Leather furniture doesn’t come cheap, so you want to make sure you’re taking excellent care of it. But no matter how cautious you are around your leather couch or chairs, you’re living life on and near them, meaning the occasional stain is inevitable. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can be done about spills or grease smears or how to remove stains from leather.
Table of Contents
- How to Remove Stains from Leather
- How to Clean Water Stains on Leather Couches or Chairs
- How to Clean Grease Stains on Leather
- How to Clean Ink Stains On Leather
- How to Clean Any Stain On Leather Quickly
- Removing Moderate Dark Stains on Leather
- Removing Severe Dark Stains
- Doing a Quick Fix of Stained leather
- Using Liquid Detergent to Get Rid of Stains On Leather
- Using Homemade Cleaning Solution to Clean Stains On Leather.
- Using Leather Soap for General Stains
How to Remove Stains from Leather
Not all leather furniture is created equally, which means you there’s no universal answer for how to remove stains from a leather couch. Most sofas, loveseats, chairs and ottomans made from this material are one of two types: aniline-dyed leather or pigmented leather. Before cleaning leather, you should always consult the manufacturer’s care instructions
How to Clean Water Stains on Leather Couches or Chairs
Water seems so innocuous, but it can leave unsightly rings on everything from wooden furniture to leather sofas. If you catch these spills immediately, you can often just soak them up with a dry microfiber cloth. But when they’re left to sit, cleanup will take a little more work.
- Fill a bowl with room temperature water. Overly cold or overly hot water can discolor your leather, so room temperature water is best. How much you need will depend on how large the leather product you’re cleaning is, but you’ll need enough to cover the entire product.
- Dip a soft sponge into the bowl. You should use a clean, soft sponge for this step. Dip into the bowl of room temperature water, and then ring it out to get it as dry as possible. The only way to remove water stains from leather is with more water, but you don’t want to use too much and damage the leather.
- Dampen the microfiber cloth with water.
- Start at the center of the stain and gently wipe outward using a circular motion.
- Continue wiping the stain until you can no longer see the mark. Work quickly. You’ll want to wipe the entire surface of your leather with water as quickly as possible. If you allow one area to dry before the others, you might end up with a new water stain.
- Let the surface dry. If the water stain is still there, repeat the process.
Also Read: How To Clean Your Couch: Detailed Guide 2019
How to Clean Grease Stains on Leather
Grease and leather were never meant to be. Nasty spills on your favorite jacket, purse, or leather furniture can seem insurmountable, but there are workable cleaning methods with the right timing and ingredients.
Do not apply water to grease stains. Wipe grease off the surface of your leather with a clean, dry cloth. If this fails to remove the stain, sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch onto the grease spot and pat it in. Let it sit overnight, which allows the cornstarch time to absorb the oil/grease. Gently brush off the cornstarch using a soft-bristled brush or a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Repeat the cleaning process if needed.
How to Clean Ink Stains On Leather
Address ink stains as soon as possible. Mix one part rubbing alcohol with one part of lukewarm water. Dip a cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol/water mixture and rub it over the ink stain using a circular motion. Allow leather to dry. Apply leather conditioner. If the rubbing alcohol mix doesn’t work, you’ll need to purchase a leather ink stain remover. Or Get rid of ink stains and scuffs by blotting the area with a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover. Don’t rub the spot or you could make the ink spread. Blot gently until the stain is gone. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth and dry with a towel.
How to Clean Any Stain On Leather Quickly
Clean spills on the leather jacket immediately with a soft cloth. Leather is porous and will absorb liquids, causing a stain to form. Leather can also scratch, so keep sharp objects away from it.
To remove stains from your leather jacket, try the following;
Use your finger to apply non-gel toothpaste to the stain. Rub gently with a soft cloth, till stain lifts. Do not scrub or you could scratch or discolor the leather. Wipe the toothpaste off with a clean, damp cloth.
Remove oil or grease stains by sprinkling baking soda or cornstarch on the spot. Rub gently, with a damp cloth. Let sit for a few hours or overnight. The soda or starch will absorb the oil. Wipe off the powder with a soft cloth and dry with a soft towel.
Want to know how to clean mold off leather? Mix one part rubbing alcohol with one part water. Dampen a cloth with the alcohol solution and wipe on the affected area. Wipe clean with another damp cloth. This will also remove mildew.
Lemon Juice and Cream of Tartar
Mix equal parts of each into a paste. Apply to the stained area and let sit for 30 minutes. Use a damp cloth to remove the paste. Lemon juice and cream of tartar have a mild bleaching effect so only use this on light-colored leather.
Removing Moderate Dark Stains on Leather
- Mix mild dish soap and cold water in a bowl or bucket. Add enough soap so the water becomes sudsy when agitated.
- Dip a clean cloth into the soap solution and rub the stain with moderate pressure. Make a circular motion around the stain and continue to rub until the stain is gone. Use multiple applications of the soap solution if necessary.
- Air-dry the wet spot. A hairdryer or fan may be used to shorten the process. Do not sun dry the leather; this causes more damage.
