How to Remove Body Oil Stains from Leather Upholstery

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Jennifer asked: How can I clean body oil stains from my Italian leather couch? I have a 10-year-old, very expensive Italian leather couch. Over the years, our body oils have stained the couch. I need to get it back to the color it was. It is very shiny and smooth. Thank you.

Over time, body oils are destructive to leather and the finishes that are applied to the surfaces. Once body oils have penetrated the surface, it requires professional cleaning to remove them. When home methods are used, it often results in the removal of the leather coloring. Once removed, the color will have to be replaced, which can be an even more difficult task.

Choose a pro who is experienced with leathers and has the appropriate cleaning products and tools to successfully remove the oils without damaging the leather. Commonly, they will useĀ  a degreasing compound to draw the oils out. This can take several hours as the oils go much deeper than the discoloration that you see on the surface. Once all of the oils are removed, they will recolor the leather if necessary and replace the protective finish.

To prevent future discoloration and damage, apply a high quality leather protector. This will keep the body oils from being absorbed into the leather. Clean the surfaces regularly with the recommended cleaning methods to remove any oils sitting on the surface.

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