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How to Remove Stains From a Leather Couch? How to Condition a Leather Couch? What Should You Not Use on Leather?

Female cleaning staff, housekeeper cleaning the sofas in the company office, maintaining cleanliness in the office. Cleaning concept and housekeeper taking care of cleanliness and order in the office.

Taking care of your leather couch is more than just adding decorative touches – it’s about ensuring it stands the test of time.

In this guide, we’ll break down the essentials: how to remove stains, condition your leather, and what to avoid in the process. Let’s unravel the mysteries of leather care to keep your couch looking luxurious and comfy for years.

How to Remove Stains From a Leather Couch?

Removing stains from a leather couch requires gentle cleaning methods to avoid damaging the leather. Here are some general steps you can follow:

  1. Identify the Type of Leather:
    • Aniline leather: It is more sensitive and can be easily damaged.
    • Protected or pigmented leather: It has a protective coating and is more stain-resistant.
  2. Test in an Inconspicuous Area:
    • Before applying any cleaning solution, test it in a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause discolouration or damage.
  3. Materials You’ll Need:Female cleaning staff, housekeeper cleaning the sofas in the company office, maintaining cleanliness in the office. Cleaning concept and housekeeper taking care of cleanliness and order in the office.
    • Mild soap or leather cleaner
    • Distilled water
    • Soft, clean cloth or sponge
    • White vinegar or rubbing alcohol (for tougher stains)
    • Leather conditioner
  4. Cleaning Steps:

    a. Blot the Stain:

    • If the stain is fresh, use a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to blot and absorb as much of the stain as possible. Do not rub, as it may spread the stain.

    b. Prepare Cleaning Solution:

    • Mix a few drops of mild soap or specialized leather cleaner with distilled water. Make sure the solution is not too concentrated.

    c. Clean Gently:

    • Dampen a clean, soft cloth or sponge in the cleaning solution.
    • Gently blot or wipe the stained area. Avoid excessive rubbing.
    • Wipe the area with a clean, dry cloth to remove excess moisture.

    d. Tougher Stains:

    • For stubborn stains, you can mix equal parts of water and white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Dampen a cloth with the solution and blot the stain gently.

    e. Dry Thoroughly:

    • Allow the cleaned area to air dry completely. Keep the leather away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

    f. Condition the Leather:

    • Once the leather is dry, apply a leather conditioner to restore moisture and keep the leather supple.
  5. Dealing with Specific Stains:
    • Ink Stains: Dab a cotton swab or cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and gently rub the stain. Don’t rub excessively, and follow up with a leather conditioner.
    • Grease or Oil Stains: Sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch on the stain, leave it for a few hours, and then brush it off. Repeat if necessary.
    • Water Stains: Blot the water stain gently with a clean, dry cloth. Let the leather air dry and then condition it.

Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for your specific leather type. If you’re unsure or if the stain persists, it’s advisable to seek professional help or consult the manufacturer.

How to Condition a Leather Couch?

Conditioning a leather couch is essential to keep the leather soft, supple, and to prevent it from drying out or cracking. Here’s how you can condition your leather couch effectively:

