How to Clean a Wood Desk Using a Leatherette Top

The leather-top desk is a timeless style of writing desk. While antique versions of this design feature genuine leather, modern upgrades often make use of synthetic materials like leatherette or delicate vinyl instead. Leatherette is not as porous as actual leather, and is therefore easier to clean. A very simple detergent solution will work to clean both the wood and leatherette regions of the desk securely.

Dry clean each the desk’s surfaces using a vacuum cleaner, using a soft brush attachment so as not to scratch or scuff the wood or leatherette.

Prepare a solution of 1 tbsp household dish soap or liquid soap in 1 pint of warm water. Pour the solution into a handheld spray bottle and shake to mix.

Spray the cleaning solution on the leatherette and scrub gently with a soft brush to remove dirt and grime.

Wipe with a soft cloth to remove cleaning solution residue. Rinse leatherette surface using a clean dampened soft cloth.

If the wood component of this desk has any oil-based stains or grime, dampen a soft cloth with mineral spirits.

Spot-test a small amount of mineral spirits in an unnoticeable border of the wood. If it doesn’t cause a response, use the cloth to gently rub away oil-based stains. Be careful not to press too hard or allow the wood absorb too much of this mineral spirits.

Spray a fresh cloth with the detergent solution, and use it to clean out the remainder of the wooden surfaces, working on a small region at a time. Change fabrics as necessary.

Rinse with a fresh cloth dampened with water.

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