How to Fix Slippery Leather Furniture

By Dan Antony

In 1921, the American Technical Society recommended correcting slippery leather by "washing it first with gasoline and then with water." No right-minded person would follow such a recommendation today, but the Society was on the right track. Slippery leather has a coating--heavy in carnauba wax or beeswax--which makes it too slick to be comfortable for the sitter. Although gasoline will certainly clear away that coating, there are safer, modern-day alternatives to achieve the same result.

A leather couch
credit: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Step 1

Mix a solution of three parts rubbing alcohol to one part water.

Step 2

Rub the solution gently over the surface of the leather, using a wet, lint-free cloth. Do not rub vigorously, or you may remove the surface color.

Step 3

Allow the leather to dry completely for two to four hours.

Step 4

Treat and soften the leather with a top-quality conditioner. If the leather is slippery because it is stiff, a conditioner will loosen the stiffness.

Step 5

Test the furniture. It should have far more "grab" to it because you have exposed the grain and conditioned the leather.