Site Information

  Loading... Please wait...

Free Local Delivery On Orders $699 and Up! | All prices Include Tax! | Easy Finance!

Furniture & Interior Design Blog

How to Remove Stains from your Leather Sofa

Posted by

How To Remove Stains From Leather

We meet many people in search of leather sofas and sectionals as their go-to furniture upgrade choice. A big, comfortable leather sectional is the pièce de résistance of the furniture world, so it’s no wonder its one of the more popular pieces.

We’re often impressed with the level of knowledge and research our customers come equipped with, regarding leather’s durability, quality, pricing, and practicality. What many customers don’t possess, is an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to maintenance and care for leather; most stop with the recommended application of leather protectant. When a spill or a stain happens, many people believe that the only answer is to reupholster the problem area, or permanently cover it up with a nice throw-pillow or blanket, masking the stain.

Both bonded and genuine leather sofas are durable and resistant to stains, but accidents can happen. If left untreated, you’ll be staring at a juicy stain blotch every time you enter the room. Of course, we know a trick or two.

In this post, we’ll outline and explain some of our favourite ways to remove stains from your leather sofa or sectional so you can enjoy your investment for years to come.

In this video, we will show you how to remove some of the most common stains. 

Ink Stains

Ink is particularly difficult to remove from leather, and a good culprit of stains. This can easily happen to your sofa if you have young creative children who use the living room as a painting studio, or if you’ve mistakenly left a faulty pen in your pant pocket as you watch a movie after dinner. In any event, ink can be treated and removed from leather.

Spray the affected area with hairspray to help extract the ink from the leather surface. Allow the hairspray to sit for about one minute, without allowing it to dry. Then, wipe the hair spray and ink away with a clean, damp cloth. After you’ve removed the hairspray, apply a small amount of moisturizing soap and clean water to the area.

An eraser can be of use to a fresh ink stain ordeal as well. Rub the eraser on the affected area to give the leather new life. However, if you’re purchasing good quality leather furniture, make sure to equip yourself with a reputable leather cleaner that’s designed to remove ink - it’s always going to be the safest and most effective way of dealing with ink stains aside from hiring a professional cleaner.


A delicious treat, but not so much so on your leather furniture. Gum is known for its ability to stick to, and strip leather of its suppleness and hue. To combat the effects of gum, there are a few trusted ways to help maintain the look of your leather furniture without having to go too wild on treatment products.

Take a bag of ice and apply it to the gum, essentially hardening and holding it in place, eliminating any potential for it to spread or worsen. Chip away the hardened gum with your fingernail and dry the area with a clean towel. Take some saddle soap or generic leather protectant and apply it to the affected area to get rid of any remnants of the gum. A toothbrush can make short work of any stubborn, hard bits. Wipe away the saddle soap and use a leather conditioner to treat the spot after all has dried.

Water-based Stains

For products and stain-makers like acrylic paints, fruit juices, grease, wine, or any other water-based stain, the best way to combat a lasting blotch is to allow the leather to dry naturally. Seems counter-intuitive, but this will help to settle the stain before you act on removing it. Keep the leather away from all sources of heat so the leather can better resist the stain, and tackle the stain with some leather soap, clean water and a clean cloth.

For grease, use talcum powder or baking soda on the stain and allow it to sit and work its magic for at least 4 hours before wiping it clean. Don’t rub the baking soda into the leather, simply let it sit. Olive oil has long been used as a good way to limit the spread of paint on leather sofas as well. Dab some olive oil on a clean cloth and dab on the stain. When/if it lifts, remove the paint with a clean rag.

When you’ve given the leather a good scrub, allow it to dry naturally again, before applying a liberal coat of leather conditioner and/or protectant.

Mildew Stains

Mildew occurs when leather is left open and susceptible to damp or wet conditions, essentially rotting the leather. There are many ways to clean mold and mildew stains from leather, but like all stains - time is of the essence.

Petroleum jelly, or vaseline is a viable stain removal choice on leather and nubuck. First, put a small layer of the jelly on a location that won’t be noticeable to test its effect before going for the stain, because it can change the colour of the leather. Run the jelly in a circular motion, helping to lift and remove the mildew stain. Allow the petroleum jelly to dry completely, and use a suede brush to help restore the texture of the material. Wipe away any excess with a clean rag.

