How to Clean Black Furniture

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cotton cloths

  • Vinegar

  • Bucket

  • Warm water

  • Horse-hair brush

  • Leather wipes

  • Armor All


Have a number of clean cotton cloths for drying and replace as they become soiled. Launder later for re-use.

Change the water and vinegar regularly but do not increase dilution strength.


Do not use heavy waxes or harsh general cleaners on black furniture.

Do not use Brillo pads, scouring pads or metal brushes to clean black furniture.

Like dandruff on a black coat, dust on a black surface really shows up. The good news is that there are simple and easy techniques for cleaning your black furniture and keeping it looking new for years to come.


Step 1

Pour about 1 tbsp. vinegar into a bucket with 3 gallons of water. This simple, cleaning agent is the best treatment for your black furniture, excluding leather and suede furniture. It cleans gently and does not streak or leave a residue.

Step 2

Using a soft cotton cloth, dip the cloth into the bucket and wring it out thoroughly so that it is only damp, not dripping. Gently wipe down your furniture 1 piece at a time. Take a soft, clean, dry, cotton cloth and dry the piece you have just wiped down. This prevents streaking and puddling which really shows up on black furniture.


Step 3

For black suede furniture, use a new, clean, dry horsehair or boar-hair brush. You will use this brush on your black suede furniture only. Take the brush and gently brush the furniture with sweeping motions going in the same direction. Brush debris off and into a dust pan and use a vacuum with a brush or furniture attachment to remove what the brush loosened out of the suede's grain. If you do use a vacuum, be sure that the attachment that touches the suede is clean and dry. If you use it for other things, wipe it off first so that you don't bring any new dust to the furniture. Never get suede wet. If it needs to be cleaned any further, have it done by a professional.


Step 4

For finished leather furniture (which usually has a shiny look), use Armor All in the pump spray or those specialty leather care towels available in automotive stores (see link in Resources). These products will clean and restore your black leather furniture and give it a protective sheen. Leather wipes are specifically designed for leather only.

Step 5

To polish black furniture that is not leather or suede, use a soft lambs wool or acrylic sham to buff the furniture after you clean and dry it thoroughly. With gentle, circular motions, buff the furniture to a shiny and clean finish.


references & resources

Tracy Stefan

Tracy Stefan began writing professionally in 2007, with work appearing on various websites. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and performing arts from the Evergreen State College. Stefan is also a graduate of Dell'Arte.