To clean leather, the number one rule is not to use too much water. If
it were me, I would wash with some Saddle Soap on a damp cloth,
followed by some leather conditioner after it's completely dry, but
alot depends upon whether the surface is smooth (like vinyl) or rough
(suede), and what kind of stains you are dealing with. Following are
links with more specific suggestions for a variety of stains.
Leather care tips to help you properly clean and condition leather:
"Fresh stains from things such as blood and food can be cleaned up
quickly with a damp cloth. Stains from oil or grease can be lifted by
grinding ordinary blackboard chalk, sprinkling the area, and leaving
the powder on for a twenty-four hour period. Resist the urge to rub
the powder in. After a sufficient time has past, simply use a leather
care brush to remove the powder. While fresh stains can be treated and
cleaned at home, ground-in stains should be attended to by a
professional cleaner who deals in leather."
Cleaning Leather Upholstery:
"Remove stains such as ink by dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol
and rubbing over the spot."
"Remove dark stains from light-colored leather upholstery by mixing a
paste of 1 part lemon juice with 1 part cream of tartar."
"For general leather cleaning, use a moisturizing soap, such as Dove."
Removing Stains on Leather Furniture - Caring for Furniture Stains:
"A mild solution such as liquid IvoryŽ soap with distilled water is a
good approach for spills that have dried."
"When working with leather rinse the cleaner with sudsy water only, no
vinegar. Then a final rinse in cool water. Follow with a leather
conditioner. You?ll find excellent leather conditioners in Western
Supply stores. They are used to protect boots and saddles. Contact the
manufacturer for their recommendation. Leather should be conditioned
at least two to three times a year to keep it subtle and prevent
Generally leather should always be dry cleaned by a professional who
specializes in leather cleaning."
# remove marks from leather by rubbing gently with eucalyptus oil on a soft cloth
# use a damp cloth with saddle soap to remove stains
# avoid over wetting leather as it will stiffen and shrink as it dries out"
Leather & Vinyl:
"The greatest enemy of vinyl upholstered furniture is body and pet
oils that are deposited through normal use. These oils will cause
cracking and hardening of the material, greatly reducing the useful
life of the product. Weekly washing (using a sponge) with a solution
of mild household detergent and water should remove this harmful
substance. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with clear water to remove
traces of the detergent as this could also be harmful to the material.
There are two main types of leather that are used in upholstered
furniture. The first is a glazed finish that most of us are familiar
with. It can be cared for similar to the instructions for Vinyl
Upholstered Furniture being careful to not over water or saturate the
surface. The other type of leather used is called nubuck or suede.
This means that the leather surface is not smooth and shiny, but
rather dull and porous. Cleaning nubuck should be left to a
* Keep leather supple by polishing every month with a solution of 2
parts linseed oil and 1 part vinegar. Or polish with a little lanolin
or castor oil.
* Stained leather.To remove grease stains from leather, dab stiffened
egg white to the leather and rub with a soft cloth.
* Leather Preserver. Some say, to preserve your leather, after
cleaning it, rub on a layer of petroleum jelly, leave on for 3-4
hours. Wipe off with a soft cloth.
* Leather Softener. Several drops of olive oil wiped on with a soft
cloth may help soften hardened leather upholstery.
* Back To Front Cushions. If you find the front of your seat cushions
are getting a little worn, but you can't turn them around because of a
zipper in the cushion cover, try this tip. Using an invisible mending
stitch, sew the flaps that cover the zipper closed. Now you can
reverse the cushions."
How to Remove Ink From a Leather Sofa:
GA: How do you get blood stains out of leather furniture?:
How to Clean Leather:
Cleaning Leather Upholstered Furniture:
I hope this helps and your settee soon looks as good as new. If you
have any questions, please post a clarification request before
closing/rating my answer and I'll be happy to respond.
Google Search Terms Used: removing stains leather
Clarification of Answer by
11 May 2004 07:51 PDT
Hmmm, alittle humour first?
"Body oils will stain leather, but they gradually blend into its
surface giving both patina and character."
Determining what you have (sauvage?):
"The texture of leather furniture, like its appearance, is partly a
function of its grade. The highest quality hides become the softest
and most supple leathers. (In industry-speak, they have a more
luxurious "hand," or feel.) Pigmented leathers and "corrected grain"
leathers (those that have been buffed to remove obvious surface
imperfections) have a stiffer hand. Beyond these differences, the
following texturing techniques can give leather its distinctive
appearance and feel:
Nubuck leathers are lightly brushed or abraded, resulting in a short
nap with a plush softness. Nubucks are top-grain leathers, so they
last longer than do their cousins, suedes. Nubucks also have the
advantage of being treated with a protectant that makes them more
stain-resistant than other anilines. Suedes approximate the look and
feel of nubucks but are made from less-durable split grains.
Sauvage is a two-toned effect that lends depth to leather, producing a
marbled or creased appearance.
Pull-up leathers are full anilines that have an oil or wax
application. When the leather is pulled, or stretched, the oil or wax
separates, producing a lighter burst of color. The pull-up technique
is used for distressed or weathered looks.
Embossed leathers are corrected grains that have a new pattern or
grain imprinted on them with high heat or pressure, resulting in
anything from alligator to floral effects.
Leather Care Problem Solving: Leather Cleaner Solutions: Nubuck & Suede:
Coffee, juices, tea, wine, beer, jelly, proteins, Milk, formula, baby
food, vomit, mustard, Nail polish, felt pen, sweat
Solution: Leather Cleaner, Nubuck Cloth, followed by Nubuck Protector
All that said, it would be best to have a professional come in and
clean it. Chances are it's not grease, so if you are like me and
prefer to plunge ahead, I would try a bit of the Liquid Ivory soap
with distilled water solution (then dry and brush) as described above,
on a tiny test portion of the stain (lightly brush it first to remove
any loose particles).