Sofa hacks: clean your leather, fabric, and wood seats the right way!

Chinese New Year is coming, and that means prepping your house to look spanking new! But, don’t throw out the sofa just yet. All it needs is a good clean-up. 

(image: King Living)


  • Dust your leather furniture to ensure dirt and grit are removed as these can scratch the surface of leather.
  • Leather sofas should be gently vacuumed, damp-wiped, and cleaned with leather conditioner.
  • Avoid using household cleaners, wax, or shoe cleaners – there are tailored products specifically developed for leather care, such as sofa brand King Living’s King-Care range. Always pre-test the leather cleaner and conditioner on a small concealed area to ensure product is right.
  • No cleaners at hand? Remove unsightly water stains by dabbing the area with a well-wrung new sponge moistened with room-temperature water. Treating it with saddle soup once leather its dry will make the leather supple.
  • Similar to fabric furniture, keep it away from any source of heating as it dries out and damages leather.


  • Vacuum it, and use the soft brush attachment on low suction. Too much force may lift the colour out of the fabric. As per King Living's advice you should focus on “high traffic areas” such as the leg, arm, and back areas where perspiration and body oils often accumulate.
  • Gently blot – don’t rub or scrub – spills immediately with a clean towel or paper towel. The quicker you act, the less likely the stain sets into the fabric.
  • In general, position your fabric furniture out of direct sunlight as harsh sun exposure may cause it to fade and fray. Can’t move it? Use curtains or blinds to keep UV rays away.


  • If small bumps are appearing on your table surface as a result of moisture, it might be that your furniture has a veneer surface. “If it is a veneer top, it means that water has seeped beneath the top layer and caused it to distort,” says Terence Teh, marketing manager at furniture retailer Journey East.  Try fixing small bubbles or blisters by placing a damp cloth over them and going over the spot with a hot iron. This might reactivate the glue which no longer bonds the veneer to its base.
  • Have scuff-marks? Walnuts and Brazil nuts work well with light-coloured furniture. Use the nut like a crayon: just rub the scuff with it, and you’ll find the mark vanishing.
  • To get rid of water and wine stains, make a paste with equal parts baking soda and white, non-gel toothpaste. Dip a damp cloth into the paste and scrub the table in a circular motion. It might take a long time to clear, but keep at it. 
  • For stubborn oil and grease stains, rub lemon juice on the stain with a soft toothbrush. Alternatively, use a lighter fluid or white vinegar.