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  1. Choose the Right Conditioner:
    • Select a high-quality leather conditioner that is suitable for your specific type of leather. There are various types of leather conditioners available, including creams, lotions, and sprays.
  2. Test in an Inconspicuous Area:
    • As with cleaning, it’s important to test the conditioner in a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions or discolouration.
  3. Clean the Leather:
    • Before conditioning, make sure the leather surface is clean. Use a mild soap or specialized leather cleaner to remove any dirt or residues. Allow the leather to dry completely before applying the conditioner.
  4. Apply the Conditioner:
    • Follow the instructions on the leather conditioner product. Generally, you’ll need to apply a small amount of conditioner to a clean, soft cloth or applicator.
    • Gently rub the conditioner onto the leather in a circular motion. Pay special attention to areas that may be prone to more wear, such as seat cushions and armrests.
    • Ensure even coverage but avoid over-saturating the leather. Too much conditioner can leave a greasy residue.
  5. Let it Absorb:
    • Allow the conditioner to be absorbed into the leather. The absorption time may vary depending on the product, so follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  6. Buff Excess:
    • After the conditioner has had time to penetrate the leather, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the surface gently. This helps remove any excess conditioner and leaves the leather with a soft, smooth finish.
  7. Repeat as Needed:
    • Leather conditioning is not a one-time task. Depending on factors such as usage and environmental conditions, you may need to condition your leather couch every 6 to 12 months. Follow the recommendations provided by the conditioner manufacturer.
  8. Protect from Sunlight and Heat:
    • Position your leather couch away from direct sunlight and heat sources, as prolonged exposure can cause the leather to dry and fade. Using curtains or blinds can help protect the leather from UV rays.
  9. Regular Maintenance:
    • Wipe down your leather couch regularly with a dry, clean cloth to remove dust and prevent it from settling into the pores of the leather.

Remember that leather conditioning is an integral part of leather care, helping to maintain its appearance and extend its lifespan. Always refer to the care instructions provided by the leather conditioner and couch manufacturers for the best results.

What Should You Not Use on Leather?

Leather is a natural material that requires careful maintenance to preserve its beauty and durability. Certain substances and cleaning methods should be avoided to prevent damage to leather. Here’s a list of things you should not use on leather:

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  1. Harsh Chemicals:
    • Avoid using strong chemicals, such as bleach, ammonia, or general household cleaners, as they can damage the finish and color of the leather.
  2. Abrasive Cleaners:
    • Stay away from abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads that can scratch or scuff the leather surface. Always use soft, non-abrasive materials.
  3. Baby Wipes or Wet Wipes:
    • While convenient for some cleaning tasks, baby wipes or wet wipes may contain chemicals that can harm leather. Stick to cleaners specifically designed for leather.
  4. Saddle Soap:
    • Saddle soap, despite its name, is not suitable for all types of leather. It can be too harsh for delicate or finished leathers, potentially causing damage. Check the leather type and follow manufacturer recommendations.
  5. Furniture Polish:
    • Do not use furniture polish on leather. It may contain silicones or waxes that can leave a residue on the leather surface, making it slippery and attracting more dust.
  6. Sharp Objects:
    • Avoid using sharp objects or tools that may scratch or puncture the leather. Be cautious with keys, pens, or any sharp accessories around your leather furniture.
  7. Water in Excess:
    • While leather can handle some moisture, excessive water or prolonged exposure to liquids can cause damage. Blot spills immediately, and do not use water excessively during cleaning.
  8. Direct Sunlight and Heat:
    • Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause leather to fade and dry out. Keep leather furniture away from direct sunlight and heat sources, such as radiators or heating vents.
  9. Ink and Markers:
    • Avoid using regular ink pens or markers on leather, as they can cause permanent staining. If you need to remove ink stains, use specialized leather cleaners.
  10. DIY Remedies Without Testing:
    • Before using any DIY remedies or home solutions on your leather, test them in an inconspicuous area to ensure they won’t cause discolouration or damage.
  11. Conditioners Not Suitable for Your Leather Type:
    • Use leather conditioners specifically designed for your type of leather. For example, aniline leather requires different care than pigmented leather. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  12. Vinegar and Oils:
    • Avoid using vinegar or oil-based products as they can damage the leather’s natural oils and finish.


Caring for your leather couch is a commitment to preserving its elegance and comfort. Whether you’re dealing with stains, conditioning, or avoiding potential pitfalls, the end goal is the same – keeping your beloved office furniture in top shape.

Act promptly, choose the right products, and steer clear of harmful practices to safeguard your workspace’s stylish centrepiece. As you journey through leather care, may your home and/or office furniture continue to be a haven of style, relaxation, and enduring beauty.

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