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Stains and Smells

A leather stain can be easy or nasty depending on circumstances. First, there are two things you need to pay attention to:



* What type of leather you have
* What type of stain is on it

General cleaning of aniline and pigmented leathers can be done using a good leather cleaner followed by a conditioner and a leather protector if you wish. This works on makeup, baby formula, and chewing gum, vomit, just about anything with the exception of pen ink, bodily oils and other grease stains.

Grease and Oil

If the leather stain is from cheesy pizza, body oils, or other grease stains on the leather, you should use a de-greaser as the first step, then clean and finally, condition.

Furniture Stuff is an American based company that makes a leather stain degreaser as well as an interesting line of products.

For suede or nubuck, the procedure to remove a leather stain is much the same except that you'll use a cloth especially made for suede and nubuck leather.

The best approach to dealing with any leather stain, especially leather furniture is to prevent it. If you must eat or drink on your leather furniture sit forward, and if you are wearing a leather garment while eating, protect it! However if an accident happens, there are cleaning methods you can use depending on the type of leather stain you are dealing with.

If the leather is pigmented, you can use leather cleaner to try to remove the leather stain. Spot cleaning a leather stain is always difficult because water and all other chemicals react with it. After you're done the area may be stain free but look a little different in color from the surrounding surface. If the leather is aniline, you have no choice but to call in a specialist.


Accidentally leaning up against a freshly painted wall is unfortunate but it happens. Getting paint out of leather is a tough one. Not much can be done since just about everything used to remove the paint will also take the pigment out of the leather. If the paint is water based, try using water and mild soap. If not, you need to talk to a professional.


Water spots are another common complaint of leather owners. Go to the kitchen for this one. Roll up a piece of white bread into a tight ball and use the dough ball to blot the leather stain out by rubbing.


Dealing with smells in leather is not that difficult, even with something as nasty such as cat urine. You need to look for a non-toxic enzyme-based cleaner that is designed for leather, which can often be found at a pet store. The bacteria that live on organic, protein-based substances like urine as well as fecal matter are responsible for the smell. Follow the directions and your leather should come out smelling alright.

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