How to Clean a Faux Leather Couch: Step-by-Step Process

Last updated on June 2, 2024

This article provides a comprehensive how-to guide on effectively cleaning your faux leather couch, ensuring it continues to add charm and comfort to your living space.

faux leather couch cleaner

Key takeaways:

  • Regular dusting prevents dirt from scratching the material.
  • Immediate spill cleanup with a soft cloth prevents staining.
  • Harsh chemicals can damage faux leather; use mild soap and water.
  • Apply faux leather conditioner every six months to prevent cracking.
  • Keep faux leather furniture out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Table of Contents

What Is Faux Leather

Faux leather, also known as synthetic leather, offers a look and feel akin to real leather without using animal hide. Created from plastic-based materials like polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), it’s designed to be durable and easy to maintain.

The production of faux leather involves applying a plastic coating to a fabric backing, which is then treated and dyed to mimic various leather grains and textures. This material is popular due to its affordability and ethical appeal for those seeking animal-friendly alternatives.

It’s widely used in furniture, clothing, and accessories, blending aesthetic appeal with functional resilience.

Faux Leather Care Guide

Maintaining faux leather furniture extends its lifespan and keeps it looking its best. To ensure proper care:

1. Regular Dusting: Use a microfiber cloth to gently dust the surface weekly. Doing so prevents dirt from scratching the material.

2. Immediate Spill Cleanup: Blot spills immediately with a soft cloth to prevent the liquid from soaking in and staining.

3. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Cleaners containing bleach or ammonia can damage the faux leather. Stick to mild soap and water or cleaners specifically designed for faux leather.

4. Condition Regularly: Apply a faux leather conditioner every six months to keep the material supple and prevent it from cracking.

5. Keep Out of Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause the color to fade and the material to degrade. Position your furniture out of direct light when possible.

6. Avoid Sharp Objects: Faux leather can be punctured or torn by sharp edges or pet claws, so be mindful of what comes into contact with the surface.

By following these simple care instructions, you can help ensure your faux leather couch remains a durable and attractive centerpiece in your living space.

Things to Consider When Maintaining Faux Leather

Taking care of faux leather involves more than just routine cleaning; it’s about preserving its aesthetic appeal and durability through mindful practices. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Direct Sunlight and Heat: Just like natural leather, faux leather is susceptible to damage from prolonged exposure to sunlight and heat sources. This can lead to fading and even cracking. Position your couch away from windows or shield it with curtains to protect it.
  • Sharp Objects: Faux leather can be punctured or torn by sharp objects. This means being cautious with items like buckles, pet claws, and pens, as well as when using vacuum cleaner attachments during cleaning.
  • Weight Distribution: Continuous pressure in the same spots can cause unsightly stretching or sagging. Rotate couch cushions and change sitting positions often to distribute wear evenly.
  • Moisture Levels: While it’s easier to handle liquid spills on faux leather than on actual leather, it’s important not to let moisture sit for too long. Wipe up spills promptly, and avoid over-wetting the material during cleaning to prevent water stains and potential inner material damage.
  • Cleaning Agents: Opt for mild, non-abrasive cleaners specifically designed for faux leather or a simple soap and water solution. Harsh chemicals can strip the material of its finish and degrade the surface over time. Always test any cleaner in an inconspicuous spot first.

By keeping these factors in mind, you’ll help ensure your faux leather couch remains in top condition for years to come.

How to Clean Faux Leather Furniture

Regular cleaning of faux leather furniture is key to maintaining its appearance and longevity.

Start by dusting the surface with a soft cloth or microfiber duster to remove any loose dirt.

For routine cleaning, use a mixture of warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap.

Dip a soft cloth into the solution, wring it out so it’s damp but not wet, and wipe the faux leather in a circular motion.

After washing with the soapy water, it’s crucial to rinse the cloth with clean water and go over the furniture again to remove any soap residue.

Leaving soap on the faux leather can cause it to deteriorate over time.

To avoid water spots, immediately dry the furniture with a clean, dry cloth or towel after rinsing.

Gentle strokes will suffice; there’s no need to scrub.

For extra protection, apply a conditioner specifically designed for faux leather once every few months.

This will help keep the material supple and prevent cracking.

Always test any cleaner or conditioner on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration or damage.

Remember to avoid harsh chemicals, like bleach or ammonia-based cleaners, as they can damage the synthetic materials.

Similarly, avoid abrasive scrubbers or sponges, which can scratch the surface.

How to Remove Stubborn Set-In Stains

For tougher stains that have set in, patience and the right approach will be crucial. Begin by gently scraping away any excess material from the surface using the blunt edge of a knife or a credit card, ensuring not to damage the leather. After the bulk of the stain has been removed, dab the area with a clean cloth slightly dampened with a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent.

For ink stains, rubbing alcohol can be carefully applied with a cotton swab, working from the outside of the stain toward the center to prevent spreading. Grease stains may be treated by sprinkling baking soda or cornstarch on the area; let it sit for a few hours to absorb the grease, then vacuum it up.

For persistent or tricky stains, a specialized faux leather cleaner is recommended. Apply the cleaner onto a microfiber cloth rather than directly onto the faux leather to avoid oversaturation, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best outcome.

After treating any stain, always finish by wiping the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any cleaning residue, and then dry with a towel. Regular maintenance and prompt treatment of spills will ensure your faux leather couch remains attractive and durable over time.


What cleaner to use on faux leather couch?

For faux leather couches, COLOURLOCK Cleaner for Artificial Leather with Sponge is most appropriate, and for heavy soiling, it is advisable to use the COLOURLOCK Leather Cleaning Brush after letting the product soak for a minute.

What household products can you use to clean leather?

To clean leather, you can utilize diluted mild unscented hand soap or dish soap in water, or saddle soap if available, and use a damp washcloth to gently eliminate stains.

How do you get stains out of faux leather?

To eliminate stains from faux leather, gently scrub the spot with a cloth dabbed in a mild detergent, or for ink stains, blot the area with a soft cloth or cotton swab soaked with isopropyl alcohol.

How do you clean a leather couch at home?

To clean a leather couch at home, stir together two cups of warm water, a tablespoon of natural baby soap, and a splash of vinegar, then gently rub this mixture onto the leather with a microfiber cloth without soaking it, and let the conditioner sit on the furniture.

What steps can be taken to maintain the longevity of a faux leather couch?

To maintain the longevity of a faux leather couch, one should avoid direct sunlight, use a damp cloth for cleaning, avoid harsh cleaning agents, and apply a specialized faux leather conditioner.

Can vinegar be used as a cleaning agent for faux leather couches?

Yes, a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water can be used to clean faux leather couches.

Are there any specific faux leather cleaning products recommended by professionals?

Yes, professionals often recommend specific faux leather cleaning products like Weiman Faux Leather Cleaner and Conditioner.

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