Frequently Ask Questions:


*How to identify Leather Stains?

Leather Stains are identified by Appearance, Odor, Color, Feel-of-Hand, Location, and Buildup or Absorbed!

 - Appearance

Stain identification by appearance will show whether it is characteristic of a spill, rub-on, penetrated or deposited. 

It may also reveal dye or finish damage caused by the stain.

- Odor

Stain identification by smell can be very helpful in positive identification. 

Some of the more common odors may be moldy, smoke, putrid, or ammonia from urine.

- Color

Stain identification by color will also give a clue about the staining material. 

If the stain is red, it could be beverages, nail polish, lipstick, blood, or some other things. 

Color identification may not necessarily be right; with time, a red bloodstain may turn to a stain that ranges from tan to black. 

The color of the leather may mesmerize or alter the color of the stain.

- Feel of Hand

Stain identification by feel of hand may help determine the stain types. 

For instance, if it is sticky and red it could be candy, beverages, or other things that have sugar in them. 

If the stain is brittle and stiff, it may be nail polish, shellac, or paint. 

If it smears, it may have a grease base to it, such as lipstick.

- Location

Stain identification by location may give a clue as to the makeup of the staining substance. 

If it is dark at the headrest or the edge of the armrest, it is most likely stain by body oil, grease, and perspiration by hand or by the head.

- Buildup or Absorbed

A stain may take several appearances. 

The stain may be lying on top of the leather (buildup) on most pigmented leather or absorbed into the leather on most unfinished, aniline, and nubuck leathers. 

Naturally, it could also be a combination of absorbed and built up. 

If it has been absorbed, this will be an indication that it was a liquid when it penetrates the leather. 

It should also alert us that it may have chemically changed the dye of the leather. 

An example of this would be a perspiration stain that has reacted with the leather dye and changed it in some way. 

This would occur more likely on dyed absorbent leathers. 

The perspiration could also have weakened the fibers of the leather. 

In any event, this leather may show a marked color change in that area after spotting, and possibly after cleaning. 

Examples of built-up stains are paint and some foodstuff, etc. 

Examples of absorbed stains are beverages, wine, tea, coffee, etc. 

A combination stain may be lipstick, ink, mustard, etc. 

It will have part of its staining matter absorbed into the leather and part of it accumulated on the surface. 

A stain may also be a substance that has wet solvent-soluble and dry solvent-soluble components combined. 

An example of this would be gravy which contains grease, flour (from a plant), and milk (from an animal). 

Paint-type stains are readily detected because of their stiff nature and generally bright colors and they seem to be sitting on top of the leather. 

When identifying stains always try to determine whether they are of a protein, cellulose, oil-based, or colloidal makeup nature. 

Three common types of soiling or stain are solvent-soluble, water-soluble, and insoluble. 

Stains are of a combination nature, and in most instances, there will be no information regarding the stain especially if they are bought used.


*In which region(s) do you operate?

We operate from Vancouver, Canada, North America, and sell worldwide through our online store: www.LeatherDoctor.com


*Which sectors/industries do you serve?

We serve the Leather Care industry including Leather Car Interior, Leather Furnishing, Upholstery, Hand Bags, Garments, Boots, Hair-on Rugs, Equestrian, and Leather Accessories.


For further reference about other people who uses Leather Doctor Products, with step by step explanations and leather problem discussion, you may visit our Technical Help & Support Forum.


If you have any other questions, you may Contact Us.