Spring is here! It’s about time too. For the next several months we live with our windows open and fresh air blowing through the house. It’s one of my favorite things about living here on the water.
Along with the fresh air comes lots and lots of natural light flooding into the house. It’s wonderful! All that wonderful bright light made it easier to see where my spring cleaning needed to start. yup, the white leather sofa.
I’m sharing how to clean white leather furniture, quickly and easily using home products that won’t break the bank.
For more cleaning tips read a list of my best house cleaning hacks.
Here’s that part where I show our dirty sofa..aw yuck! No, we don’t have little ones anymore which is why I thought I could finally have a white sofa! Clearly three aging furball pets can do just as much dirt damage!
Here’s how to clean white leather furniture without too much effort along with a list of the supplies you’ll need to get ready.
- bowl of warm water
- tablespoon Oxiclean or equivalent
- 1/2 teaspoon of Dawn dish detergent
- Magic Eraser or off brand
- clean cotton rags
- leather conditioner
Mix the Oxiclean, Dawn and water together. Using a clean rag, soak it in the cleaning mixture and wipe the leather gently. A toothbrush worked great in tight areas and on the stitching in heavier spotted areas.
On big areas like my cushions and armrests I used the Magic Eraser. Keeping the sponge almost drippy wet, lightly and gently wipe the surface. I followed up immediately behind with a water only damp clean cloth.
The key with the sponge is gentle and a very light touch. These sponges clean everything, we even use them on the deck of our boats ,so I didn’t want them to take the top finish off my leather by pressing too hard.
The entire sofa took maybe 30 minutes to thoroughly wipe down. Leather needs to be moisturized with a good conditioner to maintain it and keep it soft.
I followed up with a coat of a good leather protector and conditioner as soon as I finished cleaning my sofa.
I read several home recipes that called for olive oil and vinegar, to clean and condition leather, but I just couldn’t see putting olive oil on my white leather sofa.
Besides, a bottle of leather conditioner costs less than a bottle of good olive oil. I think I’ll keep my oil & vinegar on my salads..thank you very much!
My sofa looks brand new again.
I’ve waited years to have a white sofa and I want it to last. It’s good to know I can clean this baby in less than an hour which makes owning a white leather sofa a lot less intimidating!
Don’t forget to pin to Pinterest!
Now that I’ve shared how to clean white leather furniture and my own sofa is nice, bright and clean, I might have to start thinking about making some new pillows and adding in new color for the season. What do you think?
Get more house cleaning tips and my free checklist in my post The Best House Cleaning Checklist and Cleaning Hacks.
Do you have favorite leather conditioner you love? Do share with the rest of us if so!
Hello Wendi. The post is really old and I am really hoping to get a response. By oxyclean, do you mean a general fabric whitener gel? I tried looking up here in Singapore and there are many ocyclean products. I really don’t want to damage the sofa so asking.
Thank you so much!
Wendi Wachtel says
I used the regular Oxiclean power in hot water. Ypu could try the gel and see how it does. Just be sure to do a test on a small spot that doesn’t show first!
Tiffany Dawn says
Thank you for sharing this! I used your formula except I used Biz instead of Oxiclean and it worked wonderfully. My white leather sectional sofa looks the best it has since I bought it 10 years ago. I tried cleaning it before with just Dawn, water, and Magic Erasers without much success, and I started thinking about replacing it. But now there’s no need to. Again, thank you!
Thank you so much for your note! I’m thrilled my cleaning tip worked for you! We love our white sofa but I had to find a way to keep it clean. So glad it worked well for you too!
Omg my sofa looks like new took a couple of hours it was really grubby so very pleasd cannot believe it thank you
Hi Val and thank you so very much! I’m glad it worked for you. The funny thing is , it’s been a while since I’ve cleaned mine. It’s ready for a scrub down again too! I’m glad this worked well for you & thanks so much for your note and visit!
