Leather Furniture Repair: The Most Common Damages to Leather Furniture

Leather Furniture Repair: The Most Common Damages to Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is often a staple piece of the home. It is expensive, comfortable, durable, and exudes high quality. While it may be one of the most durable forms of covering to adorn a piece of furniture with, it is not invincible. Leather furniture has its own Achilles’ heel — quite a few actually. If you’re looking to buy a piece of leather furniture, it’s important to take some time to learn what some of the most common causes of damage are that can ultimately lead to the need for leather furniture repair.

Heat Sources 

Anyone with a sunroom will attest to this statement: sunlight fades furniture, but when it comes to leather furniture, not only will it fade and discolor the leather, the heat of the sun can actually dry leather out. Think of it this way: what happens when you get sunburned? Your skin cracks and, ultimately, peels. The same happens with a leather couch. Too much heat can cause the leather finish to crack and eventually pull away from the rest of the piece of furniture.

Sunlight isn’t the only heat source that can negatively affect a piece of leather furniture. If a leather item is placed too close to a heat vent, radiator or space heater, the direct heat will affect the leather in the same way as the sunlight. Thus, when placing furniture in a room, take into consideration how the sunlight will hit the furniture and the proximity of that piece to any localized heat sources. We get it; it’s nice to have a space heater next to you in the winter, but will you have that same warm comfort when you’re paying for leather furniture repair? We’re guessing not.

Cushions on the couch


Okay, let’s be honest with ourselves; there is nothing quite like relaxing on a Friday night, in front of the television with pizza and wine. The problem is that both of those items pose threats to your leather furniture. Though you might think that water, or liquids will just run off the smooth surface of leather, liquids can actually sink into the leather and ruin it if left too long. The same can be said for any type of food spills, like a greasy pizza. For a greasy spill (or if someone sits on the couch with sunblock on), first directly wipe the area to remove the bulk of the liquid. Then use leather cleaner to clean the spot. Once the area has been cleaned, use a clean cloth to rub the area until it dries.

As long as the spill is small, there is no need for a fan, as it will air dry on its own. If you spill an entire glass of water on the piece of furniture, bring out the fan or blow dryer and let it work its magic. Whatever you do, treat the stain immediately — don’t walk away from it!


While it may seem obvious to not let your child draw on the leather furniture with markers or pens, accidents happen. Think about all of the times you have chosen to read a book, magazine or newspaper on the couch. Do you see where we are going? While it might be an innocent act to lay an ink-filled piece of paper on a couch or other piece of leather furniture, you run the risk of accidentally transferring ink onto it. When it comes to combining leather and ink, play it safe and always lay your reading item on the coffee table.


Incorrect Cleaning Products 

Be careful with the types of cleaning products you use on your leather furniture. Certain detergents, soaps and sprays may sound innocent, but they can destroy your furniture in the same way sunlight can. Since leather has its own oils, cleaning products that are not specifically made for leather, or approved by the manufacturer, can lift those oils out of the leather, causing cracks and breaks in the leather. Usually, all that’s needed to clean leather is a dry cloth or some lukewarm water and a towel. Ultimately, if you’re unsure how to approach cleaning your leather product, contact a leather-cleaning expert to guide you in the process.

Improper Care 

While we’re on the topic of proper care, along with using the wrong cleaning products, actually neglecting to clean leather furniture can damage it. Built-up body oil and perspiration can soak into leather and breakdown the fibers. It can also aid its discoloration.

Specifically for couches, since leather naturally softens the more it is used, a “favorite” spot on the couch will wear down faster than others, creating that saggy look we all try to avoid. To prevent this, rotate your cushions on a weekly basis. This will evenly distribute the usage across all cushions, giving your couch a uniform look that will last even longer than you’d hoped!

Finally, every few months or so, take the time to fully clean your leather furniture with a leather kit. Not only will these specially made leather products clean your furniture and remove any oils, dirt and dust on the furniture, but the leather protectant will help protect your couch – retain its oils, and act as the first line of defense against any accidental spills that happen along the way.

By learning the most common reasons leather furniture repair is needed, hopefully you will be better equipped to not only tackle, but prevent, any further damage to a new or beloved piece of leather furniture.

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