From your favourite jacket to that gorgeous new couch, leather is a fabric that should last a lifetime…

However, you will need to make sure diligent maintenance and care is taken with your leather goods, if you want them to stay looking fabulous for longer.

Here’s a look at everything you need to know about cleaning leather (including what not to do)

Cleaning leather itself is fairly simple. All you need are a soft sponge (or cloth), a suitable leather cleaner (saddle soap is a popular choice) and a leather conditioner or light oil.

Gently working the soap into the leather, and never wetting totally, you will lift away dirt and grime.

Finishing with a leather conditioner ensures the leather stays supple and crack-free.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

So what could go wrong?

The number one mistake people make is using too strong a cleaner (or too much of a suitable cleaner).

Soap, if not thoroughly removed, will attract dirt and grime – the last thing you want. It will also leave a sticky, unpleasant layer.

Remember – you can always add more, but taking away excess is a lot harder. Use small amounts, always.

Excess water use is another key failing. While leather can cope admirably with getting damp, it’s never a good idea to soak the garment or furnishing.

Likewise, make sure it can dry quickly and evenly in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight.

Forget what you may have heard about club soda and leather stains – it’s more likely to make the stain worse

Lastly, no when you need a pro. Thinks like waxy makeup, ink, glue and paint stains may need professional assistance to remove.

For everything else, remember to blot and ‘feather’ the water you apply, so the stain is not replaced by a watermark.

Leather is a gorgeous look, with great longevity if cared for properly.