Donanne (DBiz) says
Thank you for the cleaning tips. I also have a Natuzzi white leather sofa and love seat. I’ve had them several years. Besides the needed cleaning, mine have scratched spots where my senior dogs (now only 1) scratched them. No longer being able to jump jump to get on the sofa as they always had, they would scratch when trying. Do you have any suggestions for covering or repairing the scratched leather?
Hi Donna and you’re welcome! Glad you found my blog and the tips are useful 🙂 I know exactly what you mean about the scratches we have a few from our now 18 yr old cat too. Unfortunately, I don’t have a remedy for scratches. Maybe try contacting Natuzzi with your question, I’m sure they’ve had other request like that before. Good luck and thank you for your visit!
Hi I just want to know that it will be ok with the faux leather also. Thx
That’s a really good question. I’d recommend trying a test spot on in an area that isn’t visible like the back first. I would think so but it’s best to try a test spot. Good luck and thanks for your note and question!
Do you know if this will also work on bonded leather (white)? Someone sat on my sofa and the dye from their pants got on my sofa. Any recommendations would be much appreciated.
Hi Britt… I’m just now seeing your note, sorry for the late response! Oh my gosh, I feel your pain on that! We had the same thing happen, in fact, it might have been my jeans, or my daughters. Unfortunately I never got the blue stains out. We were lucky they were small and I think they faded over time. I’d call the manufacturer and ask what to do. Otherwise maybe try white leather dye to spot treat the area. The problem with that is whites can be different. I suppose you’d have to make that judgement call. If you find a solution, please leave a comment back! I’m sure others have had the same thing happen. Good luck!
Thank you for your great post! I have a doubt, when you say a bowl of warm water, how manny liters we are talking about?
Hi Ytali! It depends on how big of an item you are cleaning. Just a bowl like a big salad bowl or maybe a gallon of water in a bucket. I’m not sure of the gallon to liter conversion, sorry. Hope that helps!
I bought my white leather office chair only a few months ago and it was starting to look super dingy. I was bummed and thought there was no way to clean it. I just so happened to have a box of Mr Clean sponges and viola! I have a clean office chair now!! Thanks for sharing as we’re getting a new sectional and I am not so scared to death of it getting dirty.
Hi KW! I’m so glad my leather cleaning tip worked well for you. We love our white sofa but it gets dingy quickly. Enjoy your new sectional sofa! I think leather is such a good choice for sofas and chairs.
I wish I could post a picture. This worked beautifully on our sectional! Thank you for sharing!
Hi Jesse! That’s great. Having a light colored sofa looks fabulous in a room the big downside is keeping it clean. I’m happy it worked for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop back and share your success!
What type of Oxyclean did you use? Was it a powder?
Hi Mary, I used the powder and mixed it with hot water but that’s just because it’s what I had. I recently used the spray fabric one on another chair diluted and it worked really well also. Good luck!
I just discovered by accident that magic erasers could be used on a white leather couch I got second-hand. Worked like a charm and the couch looks fantastic now. I scrubbed the entire thing and heaps of dirt came off (gross). Then I conditioned it with a pricey leather conditioner I had lying around. Great post!
Hi Maia, That’s awesome! It’s funny how leather can hold so much dirt isn’t it? I was grossed out when I cleaned ours too. Yay for you, scoring a good deal & making it bright & clean! Thank so much for your visit & taking the time to leave a comment:)
Tracy Bates says
I always was considering that is very hard and difficult to maintain white leather furniture. However, I am glad to find out that there is way to be cleaned too plus is pretty efficient. Thanks for sharing with us, I guess your cleaning way helped many people who own white leather furniture!
Hi Tracy & thank you. We love our white leather but it’s not so pretty when it’s not bright & clean:)
I’m going to need to know about those ikat pillows or the fabric.
Hi there, I made the pillows and the fabric was from JoAnn’s fabric. So glad you liked them and thanks for your visit!
Thanks your post brought new life to my sofa
You’re welcome! White sofas look fabulous as long as they are white! So glad my tips worked for you in keeping yours fresh and white too.
