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How To Remove Stains From White Leather Sofa [Inc. Faux Leather]

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There's almost nothing more appealing and comfortable as a white leather sofa. However, light-colored furniture has one nagging problem, stains! What was once a nice-looking couch is now a discolored mess. Are you wondering how to remove the stains? We have some answers!

Start the process by choosing the cleaner you want to use. You can purchase leather cleaning detergents or use a homemade cleaner.

Spray the cleaner onto a sponge and lightly rub the affected areas. Once the stain disappears, dry the surfaces with a cloth.

The cleaning process sounds simple. However, you want to be careful with how you do it. That last thing you want is damaged leather. If you're curious to learn more about the procedure, keep reading.

White leather sofa in the room with lamp, How To Remove Stains From White Leather Sofa [Inc. Faux Leather]

How To Clean A White Leather Sofa

Before you begin the process, pick a cleaner you want to use. Though, it's important to note that you can't use any random one. Bleach is a product that many people reach for in cleaning situations.

It typically helps whiten, brighten, and remove stains. However, you want to avoid using it on leather. Leather is a porous material. If you don't remove the bleach entirely, it can ruin your sofa.

Leather clean and dirty sofa before and after

Chlorine and ammonia bleach aren't leather-friendly.

So, it's best to look for alternatives. There is a type of bleach that works on leather. It's known as oxalic acid. Nevertheless, it isn't advisable to use for any beginners.

It's toxic. Oxalic acid can cause irritation and other unpleasant symptoms. Unless you have experience working with these substances, it's better to work with a homemade cleaner.

Homemade Cleaners

You can make a simple homemade cleaner using three ingredients. You'll need one tablespoon of baking soda, Borax, and 100ml water.

The mixture can absorb moisture and oils. Therefore, it's effective for stain removal on porous surfaces like leather.

Pour the Borax and baking soda into a bowl. Then, pour the water and mix the ingredients. Of course, if you're planning to clean the entire sofa, adjust the recipe.

Selective focus of a bottle of borax chemical compound or sodium tetraborate beside a petri dish with solid powder substance

If you don't have Borax on hand, you can mix one cup of warm water with 1/2 cup of baking soda. In any case, dip a sponge or cloth into the solution. Then, gently rub the affected area with the sponge.

The stain might not come out initially. So, you might have to put a little elbow to grease until it comes out. The mixture should work for most stains.

Once you get the stains out, wipe the surface with a clean cloth. It's best not to leave any cleaning solution lingering. Baking soda can dry out the leather.

Here's a YouTube video demonstrating the process with a homemade cleaner:

Leather Cleaners

Sometimes a simple homemade mixture won't work. It indicates that the stains penetrate deep into the leather. Therefore, you will likely need the help of a commercial leather cleaner.

There are many types on the market. However, Furniture Clinic is one of the most well-reputed cleaners.

See this leather cleaner on Amazon.

The instructions are nearly the same. You'll need sponges and clean towels. Start by applying the leather cleaner onto a sponge.

Then, gently rub the sponge into any area that has stains. If you require deep cleaning, use a Tampico brush. The bristles are long enough to remove deep-seated stains from the leather.

These brushes are also soft enough. Therefore, it won't leave scratches.

View this Tampico brush on Amazon.

As you rub the stains, you'll notice a dirty film developing. At this point, you'll want to wipe it off with a clean towel. Repeat this process for other stains you want to remove.

Here's a YouTube video demonstrating the process:

Faux Leather

Artificial leather color palette catalog

Some people might not have a sofa that contains genuine leather. Maybe you went with one that uses faux leather. So, you might be wondering if the stain removal procedure is similar.

It's safe to say you should generally follow the same guidelines. You don't want to use a harsh cleaner. Otherwise, the material will dry out and crack. You can be slightly lenient with the cleaners you use.

So, if you only have dish soap on hand, you can use it to remove coffee, dirt, and ink stains. Some people use it with PowerPaste. It's an effective and easily accessible way to clean your sofa.

