How to Clean Oil Out of Leather Furniture

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels

  • Corn starch or talcum powder

  • Plastic wrap

  • Vacuum cleaner with soft-brush attachment or hand-held broom

  • Mineral spirits

  • Leather conditioner

Remove oil stains from leather promptly for best results.

Leather furniture is durable and easy to clean, making it an ideal furniture choice for many. Leather, however, is not stain proof. Although many spills can simply be wiped from leather with a damp rag, oil on leather furniture requires a bit more work to remove. Oil from foods, makeup, car oil and even oils from your hair or body can easily stain leather furniture. Use the proper products and methods to remove oil from leather furniture without compromising the appearance of the leather itself.


Step 1

Blot up as much of the oil at first sight. Fold up a paper towel and gently blot the oil stain. Do not rub the stain or it will spread to other areas of the leather furniture.

Step 2

Sprinkle the oil stain with a generous amount of corn starch or talcum powder. Rub the powder briskly into the stain using your fingers until you feel heat from friction. The heat will help to loosen the oil and allow the powder to absorb it.

Step 3

Cover the powder and oil stain with plastic wrap. Allow the powder to sit covered on the oil stain overnight.


Step 4

Vacuum up the powder the next day. Use a soft-brush vacuum cleaner attachment to suck up the powder from the leather. A hand-held broom will also work for cleaning up the powder.

Step 5

Wipe down the affected area with a damp rag. Inspect the leather furniture for any traces of the stain.

Step 6

Use mineral spirits if the oil stain persists. Moisten a clean rag with mineral spirits and gently rub it over the stain. Sprinkle corn starch or talcum powder over the stain. Allow the powder and mineral spirits to sit uncovered on the furniture overnight. Sweep up the powder the next day.


Step 7

Apply a leather conditioner to the furniture once all traces of the oil are gone. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for applying leather conditioner as this will vary among products.



Kimbry Parker

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.