How to Clean a White Leather Couch

It takes a brave soul to own a white leather couch: White is the perfect backdrop for dust, dirt, fingerprint smudges, pollen and pet hair. Expect to notch up leather cleaning if you have children in the home -- unless you never let them get near the couch. While you can buy expensive leather cleaners, you can also make your own cleaner from ingredients easily obtained or already in your home.

Remove Loose Dust

Before you begin your cleaning regimen, first remove the loose dust and debris from the couch. Dampen a soft, lint-free cloth with water, and wipe down the couch. You don't want to soak the cloth; the idea is to have just enough moisture on the cloth to pick up dust and loose dirt. Don't worry about scrubbing; just dust off the couch with the dampened cloth.

Combine the Ingredients

Make up a batch to last for a while. Store the ingredients in a gallon jug away from direct sunlight, as sunlight can degrade the oil. Before use, shake the spray bottle if the ingredients separate. This solution not only cleans, but conditions the leather as well. It works for white, beige, taupe, off-white and tan leathers. Do not use this method on suede leather.

Step 1 Fill the Jug

Fill the jug with a 1/2 gallon of water. Insert the funnel into the jug and add the linseed oil and Castile soap. Add the grapefruit seed -- or citrus oil -- to the jug. For a fresh-smelling concoction, include 40 to 60 drops of rosemary or lavender essential oil.

Step 2 Shake It Up

Put the lid on the jug and shake it to thoroughly to mix the ingredients. Don't shake the jug too vigorously, as you don't want the Castile soap to foam.

Step 3 Fill Quart Bottle

Place the funnel in the quart bottle and fill it with the mixed ingredients. Place the lid on the gallon container and store it in a cupboard away from the sunlight.

Step 4 Spray the Couch

Work in small 2-by-2-foot sections as you spray and wipe the couch clean with a soft cloth. Use another cloth to buff the area previously cleaned. Repeat for the entire couch.

Stain Removal

After removing stains, the leather might have a dull and dry appearance; condition it with the homemade cleaning and conditioning solution or use a store-bought leather conditioner to protect the leather.

To remove ink stains from white leather, spritz the area with hair spray without causing it to run. Let the hairspray set for 2 minutes, and then rub the stained area in a circular motion with a warm-water moistened lint-free cloth. Repeat as necessary to remove the stain without rubbing the leather too hard; you don't want to damage the surface. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.

Create a vinegar-and-water cleaning solution by adding 1 part white distilled vinegar -- not apple cider vinegar -- to 10 parts of water. The cleaning ingredient in vinegar is acetic acid, so you don't want to leave it on the leather after cleaning. Spritz the stain and let the vinegar sit for a minute before rubbing the stain in a circular motion with a cloth dampened with warm water. Buff and shine dry using a clean cloth.