Oh, my! What a beautiful picture of a...mountain?

Oh, my! What a beautiful picture of a…mountain?

Leather furniture is a beautiful addition to any home. It adds a comfortable, yet stylish appeal and is pretty easy to maintain. But no matter how durable or high-end that couch, your kids will find a way to leave their mark. But where there’s a will, there’s a way! Below are some great tips on removing kids messes from your leather furniture. One tip that applies to each mess, though, is the sooner the better. The longer the mess sits on there, the more difficult it will be to remove.

1. Crayon

Sometimes kids will draw their impressive smiley faces on your couch, and sometimes if a crayon is left on there and the sunlight hits it just right for long enough it will melt on there. To remove, try Fuller’s Earth. It is typically a beauty product for oily/acnaic skin, but is great at drawing crayon off of leather. Gently scrape off as much as you can with a dull butterknife, being very careful not to damage the leather. Mix 1 part water to 2 parts Fuller’s, apply to the area. Once it’s dry, simply brush off with a hard-bristled brush. Repeat if necessary, and finish off with leather polish. For more information and an alternative method using a clothes iron, check out E-How’s How-To.

2. Marker

If you are brave enough to give a child a marker, chances are it’s going to show up everywhere. Some will tell you to┬átry acetone, but I would recommend against it, as it will likely remove some of the leather’s color. Try using sunscreen! Yes, you heard that correctly. Get an alcohol-based spray sunscreen and spray a little bit at a time, wiping clean with a damp cloth. That should do the trick, but you should test first on an area of the couch that’s out of sight to make sure it won’t damage the leather, which is always a possibility with older furniture.

3. Stickers

Stickers that were just put on your couch will more than likely come off very easily with no extra help, but if it’s been on there for a while it could leave that sticky residue that will attract every piece of dust in its vicinity. To remove, all you need is a hair dryer. On the low heat setting, blow dry the sticker and peel off with your fingernail, alternating between the dryer and peeling until it is removed completely. Use a small amount of mild dish soap on a damp cloth to remove any leftover residue. Treat the area with a leather conditioner to prevent future damage.

4. Food Stains

When food is spilled on your leather furniture, it will easily wipe off with a damp cloth. That is, if you get to it right away. But say your little one spilled something on an area that has been covered by a throw pillow, and isn’t discovered until some time later. If it’s a grease stain, letting talcum powder sit on it for several hours will usually do the trick. If it’s a sauce stain, such as tomato, a little bit of mild dish soap on a clean, damp cloth should remove it. And of course, once the stain is gone, finish with a leather conditioner to avoid any drying, which could result in cracks or faded color.