Cleaning Stained Leather Furniture
LESLIE: Sharon in Texas, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
SHARON: I have a five-year-old nubuck leather loveseat that has urine stains on it and I don’t know how to get it out. I’ve tried just a mild dishwashing detergent …
SHARON: … and it may have taken the urine out but there’s still like a water mark on it.
LESLIE: OK, because the problem with leather, especially when you need to clean a stain off of it, is that you can’t use too much water – and I know a lot of these online sites will recommend using a mild detergent and water, but the trick is when you mix the detergent and the water you need to use like an electric mixer because you want to create such an emulsion of foam that you really only want to work with the foam. So this way you would take the foam and you want to use a very brand, spanking new sponge – a clean, new sponge – and you want to scoop up just the suds and then wash the entire area and you need to make sure that you wipe and don’t scrub. And then you just want to keep doing that until you clean the stain completely and then you need to really let it dry and you want to place a towel on it and really sort of get up as much of that moisture as you can.
Now that you’re dealing with a water stain, you know it could be something that requires a professional cleaning because a water stain is very difficult to remove from leather. But what you want to do is – you know you just really need to be careful and you want to sort of dampen the leather. You want to kind of extend the water stain, if you will, to make the entire cushion appear as if it’s slightly changed. It should then match …
SHARON: (chuckling) Yeah.
LESLIE: You know what I’m saying?
LESLIE: So you want to make sure. What you can do is you can take a new sponge again – you always want to work with a new sponge with leather because leather will absorb odor and if you’ve been washing dishes it could smell kind of mildewy. So you want to take a new sponge, then you want to take room-temperature water and you want to wring that sponge out as much as possible and you want to start at the spot where your water stain is and you want to dampen the leather until you reach the edges of the cushion. And you want to wet the leather less and less as you get further and further away from the water spot and then that should sort of even out the coloration. And then head to the store and pick up some sort of leather conditioner and just apply that in the same way that you would the manufacturer directions recommend; you know, once it’s dry. This way it’ll all sort of help to change the texture back to smooth and get rid of that water spot.
And worst-case scenario, flip it over.
SHARON: There you go. (Leslie chuckles) Thank you very much.
TOM: Sharon, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.