You can also apply a mix of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water to a strong mildew stain. This method should be used only after you’ve attempted the petroleum jelly method. Again, this should be tested on a small portion of the mold stain to ensure that the colour of the leather isn’t changed.

Good old fashioned soap and water, and vinegar are good choices for mildew as well. Scrape away any mildew chunks with a brush that won’t damage the surface of the leather and lift away what you can. With any water based solution, it’s key to not allow the leather to get too wet. Alternatively, apply an equal parts water and vinegar mix to help lift the mildew stain from the leather, making sure not to oversaturate.

How to Effectively Measure the Quality of Your Furniture

Measuring Furniture Quality  When considering which pieces of furniture to purchase for your home, cottage, or condo, it’s really quite easy to judge a book by its cover. Customers are all too easily tricked into imagining that a piece of furniture is of acceptable quality because of its contemporary design, the presence of sought after materials like hardwood, or brushed steel [...]

Read More »

Top 7 Reasons to Fall in Love With Leather Couches

From couches and car seats to jackets and shoes, there's  no denying the fact that leather is everywhere. The  production of leather was one of Primitive man’s earliest achievements – its use dates back to Paleolithic era. The utilization of leather for furniture gained popularity in the Middle Ages, where it was commonly used as upholstery for chairs and couches. It was [...]

Read More »

Choosing the Right Upholstery Fabric

Upholstery Fabrics Not all sofas are created equal. With the unlimited options available to the consumer, selecting and purchasing a new sofa can often turn an exciting and fun process into an overwhelming task. One of the first steps is to determine which upholstery fabric would suit your daily routine, budget, and personal style.It is also important [...]

Read More »

The Skinny On Leather: What You Need to Know

One of the ultimate choices for upholstered furniture is leather. It’s beautiful, soft, durable and enhances any décor. There are also many different options when it comes to buying leather furniture, caring for it and preserving it, so we thought we’d give you the short, comprehensive guide to leather types and care. Types of Leather All Ferraris are [...]

Read More »

The Winter Season Has Arrived – Here’s How You Can Keep Your Sofa Clean and Stain-free

Winter is here, and in BC that means rain, mud, leaves, maybe some snow and definitely messes. And if you have children or pets, it’s more than likely that at some point this season, they’ll bring leaves or dirt into your home and possibly onto your sofa. A number of sofas can stain quite easily, [...]

Read More »

5 Reasons Why Black Leather Will Add a Touch of Elegance to Your Home

The idea of going with a bright colour for your sofa or sectional can provide an interesting living room look, but it’s worth realizing that neutrals also have the ability for bold impact. If you’re contemplating a neutral sofa and are leaning towards black leather, here are some reasons why this item will make for [...]

Read More »

5 Tips for Designing Your Living Room Around a Red Leather Sofa

When it comes to contemporary interior design, red leather sofas are all the rage. A red leather sofa is a bold piece of furniture that immediately creates an impact – and that’s what makes it a great centerpiece. But in order to create a living room that looks inviting and not loud, you’ll want to [...]

Read More »

10 Tips for Repairing Ripped Leather

When it comes to couches, leather continues to be one of the most popular choices for consumers. Aside from adding that luxury and panache to your living room, it tends to be easy to clean — a real bonus for anyone with pets, small children or teenagers at home.However, even if you are pet/childfree or break the bank on [...]

Read More »

Leather Maintenance Tips: How to Keep Your Leather & Suede 'Like New'

Leather & suede sofas and chairs can add a distinguished appearance to any room, but some people are put off of buying them because of the fear that they are easily damaged or need an unreasonable amount of care. It is true that leather & suede require proper care to stay in 'like new' condition, [...]

Read More »

Lacey Grey Fabric loveseat Pallucci Furniture | 32 E Broadway Vancouver, BC | V5T 0B6 | Phone: (604) 568-4855 | Google+

Monday to Saturday: 10am - 6pm | Sunday & Public Holidays: 12pm - 5pm

All sofas include 1 year free warranty and a 30 day price guarantee. Copyright © 2014 Pallucci Furniture. All rights reserved.