/How to Remove Stains in Leather Seats

How to Remove Stains in Leather Seats

You left the car window down or the sunroof open and there’s a water mark in the leather seat of your car…. or your partner poured red wine in your leather car seat in the city one night out…. or your kids thought they’d be an artist early and tried their tricks out with a brush, arrggg on your leather car seat. I was going to have children myself, so feel your pain. Stain removal can be difficult in leather seats, here are a few tips to help you get started.

As a qualified leather repair expert, I’m here to inform you that, until scraping the paint, there are not many items that can be used on a leather car seat that will not strip the shine. Most leather in today’s cars is a polished leather with a water-borne urethane leather coating that is added to it and is very prone to chemicals and can be cleaned with a solvent cleaner very quickly. And call a doctor when in question.

Rain spills in Leather Seat…. this is quite difficult to get rid of. Earlier, after having his sunroof open, I had a reader give me an email about how he could keep water stains out of his vehicle. To him, this aspect is kind of like I think I lost his email with photos, however I got to see them, so not everything was lost. The pictures showed a crease running along the center of the leather seat where the fabric had been pucked by the wash. There are two options we could do in this kind of scenario, one being sand the crease out and with some fillers and dye make the seat fresh again, that’s where a leather specialist comes in to play, or removing the produced part, that’s where an upholstery shop comes in. There are no leather conditioners or cleaners in the universe in these types of situations that will cure a creased or puckered fabric, what occurs is that the internal composition of the leather fabrics has been modified and what you see is what you have.

If the water hasn’t pucked the leather and just left a stain, I’ve learnt a little trick with Leather Craft Secrets from my good friend Dwain Berlin, and you’re going to your kitchen bread box for this one. Take a piece of bread and roll it into a ball and rub with the bread ball and blot the place, it works pretty good. Dwain has a lot of great tips about leather treatment, and if you’re going to check out his book for some great fun with leather, it’s pretty impressive and I’ve learned a few things myself.

Most of the way, water will evaporate and the marks will vanish without any complications. If your car leather gets dry as smoothly as possible with a towel, then clean it with your Lexol Conditioner. One way to dry the leather of the vehicles is by keeping the windows down and allowing it to dry in the light, or by opening the windows and putting the heat on your vehicle and letting it run for about 30 minutes. I’m not really keen on that one because it’s gas waste, but it works better to air stuff out. But always state, certain waters of rain are quite muddy and rough, and the leather requires some extra nutrients to hold it strong.

If the marks are just too severe, the only way to bring it back is to contact a nearest leather specialist like me to come back and make it clean.

Leather Seat mold stains…. Or mildew that ever. That one kind of thing goes with the stains of the mud. Grab a cup of water and a cup of rubbing alcohol and add it together, grab a cloth and apply a small amount of the solvent onto the infected places until the color is gone, look again for the dye raise, this trick works pretty well and typically extracts the mildew pretty quickly without touching the dye.

Food Stains in Leather Seat…. This one can be quick if you’re just not eating in your vehicle, but I’m just as guilty as most of them and feeding on the road. In most instances, a simple dish cleaner and warm water will do the trick with a rag or scotch brite plate. Most of the cloth in the automotive industry is completed and food items are typically cleaned off right away. When you run into a stubborn one while putting on a rag a little all-purpose degreaser, don’t rub too much or dye will rise. If this doesn’t come up with the mark on your leather car seat from food then the food coloring has entered the leather fabrics and dyed it, so it’s time for a good leather dye job.

Nonetheless, aniline leather or NuBuck leather is another matter, which is the soft stuff you normally see in the center of the seats as an added object. The soapy solution can be used, but sometimes water spots occur, so a specific cleaner works best for this form of leather. One that I recommend is from the Leather Magic men, they’ve got a NuBuck Leather Care Kit that’s the solution to all your NuBack needs. This kit includes the soft material’s cleaners and conditioners, this form of leather is fragile and should be handled as such. Do not use the regular leather cleaners and conditioners on this sort of leather due to the fact that the oils in it will affect the appearance of the leather, then no longer feel comfortable NuBuck, so check out Leather Magics NuBuck Kit for sure.

Ink, Marker, and Leather Seat Crayon…. Urgent!!! Get it as soon as possible! If the ink is new, then you do not have a decent chance to remove it from the cloth. Rubbing alcohol will sometimes have it with a little bit of acetone applied. I read about the hairspray, I attempted it with little success. Typically they get married when an ink pen and cloth fall together and don’t divide up quickly. Ink is a pigment and is designed to absorb something with which it comes into contact. I typically had to stain the leather to mask the mark for most of the ink stains that I stumbled across.

Crayon can be a booger on a leather seat if it is burned in the fabric, you should do this but be careful not to burn or puck the leather. Take an iron and a towel of paper and place the towel of paper over the crayon and rub the iron over the crayon with a low heat. The crayon should dissolve into the towel of paper, push the towel around to clean areas until the crayon is gone, the remainder should be covered by a touch of rubbing alcohol. The technique also operates on fabrics and furniture. If they are just scratches, a little soap on the leather seat, and water should do the trick, or even a little rubbing alcohol on a towel works great. If all fails, there’s a formula by Protective Products Corp. that’s all natural with no solvents to dissolve crayon and makeup, it’s called Solv-It, but just find a place in an innocent location to see if it absorbs pigment.

The more trick I’ve heard about around the net and I’m trying it, but it’s the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, they’re good around the home, so why not the vehicle as well. I’ve drawn crayons and marked with them on my walls before, so I know it brings some color with it, but they’re effective. If you’re using one, be patient and don’t go sh$ #monkey, rub it, look, rub it, then look, extract ink, just take your time and test it as you go.


Sweat Stains in Leather Seat…. Salt sweat stains can look pretty disgusting, but there’s a bit of a trick. Take 3 parts of vinegar and one part of water and spray a towel to wipe the area clean, the soap breaks down the acid which helps remove the stain.

Paint on Leather Seat…. Paint removal on a car seat in leather, well that’s rough. If it’s dry, it’s likely to stay there. If it’s a water paint, simply remove it with soap and water. You can use a little Goof Off latex house paint, just keep in mind that this is a chemical that can harm the leather seat and dissolve ink. I was able to pick up my pocket knife and chip it off in the past. Wet the region first with a little water and try with your knife or even a razor blade to remove the paint gently, but don’t cut the cloth. Mostly though it doesn’t really work without extracting the dye below, but sometimes I’ve had success. Use a little paint reducer on a rag if you paint the vehicle, just simply wipe it gently and don’t spray the surface with the reducer. Solvents and leather seats just don’t go well.

My best advice to everyone when it comes to stains in your leather car seats, and that is to be mindful of what you are doing, try to keep our little Picasso’s pen safe, keep our garbage out of our vehicles, roll up the windows and cover the sunroofs, and always remember to periodically clean the leather with your Lexol Conditioner.