Removing Severe Dark Stains
Spray aerosol hairspray directly onto the stain. Make sure the entire stain is covered and allow the hair spray to soak in the stain for several minutes.
Rub out the stain with a clean cloth rag. Use circular motions until the stain is lifted. Add more hairspray if necessary.
Air-dry the wet spot by leaving the leather undisturbed. Do not leave the leather exposed to the sun during the drying process.
Dark stains from things like food or blood can be addressed with a homemade paste of one part cream of tartar to one part lemon juice. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for ten minutes. Remove the paste with a damp cloth. If residue remains, add some mild soap to the damp cloth and wipe down the area again. Allow leather to dry. Apply leather conditioner.
Doing a Quick Fix of Stained leather
- Assemble your ingredients. If you’ve just spilt some butter or your boots or gotten bacon grease on the couch, it’s best to leap into action right away. If you catch it quick enough, all you need to clean your leather item is a microfiber cloth and a cum powder
- Dab with the grease as fast as possible with the cloth. Gently blot at the grease stain, trying to absorb as much of it as possible as quickly as possible. The trouble with cleaning leather is that it tends to absorb liquid, especially grease, making it difficult to clean topically once it’s been absorbed.
- Avoid scrubbing the leather. This can damage the fine grains of the leather, making the stain worse. Blot gently and use some kind of lint-free microfiber cloth.
- Find the grain of the leather. Just like wood, leather has a direction of texture. You’ll have more success in applying any cleaner if you apply it along the lie, as opposed to across it. In other words, any time you wipe or blot at the leather, you want to do it with the grain.
- If you’re having trouble finding the grain, try to work from the “outside” of the stain into the center. At the very least, you’ll be able to shrink the stain this way.
- Spread talcum powder on the item. Use regular household baby powder to soak up the grease. Be liberal with your application of the powder. It works particularly well at drawing the grease out without damaging the leather because it’s more absorbent than the leather is, as long as you get there in time.
- Let the powder sit overnight, or at least several hours to do its work.
- Gently brush the talcum powder off the item. Using a cloth, gently brush off the talcum powder. Be careful not to scrub the powder back into the leather, working the grease back out.
Using Liquid Detergent to Get Rid of Stains On Leather
Assemble your ingredients.
One particularly effective method of cleaning grease from smaller items is to use a bit of dish soap and distilled water to create a lather and clean the item. You’ll need a couple of clean micro-fiber cloths, the soap, and water. Consider using a spray bottle to make the job easier.
Apply the detergent.
Dip the cloth into the liquid detergent. Dab the patch test area with the cloth, being gentle to work with the grain of the leather.
Soak the leather with the distilled water.
Use your clean fingers to rub the patch test area until you work up a gentle lather. Apply more water as needed to clean the stain.
Blot dry with a clean cloth.
Allow the piece to dry fully before attempting to clean again. You might have to attempt several applications before the stain is shrunken significantly or completely removed from the item. Give it time to dry before attempting to clean it again.
Also Read: How to Clean Suede House Items
Using Homemade Cleaning Solution to Clean Stains On Leather.
- Assemble your ingredients. To create a simple and effective homemade leather cleaning solution, 3/8 cup of distilled water. 1/8 cup of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon white flour and 1 tablespoon baking soda
- Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Use a spoon or fork and work your saltwater, flour, and baking soda into a kind of a paste. This is highly effective in gently lifting grease from leather without affecting the leather grains of your item.
- Alternatively, you can try a mixture
- Do a patch test. Find a less visible spot on your item to “patch test” the cleaning solution of choice. If your leather is dyed in any way, any kind of cleaner can affect the color, so pick an out-of-the-way patch to test it on.
- Dip the cloth into the pasty mixture and dab the test area. Use a small amount of the mixture on the cloth and be extremely gentle. You want to use the same basic principle as the quick-fix method, gently dabbing and letting the cleaner do the work. Don’t make it worse by scrubbing.
- Pat the area dry with another cloth. Be gentle and allow the area to dry completely before attempting to clean again. It might take several applications to completely eradicate the stain, or shrink it considerably, but allow the leather time to rejuvenate before you clean it again.
Using Leather Soap for General Stains
- Dust the leather with a microfiber cloth. Before you apply any cleaning products to your leather, make sure you get all dirt or dust off of the surface. This is especially important for leather products that are outside a lot, like shoes or jackets. They tend to attract more dirt and dust than leather products that stay in your home.
- Dampen a clean cloth with water. Most leathers cannot handle a lot of water, so if you are going to use water, use it very, very sparingly. Dip a clean cloth into clear water, and then ring it out so that it’s just barely damp.
- Rub the cloth over leather soap. Leather soap is also sometimes called saddle soap, and it can be used for removing general (or unidentifiable) stains from your leather. Simply rub your damp cloth over the leather soap.
- Buff the stains in your leather. Once you’ve got some leather soap on your damp cloth, rub the leather to create a lather. Don’t rinse the soap off, as this can be damaging to your leather. Instead, continue to rub with your cloth to buff the leather to a shine.