Dye stains from clothing on leather car seats and sofas are a common problem, with denim being the biggest culprit. The lighter the leather, the more visible the stains will be. How to remove them will depend on the type of leather. For pigmented leather, monochrome, semi-gloss and smooth leather, conventional leather cleaning products will get rid of dye stains in most cases. But, if the dye has been in contact with the leather for too long, it might have penetrated the surface, making it harder to remove the stain just by cleaning, in which case a dye might be needed to restore the leather.

Colourlock Dye transfer examples

How to remove dye stains

Simply follow our recommended steps below. Please note: for any other types of leather other than those mentioned above, please consult a leather specialist first as these are more sensitive and conventional cleaners could make the damage worse. 

The first step should always be to try to remove dye stains with Colourlock Mild Leather Cleaner or Colourlock Strong Leather Cleaner for more stubborn stains. We recommend using a Colourlock Leather Cleaning Brush to help the product get deeper into the grain of the leather surface. If you notice that after using the cleaner the stain hasn’t completely been removed, you might need to also apply Colourlock GLD Solvent. This product is specifically designed to slightly dissolve the top colour coating on the leather. The GLD Solvent should be used carefully, applying it with a lightly damp lint-free cloth. Some of the colour of the leather will come off together with the dye you are trying to remove, but you should be careful not to take off too much of the original leather colour. If this can’t be avoided because the stains are still visible, you will need to restore the colour of the affected area with Colourlock Leather Fresh (Leather Dye). Please check our website or contact us directly to obtain a matching colour so the leather restoration won’t be noticeable.

We recommend using Colourlock Leather Shield after the treatment to protect the leather from further discolouration. This product offers protection against abrasion, stains and discolouration. If the leather is sensitive to discolouration, the Colourlock Leather Shield should be used during the next years. This is not necessary if a strong colouring textile was the reason behind the stains. But if the leather is generally sensitive, this recommendation is true for all contact areas. Traditional care products contain oils and waxes to soften the leather. But they also soften the colour layer and make them somewhat sticky. This promotes soiling and discolouration. As long as the leather doesn't appear to be too dry, Colourlock Leather Shield is the first choice for the contact areas. The rest can be treated as recommended for furniture leather.

How to remove dye transfer from leather - colourlock steps


How to remove dye stains from faux leather?

In case of synthetic leather or vinyl, the Colourlock Vinyl Cleaner should be the first choice. If this doesn't remove the stains and the discolouration persists, there is no way to clean it. Even a leather specialist will have little chance, as even recolouring the stain could still allow the dye to move back on to the top layer becoming visible again.



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