How to Remove a Color Transfer From Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is made from animal hides, which are a natural material. This natural surface is porous and easily absorbs stains and discolourations when they're not removed promptly or thoroughly. Colour transfer can occur on your leather furniture when the colour from one surface, such as your clothing, wears or rubs off onto the leather. Though removing stains from leather isn't always easy, you can remove colour transfer and should do so as soon as it's noticed.

Squeeze a dime-sized amount of white toothpaste onto a clean cloth. Rub the toothpaste directly into the colour transfer stain, working the cloth in a circular motion and rubbing only the stained area.

Dampen your clean cloth and wipe the toothpaste from the leather, lifting as much of the colour transfer stain as possible.

Pour non-acetone nail polish remover onto another clean cloth. Rub the nail polish remover into the remaining colour transfer stain, working from the outer area of the stain in toward the middle. Apply more nail polish remover, as needed, and continue to wipe to remove as much stain as possible.

Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1 cup food-grade linseed oil to make a combination leather cleaner and moisturiser. Wet a lint-free cloth with the vinegar and oil solution, and then wring out the excess liquid. Buff the surface of your leather furniture with the solution to clean up your colour transfer stain removing solutions and any remaining stain.

Dry your leather furniture with a clean cloth.


Substitute hairspray for nail polish remover when removing colour transfer or any other ink or dye stains from leather. Always clean and moisturise your leather surface after stain removal to help maintain the natural moisture that helps to keep your furniture in good condition. Rub your vinegar and linseed oil solution into your leather furniture at night then allow it to sit all night. Buff the next day to add shine to your leather surface.


If you are worried about staining or discolouring your leather, test the solutions on an inconspicuous area before applying on the stain.

Things You'll Need

  • White toothpaste
  • Clean cloths
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover
  • Bucket
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup food-grade linseed oil
  • Lint-free cloth
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.