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How to Clean Hair Oil off Leather Furniture

Hair oils are wonderful for the hair and scalp, but they can also stain leather furniture. Of course, the best thing is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Use a washable pillow before laying down on your leather furniture. Also, your leather furniture will resist hair oil if you treat it with linseed oil every few months.

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  1. Blot any excess hair oil with a cloth and wipe the stained area with a fresh cloth. Repeat if necessary. If the hair oil has penetrated the leather, move on to the next steps.

  2. Check manufacturer's care instructions for information about oil stains. Suggestions for cleaning grease stains will also work on hair oil stains. If you've thrown out the cleaning instructions, call the furniture maker or the retailer for instructions on how to remove hair oil stains.

  3. Use a mixture of 1 part cream of tartar and 1 part lemon juice. Apply the mixture to the spot and allow it to remain for ten minutes. Wipe it off and reapply the mixture, leaving it for another ten minutes. Very gently, remove the mixture with a damp sponge and immediately follow with a dry cloth.

  4. Shake a layer of cornstarch onto the spot, and let it stay on the spot for around four hours. Wipe it off with a dry cloth. You may also use talcum powder with the same process.

  5. Give the spot some time to disappear on its own, after you've blotted up excess oil. Very often oil and grease spots eventually are absorbed by the leather and disappear on their own.

  6. Prevent future oil stains by applying a mixture of linseed oil and vinegar to your leather furniture every six months. The mixture should be 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts linseed oil. Shake it up thoroughly and apply it with a soft cloth to your leather furniture. Allow it to remain on the leather for ten minutes. Follow this with a soft cloth, and soon you'll be admiring your gleaming leather.

  7. Warning

    Any kind of furniture polish or ammonia cleaning products must be avoided entirely. Abrasive cleaners will ruin the surface and grain of the leather so must also be avoided. Try commercial leather conditioners and cleaners or professional leather cleaners if your stains don't budge.

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Things You'll Need

  • Linseed oil
  • Vinegar
  • Cream of tartar
  • Talcum powder
  • Cloths for cleaning

About the Author

Ingrid Hansen has been published in "Twin Cities Business" magazine, the "Murphy Reporter," "Twin Cities Parent" magazine and the "Southwest Journal" newspaper. She has also written more than 30 non-fiction books for the K-12 library and education market, and has been a subject matter expert and a course designer for online college curriculum. She teaches English Composition at a local college, and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Hamline University.

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