If you have a leather sofa that you need to store for a short period of time, then you probably want to be sure that the couch is still in good shape when you remove it from the storage facility. This means that you need to take care when storing the couch to make sure that it does not become susceptible to damage. However, there are a few storage preparation mistakes that you may make as you get the couch ready. Keep reading to learn about these mistakes so they can be avoided.
Mistake - Improper Cleaning Of The Couch
You can and should clean your couch before placing it a storage facility. This helps to remove the dust and oils from the surface of the leather. Dust can be abrasive and cause the leather to become scratched, and oils can seep into the leather and cause staining. You will need to purchase the right cleaner, because certain cleaning agents can damage the leather as it sits in storage. For example, an alkaline cleaner like saddle soap will seal in dirt and debris and cause dark spots to develop on your couch. The basic cleaner will also react chemically with the leather, since the animal hide is slightly acidic, with a pH level between 4.5 and 5.0. This type of reaction will cause the leather to dry out and crack while in storage.
The best cleaner for leather is one that is acidic like the leather. Vinegar will work well, since it has a pH value of about 2.2, and you can make it slightly more basic by adding some water and baking soda to it. Purchase a squirt bottle and fill it with one cup of vinegar and one cup of water. Add about one teaspoon of baking soda to the bottle and then shake it. Spritz the couch lightly and use a microfiber cloth to buff the surface of the leather. This type of cloth will not leave lint behind like a cotton one might.
Afterwards, you should condition the leather, but only if you have not conditioned your couch for several months. If you over-condition the leather, the oils from the leather conditioning lotion will seep deep into the hide and mix with the natural oils in the leather. All of this oil will moisturize the leather to the point that its texture becomes mushy. The surface of the couch may become sticky as well. It then may be able to collect dust and stretch out. If you do decide to add conditioner, place about a pea-sized amount on a microfiber cloth and buff it into the surface of your couch. Add another pea-sized glob as needed.
Mistake - Covering The Couch With Plastic
Dust can stick to the surface of your leather couch if it's left in storage for a long period of time, so you may think that placing a plastic tarp over the leather is a good idea. However, a plastic cover will seal the couch, and the leather will not be exposed to any air flow. If air cannot circulate around the leather, the surface may start to develop a layer of mold if there is any water on the surface of the couch. Water may start to collect if humid air is trapped underneath the plastic covering. To avoid this issue, cover the couch with a cotton blanket or sheet.
When you do have the couch covered, you want to make sure that the air in the storage space does not retain a great deal of water. Mold is less likely to form on the couch if a breathable covering is secured. However, mold may build in other areas of the storage space, and the mildew smell may transfer to the leather.
Purchase a desiccant dehumidifer for the space. Make sure to inspect the desiccant often so it can be replaced once it has absorbed a great deal of water.
For more information on how to prepare your furniture for storage, contact a furniture storage facility like Allen's Transfer.