How to remove body-oil stains from leather

Updated April 17, 2017

Finding perspiration or body-oil stains on your clothing or furniture can be frustrating. When those stains are found on a fabric as delicate as leather, it becomes even more upsetting. Before you rush off to purchase expensive cleaning products or call in the cleaning professionals, there is a very simple home remedy that will remove those nasty stains without damaging the leather. The method is quick and only requires a few supplies, all of which can be found in most homes. Follow this remedy and your leather will be oil-free in no time.

Sprinkle cornflour on the stain. Use just enough cornflour to completely cover the oil stain.

Rub the cornflour into the oil stain using a circular motion. Continue rubbing until you feel heat from the friction of the leather on the tips of your fingers.

Let the cornflour sit overnight.

Wipe the cornflour away using a clean dry cloth.

Vacuum any remaining cornstarch residue from the spot using a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment.


If cornstarch is unavailable, talc powder may be used as a substitute.


Never use water to clean an oil stain on leather. The water will cause the oil to spread and increase the size of the stain.

Things You'll Need

  • Cornflour
  • Soft dry cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment
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About the Author

Tammi Clements is a Los Angeles, California based fashion, and entertainment writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast communications from the University Of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her articles have appeared in Jane Magazine, Marie Claire Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. She is currently writing her first novel, and travels the globe in her free time.