How to Clean Pleather Upholstery

Pleather, also known as faux leather, is a durable material meant to look like leather. While it is designed to resist spills and won't absorb liquids like woven fabrics, pleather furniture still requires cleaning. A thorough dusting, vacuuming and wipe-down every week or two ensures it stays looking its best. More thorough cleaning methods may be used when spills or stains occur.

Step 1

Dust all exposed surfaces of the furniture with a feather duster or soft dust cloth. Remove the cushions, if possible, and vacuum the exposed area. Use a crevice tool to get between non-removable cushions and in areas difficult to clean with the duster.

Step 2

Pour a few inches of warm water in a bucket and add a squirt of mild dish soap, swishing it around with your hand. Dip a soft white cloth into the liquid, wringing out most of the water, and wipe down the faux leather for a basic cleaning. Wipe it down again with a damp cloth, then dry it off immediately with another soft white cloth. Using white cloths ensures no dyes transfer onto the pleather.

Step 3

Dip a toothbrush into the soapy water solution to treat areas that are extra dirty, such as an area where sticky food or drink spilled. Wipe the area afterwards with a damp white cloth, then dry the faux leather.

Step 4

Remove stubborn buildup with a vinyl upholstery cleaner, available from an automotive or furniture store. Pour some of the cleaner onto a soft white cloth or directly onto the problem area, as directed on the package instructions. Rub the solution over the affected area with the soft white cloth; then follow up with a damp white cloth. Dry with another white cloth.

Things You Will Need

  • Feather duster or soft dust cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery brush attachment and crevice tool
  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Soft white cloths
  • Vinyl upholstery cleaner

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.

Photo Credits

  • Jeanne Studio/Demand Media
  • Jeanne Studio/Demand Media
  • Jeanne Studio/Demand Media
  • Jeanne Studio/Demand Media
  • Jeanne Studio/Demand Media