Clean Leather Like a Pro and Remove Stains from Leather Furniture

The seams of a brown leather couch
Leather furniture comes with a high price tag. If you own such a piece, protect your investment with regular care and use only the appropriate methods to remove stains from leather furniture. Otherwise, you could end up with an unsightly mess. If cleaning off that leather furniture tires you out, call Molly Maid, a Neighborly company for the rest of your home cleaning needs! Click here to request service in your area.

General Leather Care Tips

Most leather furniture features a topcoat of protection, which is noted on the tag with a “P.” It has a smooth-grained texture with no nap. With this type of leather, follow these care tips:

  • Vacuum as needed using a soft brush attachment; frequency of vacuuming depends on use, but weekly works well as a rule.
  • Follow with a soft white cloth barely dampened with water, then dry with another soft white cloth; use only white cloths as dye can transfer to leather.
  • Do not use soap of any kind; it can cause color fade and make the material brittle over time.
  • Apply a high-quality commercial conditioner for leather every six to 12 months; again, frequency depends on use, so a couch in the family room may need conditioning more often than a chair in a formal dining room.
  • Do not place this type of furniture in sunlight; it can cause color fade and dry out the leather.
  • Avoid placing pieces near a heat source; it can dry out the material.
  • Be careful what you leave sitting on leather furniture; leather can absorb ink from newspapers, and sharp objects will scratch or even create a hole.
  • Clean up spills and treat stains immediately.

How to Remove Water Stains from Leather Furniture

That leather chair is probably the most expensive piece of furniture in your home; so, what do you do if you spill water on it? Water can simply be wiped away if it is cleaned immediately after the spill, but old water spills will need to be blended away from the center of the stained area with a cloth. Simply follow these steps to remove a water stain on leather.

  1. Test the water. Always test on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather first. That way, if the method does not work or even creates a larger mess, it won’t be easily seen.
  2. Wipe up water. If you spill water on your leather furniture and are able to clean it immediately, simply wipe it up with a soft white cloth.
  3. Blend old stains. Water that has been left to dry on the piece may leave behind a stain. This requires you to blend the stain with the surrounding area. You can do so by dampening a soft white cloth with water and wiping outward from the center of the stain. Be gentle as you wipe and use drier areas of the cloth as you work outward to blend the stain.

How to Remove Other Common Stains

The item you spilled or caused the stain with itself dictates the method for removal. Here are some tips for how to remove grease and ink stains.

Grease Stains — If your pizza slice slides onto the couch, or if you get grease on your pants and transfer it to the leather without realizing it, head to the kitchen. Follow these steps to remove grease stains:

  1. Grab a soft white cloth and cornstarch to use as cleaning products.
  2. Blot up as much of the grease as possible with the cloth, then shake a layer of cornstarch on the stain.
  3. After letting it sit for 10 minutes, vacuum up the cornstarch with your soft brush attachment. The cornstarch should lift the grease, but you may need to use this method a few times to get it all.

Ink Stains — These are among the most difficult of stains to remove from leather. Let’s start with advice not to follow:

  • Do not use alcohol, including hairspray, to remove ink from leather furniture; it can lift the color
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners; they will remove a layer of the leather

If you spill ink, contain the mess by using a soft white cloth to lift as much of it as possible. Then consult a professional to remove any remaining stains. You can easily ruin a nice piece of leather furniture by trying to remove ink yourself.

Let Molly Maid Help Clean

Now you know the best way to clean and remove stains from leather furniture so it can stay fresh and protected. Give the rest of your house the same attention with professional cleaning services, and call the experts at Molly Maid! We’ll treat every part of your house as carefully as you treat your leather furniture. Contact your local Molly Maid today for a free cleaning estimate!