How to Eliminate Water Stains On a Leather Couch

Can Water Stain a Leather Couch?

We use water to clean almost everything in our homes, how then could it cause a stain? well, in as much as water cleans it also causes damage if not used in the right way. In this article, we will be discussing water stains on a leather couch and how to get rid of them.

Water can stain a leather couch or any leather accessory but the impact is likely to be mild as compared to ink or wine stain which is usually tough and difficult to eliminate. The moment your leather couch gets in contact with water accidentally or not it is likely to get stained because water constitutes elements that will dry out the natural oils on your leather couch.


It is therefore important to get rid of water spillage on your leather couch immediately to avoid further staining that would be otherwise difficult to get rid of by merely using distilled water and dish soap.

Fortunately, today, there are unlimited methods of eliminating water stains on a leather couch regardless of whether the stain is mild or tough. But to be on the safe side and most importantly for the sake of your expensive leather couch, it is always important to take care of the water stain immediately it happens however busy you are.

In this article, we will discuss 5 methods by which you can eliminate water stains on your leather couch. These methods are in favor of both mild and tough water stains. Read on to learn more.

5 Ways to Eliminate Water Stains on a Leather Couch

1. How to Eliminate Water Stains On a Leather Couch Using Water and Dish Soap

The fact that water has caused a stain on your leather couch doesn’t mean that you cannot use the same water to eliminate the stain. As a matter of fact, water is the safest and most reliable cleaning agent that is effective in removing water stains on leather couches and other leather surfaces.

If the water stain hasn’t overstayed on your leather couch, a solution of water and mild dish soap should be your go-to option. Besides, water and dish soap are cleaning agents that every household usually has.

What you will need:

  • Distilled water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Leather conditioner
  • A sponge
  • A white microfiber cloth


  1. Pour a reasonable amount of distilled water into a bucket. It is safe to use distilled water as it doesn’t contain minerals that would otherwise suck up the natural oils on your leather couch.
  2. Add mild dish soap to the water and use your hands to mix it carefully to form a perfect cleaning solution. Always use colorless dish soap to avoid causing discoloration.
  3. Dip the sponge in the water and soap solution then wring it out to remove excess water, and rub it gently and in a circular motion over the stain. You will need to repeat this at least 2-3 times until the stain lifts.
  4. After confirming that all the water stain has been eliminated, take a white soft microfiber cloth and dip in clean water, wring out excess water, and use it to wipe clean the area.
  5. When your leather couch is now completely dry and free from water stains, you can apply a leather conditioner to replenish its natural oils (especially if you didn’t use distilled water)

2. How to Eliminate Water Stains On a Leather Couch Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol eliminates water stains on a leather couch in seconds. If water and dish soap solution fails to get the work done, then rubbing alcohol should be your best and next option especially if the water stain has overstayed.

However, make sure to try out the rubbing alcohol in a small invisible area to ascertain that it won’t cause damage to your leather couch. If it doesn’t cause discoloration, then you should go ahead and use it.

What you will need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball
  • Microfiber cloth


  1. Apply the Rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and rub it gently over the water stain on your leather couch. Do this gently and in a circular motion. You will also need to reapply the rubbing alcohol 2-3 times until all the stain lifts.
  2. Confirm if all the stain has lifted.
  3. Dampen the microfiber cloth and massage it over the rubbing alcohol to get rid of the excess. Let your couch dry completely before subjecting it to use.

3. How to Eliminate Water Stains On a Leather Couch Using Vinegar

Vinegar is as effective as rubbing alcohol. However, if the rubbing alcohol fails to completely eliminate the water stain, vinegar will accomplish that in a blink. Plus, vinegar is perfect for even water stains that have overstayed.

Just like rubbing alcohol, you will need to test it in a small invisible area of your couch to make sure it doesn’t cause discoloration.