Laura Champieux says
Hi! I just love your sofa. I have an ivory sofa but it not real leather. I am looking for the exact sofa you have. Can you tell me where your purchased it. I too can’t have a sectional or L-shaped in my living room and would absolutely love to find this sofa. All the ones I’m finding are over 90″…Thanks for the tips I will use them on my white leather chair for sure.
Hi Laura. Thanks so much. You can find this sofa at any furniture store that carries the Natuzzi line. You can choose the sizes of each piece to make a custom sectional. Good luck! We love ours:)
hello! Thanks for the great tutorial! You have a great couch, I just love it!! What’s the brand and model, if you don’t mind sharing..
Thanks Elise, so glad these tips were helpful for you:) My couch is a Natuzzi, it was an investment but, I love the quality. It’s part of a sectional collection except I only ordered the couch. Thanks so much for your visit!
Hi Wendi, what a strange coincidence, that I am looking for a way to clean my white couch, and it happens I have the L-shaped version of the same couch that you have. My problem is that the leather has yellowed in places, especially on the most used seats. Because we are in Naples, Fl I suspect that sweat or sunscreen (or both) are causing the stains. I wonder if you had this problem with your leather couch, and if your cleaner recipe is able to bring the leather back to its original colour? Thanks for your help.
Danielle.. how funny! I loved this couch and we were looking at the L shape too, it was too big for my litte living area so my compromise was choosing the small sofa version. I’d bet sunscreen is the cause of the stains and I’m not sure if this would get it out. I’d try it out in a little place out of the way first and see. I hope it works for you, it’s such a beautiful sofa! Good luck:)
Where are these beautiful couches from?
Oops, I see the answer right below:)
Hi Brittney… I do that all the time too. Thanks so much for your visit & please let me know if you have any questions!
Hi… I think you found the answer, but the are Natuzzi. I love the brand and they can be found in several quality furniture stores:)
Tatam Davidson says
Hi there! Hoping to use your method on my off white/light cream corner mine. But I’m Australian so what is Oxiclean hun?! I’m thinking like a nappy soaker or similar with oxygen power?? So just to summarize, u use the magic eraser sponge with the liquid concoction soaked on it, to wipe over gently, then follow straight up with a water cloth to remove product quickly? I’ve spayed Spray and Wipe (all purpose kitchen cleaner spray) on it before and the drips showed immediately!! Epic fail! Not ready to buy a new lounge. 3 ur olds and fabric couches do not mix! Even if I should have brought a darker color lounge 😉 Thanks kindly. T
Hi Tatam…We’ve been traveling in n area without Internet access for the past few days and I’m just now catching up on my comments. Yes, I believe an oxygen cleaner would do the trick. The stuff is amazing! On a fabric couch you could probably scrub more but on leather I think the gentle method I mentioned would do it. Good luck!
Tatam Davidson says
Appreciate ur reply 🙂 now I just need to find the time to do it!
It’s napisan, or any cheaper equivalent – I use the ALDI brand. And Dawn dishwashing liquid, for when you see it on US websites, is “fairy” brand over here.
Hi Caroline, Thanks so much for sharing your info! We love ALDI too. I’ll look for that line next time I’m in the store. Have a great day!
I really like your sofa and it looks great after cleaning! Thanks for sharing your cleaning tips.
Hi Ashley! Thank you 🙂 I love my white sofa and, even more after the cleaning it had! Thank you for your visit!
[email protected] Interior Frugalista says
I really like the pillows you have on your sofa Wendi, nice hits of color. I quite like the style of your leather sofa and the white is awesome! You reminded me that I need to pick up a bottle of good quality leather condition for our new leather sofa. Any recommendations?
Thanks Marie..I usually keep my big pieces neutral and change the accessories out when the styles change. It’s much easier on the budget! I don’t have a favorite leather conditioner. Silly as it sounds I picked mine up at Home Goods. I remember the salesman stressing the point that regular conditioning will keep the leather in good condition for many years:)