How to Clean Black Leather Stains off White Leather Couch


Ajda asked: How do I remove black leather stains off of a white leather couch? My black leather bag (a perfume bottle broke and it spilled in the bag) left stains on a white couch. How do I clean it? I’ve tried alcohol and  acetone free nail polish remover and neither of them have worked. Thanks

If you have a stubborn stain on leather, it’s best to check with the manufacturer for recommended cleaning methods and products. If that isn’t possible, the following method can be used to both clean and condition your leather couch (and other leather surfaces, too!).

You Will Need:

  • WD-40
  • Soft, clean, white cloth

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Before you begin, spot test a hidden area. Ideally, wait 12-24 hours after your spot test, then examine the test area carefully before proceeding. If all goes well and there are no adverse effects to the coloring of the couch, you are safe to proceed.
  2. Apply the WD-40 to the stain.
  3. Wait a few seconds, then wipe it clean with the soft cloth.
  4. Repeat if necessary, turning the cloth frequently so you are always working with a clean area.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • WD-40 is highly successful for removing otherwise “permanent” stains including ink, coffee and paint from leather. Because it is not water or alcohol based, it will actually soften and condition the leather as it cleans.


  1. Janelle says:

    Don’t use WD-40! It made my stain worse, and just spread the ink over a larger area now! :'(

  2. Hi,
    My dogs chewed packets of grape and strawberry Kool-Aid on the couch and left a big black/purple stain. The couch is a beige color or tan taupe. What do I do? I will vacuum it first.

  3. I need a solution to clean the bright orange finished leather which is having black dots. Kindly suggest.

  4. Sankara,
    If the black dots are stains from black leather, then the steps in this article should work just as well on an orange couch as on a white one. If the black dots are not from black leather, then treat them for the type of stain that they are. It sounds like that could be mildew. If so, this is the article that you need: How to Clean Mold and Mildew from Leather Furniture.

  5. I did exactly what you said. My while leather chair is still stained from black leather pants…

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