What you will need

  • ½ cup distilled vinegar
  • Warm water (about a gallon)
  • Sponge
  • Vacuum or microfiber cloth


  1. Pour warm water into a bucket and add ½ a cup vinegar. Mix the contents gently and perfectly to form a vinegar solution.
  2. Dip a sponge into the solution and wring it mildly then rub it over the stain. Do it gently and in a circular motion while careful not to spread dirt to other clean areas of your couch.
  3. Repeat the process 2-3 more times until the water stain lifts.
  4. Since vinegar usually has a strong smell even after mixing with water, you might need to use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum up all the excess vinegar. However, you can still use a microfiber cloth to blot dry the area and the vinegar smell will go away eventually.

4. How to Eliminate Water Stain On a Leather Couch Using Mayonnaise

Although many know it as an edible condiment used in preparing snacks, mayonnaise is a cleaning hack that can effectively get rid of water stains on leather surfaces including a leather couch.

But just like any cleaning agent, you will need to test it in a small area to see if it fits or would cause damage.

For effective results, you might want to apply the mayonnaise over the stain overnight or for at least 6 hours before eliminating the excess.


  1. Apply a reasonable coating of mayonnaise on the water stain on your leather couch and use a soft cloth to rub over it gently and in a circular motion.
  2. Repeat this 2-3 times until you confirm that the water stain has lifted.
  3. Use a soft damp cloth to remove the excess mayonnaise and leave your couch to dry completely. This will take about 15 minutes and your couch will be ready for use once again.

5. How to Eliminate Water Stain On a Leather Couch Using Commercial Leather Cleaners

Most people will resort to commercial cleaners if home remedies like vinegar, water, dish soap, or rubbing alcohol fail to work. And in most cases, this may be a result of overstayed stains.

Therefore, it is recommended to take care of water stains on your leather couch immediately it happens using the available cleaners to avoid the hustle and bustle of having to order commercial cleaners from online stores which are usually expensive and may cost you extra time.

However, in as much as commercial cleaners tend to be expensive and sometimes difficult to find, they are effective. They are usually recommended for hard stains that could not be eliminated by home remedies like water and dish soap.

Depending on the type of leather cleaner you have or intend to buy, make sure you follow the instructions given to prevent ruining the aesthetic of your leather couch.

Also, make sure to test the cleaner in a small invisible area of your couch to ascertain that it is safe for use.

After applying the leather cleaner, you might want to replenish your leather’s natural oils that may have been removed when cleaning by using a leather conditioner. This also helps in maintaining the attractive look of your leather couch.

What Are Some of the Leather Care Measures?

Leather furniture is way more expensive as compared to any other type of furniture. And if you have a leather couch, you definitely understand how important caring for it is to you. For starters, in as much as leather couches are expensive but durable, failing to care for them properly won’t guarantee their durability.

The following are the leather care measures that you should put into consideration if you have a leather couch or you intend to own one soon.

1. Regular Cleaning

Leather couches are very easy to clean. All you need is weekly vacuuming or wiping to remove dust that may accumulate over time. This keeps it looking new and attractive.

2. Regularly Applying Leather Conditioner

Leather has natural oils that may be removed when cleaning your leather couch with water. Therefore, replenishing it with a leather conditioner will keep it looking fresh and new.

How to Prevent Water from Damaging your Leather Couch

As much as water is the safest cleaning agent for your leather couch, it may end up damaging it if not careful.

Water constitutes minerals that may break the natural oils on leather surfaces thus causing them to lose their attractive look. However, it is recommended to use distilled water when cleaning leather surfaces as it doesn’t constitute any minerals.

Here is how to prevent water from damaging your leather couch:

  1. Regularly clean your leather couch to prevent further staining in case it gets in contact with water accidentally or not. It’s easier and fast to cleaner tidy surfaces as compared to untidy ones.
  2. Always get rid of water on leather surfaces immediately to prevent further staining. Overstayed water stains may be tough and difficult to eliminate with home remedies.
  3. Always use distilled water when cleaning leather surfaces as it doesn’t contain minerals that would snatch natural oils from your leather couch.

