Leather Stain Removal Tips
NOTE: These suggestions in treating leather problems are unable to take into consideration all the ramifications of the leather or the problem. They are meant as a first aide to help you preserve the beauty of your leather. We cannot take responsibility for the failure of these treatments or any resulting damage caused by their use.
You have asked about these issues. Here are some recommendations:
Ink Marks In Leather
Ink is a dye. It stains the leather and will be absorbed very quickly.
Any product that will dissolve the ink will also dissolve the color from your leather. If the ink is fresh The Leather Solution may sometimes remove it before the leather can absorb it. Home remedies can sometimes work but usually they cause more problems and enlarge the original problem. Small marks can disappear without any treatment as the leather takes them in. Large stains, scribbles can be removed professionally and the area recolored to match.
Human and dog urine usually do not harm the leather and a mild detergent / soap solution can usually clean the offensive problem. You do not want to soak the leather. Remove the cushion if you can and remove the stuffing. Absorb all the urine you can then wash the area. An excellent product to use is ’Natures Miracle" available in pet stores. Follow directions on the product. Please note that anytime you are “washing” or cleaning leather you must do the entire cushion, seam to seam, edge to edge, so as not to end up with a “water” stain. If leather can dry evenly there is no "demarcation point of wet to dry. i.e. stain. See “Water Stains” below.
In most cases cat urine damages the leather permanently. If you catch it while it is wet you need to weaken the chemical properties of the urine again, Natures Miracle" is the best product for this.
Leather will want to shrink Now, if this works, and the leather has not turned to cardboard from the urine, you have to deal with the stains. You can send the leather to one of our locations to recondition and refinish the leather or to reupholster with new leather and foam.
Oil Stains From Food, Skin, And Hair
I received a panic call from a lady whose son had just that minute brought home a hot pizza and placed the box on her new sofa. The oil and cheese had leaked onto the leather. I gave her these instructions with the first step being to dump corn starch onto the stain. I called her back a week later and she said “Oh yeah, it worked great”. My guess is the powder absorbed the oil faster than the leather could. Of course I don’t know how large an area was affected. This is the best emergency action for sudden problems.
Small oil stains can be treated and successfully removed if you have the patience. Corn starch (or in a pinch, talcum powder) rubbed briskly into the stain with your fingers until the heat from the friction is felt. That heat loosens the oil and allows the corn starch to absorb the oil before the leather can. Vacuum or brush the powder off. Repeat until the stain is gone. This method rarely takes out any color but does take out the oil. Patience and persistence are the keys to success.
Larger stains from head and hand oil require time in our shop and usually require refinishing as well as extraction.
Clean water stains such as condensation from a glass is easily treated with clean water! You have a stain because the water drop has dried in the middle of a piece of leather. It has a clear point of demarcation to the rest of the leather.
What you want to do is reduce that point of demarcation by wetting the entire cushion or area out to a seam or edge. Take a bowl of room temp water and a new sponge. Soak the sponge wring it as dry as possible and starting at the spot dampen the leather and move the sponge to the edges of the cushion. Allowing the moisture to become less and less as you get further from the spot. Do not scrub, just wipe. You do not want to soak the leather just get it damp enough at the stain to release the stain and wet the rest of the leather so that the entire cushion can dry uniformly across the cushion rather than in that one spot.
Water has a tendency to dry leather’s natural “oils” so it is best to condition the leather after getting rid of the stain with “The Leather Solution Cleaner, Conditioner and Protector". Hidey’s Beauty Treatment. Dirty water or tea, coffee, soda can be treated the same way but may leave its own mark. That requires professional care.