Here's a YouTube video explaining the process in detail:

How To Condition Your Leather Sofa

Stain removal doesn't end when you remove the stains. Leather is a natural material. So, it needs conditioning to retain its looks. Otherwise, it will dry out and crack.

It's worth noting that a conditioner is not a cleaner. Leather conditioner is more like a treatment. Most of them contain some cream, oil, wax, or paste.

Apply the conditioner onto a cloth and rub a thin layer over the sofa. It helps keep future stains from penetrating the leather.

Generally, don't let anyone sit on the sofa for around two hours. Of course, this depends on the conditioner you use. Follow the manufacturer's drying instructions.

After the conditioner sets in, you're free to enjoy a clean, white leather sofa.

What Is The Best Cleaner For A White Leather Sofa?

White tulips in modern living room

As you can see, there are many options to consider when choosing a cleaner. You can make one at home. Otherwise, you can purchase a leather-specific cleaner online or in stores.

However, it raises the question, which one would be the best for cleaning a white leather sofa? If you're in a position to choose, the leather cleaner is the best option.

The reasoning is simple. Leather cleaners have a formula that is easy on the material. Therefore, there's no risk of drying it out. That's not the case with homemade cleaners.

If you don't remove the mixture, it will age the leather faster. Sure, leather is usually a durable, flexible, and strong material. But, you have to remember that it's animal skin.

So, any detergent that would harm our skin would also damage the leather.

How Can You Clean A Yellowed White Leather Sofa?

Yellow stains on a white surface are not pretty to look at. Removing them is tricky. It depends on the source. So, if it's a yellow stain from a drink, it should come off with the solutions above.

In some cases, the sofa will still be yellow. Therefore, you might think a harsher cleaner would be necessary. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

If the yellow color doesn't come off, it's likely a natural reaction from the leather. More specifically, it means the oils and fats from the leather have oxidized.

You can't prevent oxidation from taking place on the leather. However, it's possible to slow it down. Slowing down the oxidation process involves conditioning the leather routinely.

Does White Vinegar Remove Stains From Leather?

White vinegar can be helpful in many situations, one of them being stain removal. It's why many people recommend using it. Should you use it on leather?

It depends. If it's for spot removal, there should be no harm in using white vinegar. When you need to clean the whole sofa, white vinegar isn't the best cleaner. It can get the leather to look white again.

However, it's mildly acidic. The drawback to using vinegar as a cleaner is the risk of drying out the leather. Thus, it can come in handy for some situations.

For deep cleanings, purchase a leather cleaner instead.

Does Baking Soda Ruin Leather?

Baking soda on the wooden table

Baking soda is another effective whitener. It's also another ingredient people use for cleaning. However, you might want to hold off on using it for your leather sofa.

If you're not careful with how much you use, it can be a learning experience. Some leather experts advise against using this household item.

The Dangers Of Using Baking Soda

As mentioned, leather is a porous material. So, it will typically soak up anything you use on it. It's not noticeable initially. But, over time, the damage will show up.

If the leather soaks up enough baking soda, it will damage the leather's fiber structure.

Cleaning it with baking soda once in a while won't hurt. However, once the leather soaks up enough of the cleaner, the fibers can potentially turn into mush.

For this reason, people recommend using a dedicated leather cleaner instead. Leather is nice to look at and great to sit on. But, those good looks require care.

All-in-all, baking soda has the potential to ruin leather in excess. Use baking soda as a one-time cleaner when you don't have a leather cleaner on hand.

In your spare time, stock up on a dedicated leather cleaner. This way, you won't age your sofa faster.

In Closing

White furniture can be pleasing to the eye. However, you need to be cautious around them because they're susceptible to stains.

Fortunately, there are various ways to remove the blemishes on a white leather sofa. We hope you found the information above helpful!

Before you go, do you have other leather concerns? Is the sofa developing a smell? We have ways to get rid of the odor! For more information, check out:

How To Get Smell Out Of A Leather Couch

Are you seeing cracks developing? Some of it might be fixable! To learn more, check out:

How To Fix A Cracked Leather Couch