How to Eliminate Water Stains On a Leather Couch Cover

The best thing about using couch covers is that they prevent your couch from an unnecessary mess like wine spillage and dog scratches that would otherwise damage its aesthetic.

It is also very easy to clean leather couch covers and surprisingly they dry immediately after washing for the next use.

Eliminating water stains from a leather couch cover is very easy. Depending on the extent of the water stain, you can choose to either spot clean or machine wash.

Spot cleaning works best if the water stain is mild. All you need to do is take a bucket with a gallon of distilled water mixed with mild dishwashing soap, then use a sponge to rub over the stain on your leather couch cover. Make sure to repeat these over until all the stain lifts then use a damp microfiber cloth to blot dry.

When the water stain on your leather couch cover has overstayed and has become tough to eliminate, you might need to consider soaking it up and then transferring it to the washing machine.

Add about a cup of vinegar to the bathtub with water and your favorite powder soap then soak up the cover overnight or for at least 6 hours before transferring to the washer. Avoid using bleach and fabric softer as it may cause discoloration.

While using the washer, make sure you set it on a gentle cycle with cold water. Using cold water is considered safe and won’t subject your leather cover to any aesthetic damage. Also, make sure you put it in the open to dry rather than using the dryer, too much heat in a dryer may cause damage to it.

What Are the Best Leather Cleaners for Water Stain?

A water stain on a leather couch can cause unsightly irritation just like a wine stain. Therefore, identifying the best water stain eliminator for a leather couch is essential so as to maintain its attractive look.

Here are the best leather cleaners for water stains that I have personally used on my leather surfaces and I loved how effective they turned out to be.

1. kevianClean Leather Cleaner and Conditioner

the best thing about this KevianClean Leather Cleaner and Conditioner is how versatile it is. It has a wide variety of use not only for your leather couch but also for other furniture, accessories, and upholstery. I have personally used it on my leather loveseat and handbag that got stained with water not just once and I just loved how I could always depend on it.

It is also safe to use this cleaner on your leather surfaces as it doesn’t get rid of the natural oils hence living your leather look attractive and new. Plus, it is absolutely safe for the surrounding environment and so you don’t have to worry about it causing harm to your kids and pets.

Lastly, this leather cleaner is affordable. You don’t have to break the bank to buy one for your leather accessories.

2. Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Kit

This Chemical Guys leather cleaner was actually recommended to me by a dear friend who one day came to my home and noticed the watermarks on my couch. And at the time I had tried the home remedies for eliminating water stains on leather to no avail.

So I got to purchase this cleaner and I loved how instant my couch become clean after using it. The best thing is that I could use it to clean my leather purse and my leather office chair which is also a major subject to spillage of all sorts.

3. Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey Store

Characteristics of this leather cleaner

  • It is affordable
  • It is effective- as it works instantly
  • Environmental friendly- it won’t cause harm to your kids or pets if you have one
  • Can be used on all leather accessories and furniture
  • Easy to use- comes premixed and ready to get those water stains off your leather

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Clean Leather with Vinegar?

Yes! Vinegar is a perfect substitute for rubbing alcohol and is safe to use it to eliminate water stains on your leather couch. Just make sure you mix it with a reasonable amount of warm water to neutralize its strong smell.

What Happens If a Leather Couch Gets Wet?

When a leather couch gets wet be it with water or any other type of drink, it becomes dry and loses its attractive look. This is because water has minerals that suck up the natural oils found in leather making it lose its natural look.

Therefore, it is important to wipe out the water the moment it lands on your leather surfaces. This will also make cleaning easier as compared to when you let it overstay.


Leather couches are expensive but durable. However, if not well taken care of and maintained, its longevity is not guaranteed. And a simple mess like water can be easily taken care of immediately without letting it cause further staining.

In this article, we have discussed quite a number of ways to eliminate water stains on a leather couch, how to prevent water from damaging your leather couch, and the best leather cleaners for water stains. I hope this will be of great help to you and all the best in maintaining the look of your favorite leather.

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