How to remove surface dye from leather

Updated February 21, 2017

Removing surface dye from leather furniture it the first step in redying leather products. Surface dye is leather colouring that lies only on the uppermost layer the leather. This dying technique is used in products such as leather furniture, shoes, coats, and even car seats. There are many professional products available to allow you to remove leather surface dye in your own home.

Rub the deglazer product generously onto the leather with a soft brush or clean cloth. Leather deglazer can be found in hardware stores, leather stores, and shoe repair shops. For additional information, see the Resource and Reference sections.

Allow the deglazer to fully absorb into the leather to remove the surface dye. Wait at least two hours, or even overnight.

Wipe the leather clean with a soft cloth to remove any excess deglazing product or surface dye.

Repeat the process if all of the surface dye has not been removed.


Use deglazer in a well-ventilated area. To reduce the chance of damage to your home, cover the surface area where you will be using the deglazing product with a tarp or other protective covering.


Take care to wear protective gloves over your hands when using these products, which contain chemicals that can be very harsh on the skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather deglazer product
  • Soft clean white cloth
  • Protective gloves
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About the Author

Deb Katula has written and researched for Societe Generale, FIMAT, Nikko Securities, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Arthur Anderson. She holds an MBA in economics and finance from the University of Chicago; a Japanese language fellowship from Harvard; and a Bachelor of Arts in business/psychology/Asian studies from Augustana College.