white leather sofa. It manages to quietly exude elegance while acting as a major statement piece within your home or office. Much like how designer clothes or fine wine can raise one’s social profile, the ubiquitous leather couch helps create a sense of luxury and grandeur. Its rich, buttery texture cannot be replicated by other lesser fabrics like velvet and suede, (which are also harder to clean and attract dirt and dust like nobody’s business.)
There have been few status symbols that have endured through the years like a white leather couch. Leather upholstery has been popular since ancient times, but it really took off during the Industrial Revolution, when new tanning techniques made it easier to bring this expensive commodity to the masses. Nowadays thanks to the large assortment of dyes, you can find modern leather sofas in a variety of colours to compliment any décor style – but white leather is still a favourite among the elite upper class. And it’s easy to see why. A crisp, white couch acts as the perfect backdrop for a VIP event and is super fresh and chic.
But it’s also a lot harder to hide damages or stains on a white surface, even one as tough as leather.
Leather has been used for a multitude of materials over the years (the Egyptians and Romans used it for clothing and weaponry). Favoured for its durability and loved for its luxe qualities, it’s not as absorbent as fabric, but that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. Like any other furnishings, they need to be properly and consistently cared for in order to extend their shelf life.
How Leather Couches Can be Damaged
Think about it this way: leather reacts the same way as your skin. It reacts negatively to drastic changes in temperature, so it’s important to keep an eye on the room temperature and also to avoid these following things:
Direct Sunlight, Heat, or Humidity
Exposure to direct sunlight or common heat sources like fireplaces and furnaces can have a major effect on the look and feel of your leather couch. While it’s a durable and versatile fabric, it is capable of cracking, fading, and peeling (much like dry skin!).
Excess Water or Moisture
It’s impossible to avoid accidental spills if you’re hosting a special gathering or if you have a few rug rats running around. However, it’s important to remember that if you ever spill anything onto your white leather couch use only a bit of water and use it right away. But if you accidentally use too much water, just blot it with a cloth and then let it air dry. Trying to speed up the drying process with a blow dryer or other heating source will only make it worst since you’re changing the chemical structure of the material. The result will be cracked, or worse, peeling leather that is starting to stretch and lose its original shape.
If we go along with the skin analogy, then it only makes sense that dry air can also have a poor affect on your leather sofas. Just like how dry weather can cause dry or cracked skin, poor ventilation can also cause your smooth and pliable leather to become brittle and start to peel. To prevent cracking and keep your furniture supple, use petroleum jelly as a moisturizer.
How to Care for Leather Sofas
Although leather is a resilient fabric, it should be treated gently during the cleaning process.
If you’ve just bought a couch and are unsure of how to care for it, always start off by using the gentlest cleaning methods first. This way you can avoid using something that’s too acidic or harsh that may cause irreparable damage.
On a regular basis you should vacuum and clean your leather couch using either a damp cleaning cloth or a gentle disposable wipe like Pond’s Towelettes to keep it looking brand new. Disposable wipes are great, because that way you can avoid using too much water during the cleaning process and ruining your couch. Remember to never scrub away (even at stains), but to only wipe gently. Scrubbing can wrinkle the fabric and cause it to sag.
Using Leather Conditioners
While you should be cleaning your leather couch on a weekly basis, use leather conditioners sparingly. They are effective at maintaining the look and feel of your sofa, but using too much can also have a negative effect. They should typically be used every 6-12 months since most formulas are very potent.
However there are other gentler formulas out there like Leather Honey which is a non-toxic and water repellant solution, or ELON Leathercare, an all-natural cleaning agent that contains no alcohol, ammonia or abrasives.
Having a product which is water repellant is beneficial since–although it won’t make your leather couch “water proof”–it will help minimize any water damage that might occur in the future by acting as a protective seal over the surface of your sofa.
It’s also good to work with a solution that only has a minimal amount of ammonia (or better yet, none at all). This is important because harsh ingredients like ammonia can potentially bleach leather or cause severe discolouration. Products with a neutral pH make it easier on you since you don’t want to deal with harsh chemicals and damage your own skin in the process!
The alternative is to make your own leather conditioning formula with some water, ammonia, and vinegar. This way you have full control over the ingredients that go into the solution and can see if your couch benefits from gentle or stronger mixture.
Prevent Mold & Mildew Growth
These are some steps you can follow for regular maintenance and as a way to prevent stains, but what if your couches are damaged by mold and mildew?
Mildew and mold are caused by excess moisture and humidity, so as a preventive measure you can invest in a dehumidifier, which will help you accurately track and regulate the room temperature. Also, try not to use plastic covers! They might help with preventing spills on your new white couch, but they will also increase the chances of mildew growth and the presence of mold since there’s no ventilation action happening. However, if your sofa has already been contaminated with mildew, you can use a gentle soap like Murphy’s Oil Soap or make your own solution of water, vinegar, and apple cider to kill unwanted bacteria.
Now that we’ve covered what can potentially damage your white leather sofas (heat, moisture, dry air, etc.) and how to care and prevent damage and stains in the future, here’s one last tip for extending the use of your leather sofa, which is ridiculously easy and won’t cost you any money at all: ask your seller how to maintain and care for your sofa. A lot of the time, how you care for your leather varies with its place of origin, so it’s good to ask questions right away so you know if you are taking the right measures, and doing all that you can to make this luxurious investment a worthwhile and long lasting one.
A white leather sofa might be just what you need to elevate your home or office’s appearance and give it a more sophisticated feel. So check out our fine selection of high-quality, genuine leather sofas.