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How to Clean and Care for Leather Dining Room Chairs

Leather has come of age in the realm of dining chairs, and whether you are furnishing your own home or an up-market restaurant, leather is certainly a material to seriously consider. Not only do leather dining room chairs look stylish and attractive, they are also considerably easier to clean and care for than many other chairs used for the same function. And they last longer than those upholstered with fabric.

So let’s assume you have decided to go the leather route, here are some really useful tips that will teach you how to protect, condition, clean and care for leather dining room chairs with minimum effort.

Top Tips to Help you Keep your Leather Dining Chairs Top Class

  1. Maintenance is key. If you keep your chairs spotlessly clean, they will always look good and be sure to last longer. Dust and vacuum them regularly and don’t allow any sort of muck and dirt to accumulate in crevices and corners. Over time any sort of dirt will wear away at, and ultimately damage the leather.
  2. Regularly condition your leather dining chairs to prevent the leather from cracking, but be sure that the treatment you use is suitable for the type and color leather used for your chairs.
  3. When somebody spills something on your leather chairs (and it will happen), clean it immediately, but avoid flushing it with water because this encourages cracking. If you act fast, a damp cloth or sponge should do the trick. Staining may call for some professional assistance.
  4. Even if your gorgeous leather dining room chairs haven’t been the victim of spillages, be sure to clean them regularly. Saddle soap, which is manufactured specifically for cleaning leather saddles, is particularly good product to use. It is simple to use, and cleans and conditions at the same time. It is also remarkably inexpensive.
  5. If you are flummoxed about dirt and stains, don’t fiddle and experiment; rather take your chair to a professional. It might cost you more to sort out initially, but you will save your investment long term.

Some Cool Conditioning Tricks for Your Leather Chairs

Many people who buy leather furniture for the first time are overly concerned about the possibility that the leather will crack over time. Well of course it can, but wood can also crack, and materials like vinyl (which is basically fake leather), and other less hardy upholstery fabrics, all tear reasonably easily. Even if they don’t tear, they don’t wear particularly well when compared to good quality leather, and most are considerably more difficult to clean than leather when food, wine and other substances are spilled on them.

The really brilliant thing about leather is that you can take steps to condition it and make it more hardwearing over time. Often this process will also improve the look of the leather, though you must be careful not to inadvertently change its color, which is what would happen if you were to apply something like castor oil to a light-colored leather surface.

The good news is that there are loads of quality leather-conditioning products on the market. Just be sure to check out the product you are interested in, and be aware of what it promises.

When it comes to doing the cleaning or maintenance work, first and foremost you need to be sure that your leather is totally clean before you try and condition it. You should also be aware of the fact that as it gets older, leather WILL become more susceptible to various types of damage, including UV exposure, oil and ordinary old dirt and dust.

Also, before you decide which specific products to use to condition your leather, check what these are made from. Lots of products leave a residue on the surface of leather, so it is often best to choose a water-based product that has a balanced pH. This will be a lot easier to clean later on down the line, if it becomes necessary.

Conditioning Products and Recipes

Anybody who has owned leather furniture for any length of time will be able to give you really good advice on how to clean and care for your leather dining room chairs. But you need to be sure for yourself, and you need to try products and recipes.

A traditional way to care for any leather is to use dubbin, which is a product that has been produced for centuries. A number of companies produce dubbin, and all you do is to apply it to the leather and run it in so that it penetrates the material. Then you basically wait until it dries… and then you polish. But dubbin, as opposed to ordinary polish, penetrates the leather and feeds it. So remember this benefit when deciding which conditioning product to choose.

At the other end of the scale, one of the cheapest, most effective conditioning materials that you can use for leather of all colors is good-old petroleum jelly. You can see that it is colorless, which is why it doesn’t affect the intensity of the original hue. All you have to do is apply the jelly all over and then wipe it off and polish firmly – providing of course the leather is already clean. If it’s a bit grubby, the dust and dirt could affect the color finish; so clean thoroughly first. It can cause a build-up tough, and it won’t feed the leather.

You could also treat the leather with a linseed oil and vinegar mix which will feed the leather which petroleum jelly (or Vaseline) can’t do. A really simple recipe that you could use to clean and condition your leather dining room chairs involves mixing about two fluid ounces of warm water with about a tablespoon and a bit of vinegar and a splash of household ammonia. Apply this all over the leather upholstery and then let it dry a bit. Then take a rag with some castor oil on it and apply the oil over your homemade mix. Leave for a while and then rub off and polish. It’s cheap, easy and remarkably effective.

At the end of the day, if you buy a good quality dining room chair that is made from leather, provided you keep it clean and care for it over time, you will have an investment. If you don’t bother to care for it, you are going to risk wasting your money, although leather will survive the tests of time, even without much human help!

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