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Thread: Nubuck - What do I need to clean body oil on a Nubuck Leather Sofa?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Nubuck - What do I need to clean body oil on a Nubuck Leather Sofa?

    I just received the sofa and loveseat. There is body oil on a pillow and armrest. How do I know if this is leather or nubuck? Will the below item also clean as well as remove oil…and also how much of an area will one kit do? Thank you

    The pictures look worse that they really are. On the seat, probably dirt more that body oil.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.


    Leather identification always comes first.

    From picture, it looks Nubuck.

    Nubuck is top-grain cattle leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side, or outside, to create a velvet like texture or nap. It has the characteristic of a slight nap, with the softest “hand” or tactile feel. Although nubuck is aniline dyed through and sanded it is commonly finish with a surface dye sometimes incorporating micro-pigment to cover up some natural blemishes. It looks similar to suede, but the difference is that suede is created from the flesh side of leather, whereas nubuck is created from the grain side of leather. As both nubuck and suede are napped leather, it is often incorrectly identified as suede. Since leather is both hydrophilic and oleophilic, nubuck especially with its open nap absorbs both water and oil more readily, than any other leather. It is generally more expensive than suede; fashion types include embossed, oil and wax pull-up effect. Fatliquor plays an important role when comes to maintenance to both reduce ingress of waterbased and grease stain; plumps the leather with fullness, reduces creases, and wrinkles. Leather protein-fiber component is amphoteric therefore, a leather-safe (pH 3 - 5) care product system is highly recommended to keep them clean while maintaining their chemistry integrity.

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    Leather Doctor Kit N5.dr – Nubuck Degreaser Kit

    Leather Doctor® Kit N5.dr, nubuck leather degreaser kit is designed for degreasing especially to the headrest and armrest areas with most bare body contacts. Preventive regular surface degreasing is preferred over corrective penetrated degreasing as in severe cases, the dyestuff breaks bond and bleeds. Degreaser-2.2 is a waterbased (pH 2.2) multifunctional degreaser that besides emulsifying the greasy contamination, it controls dye bleeding and charging the protein fiber ionic positive for strengthening the ionic attraction between the ionic negative tanning agent, dyestuff and fatliquor. Deflocculated and suspended soiling is towel extracted, thereafter rinse and pH balanced with Acidifier-2.0 to prevent the leather from reverting to rawhide. When leather feels sticky or slimy it is a sign of leather denaturing, a squeaky feel when wet is a sign of healthy leather. Hydrator-3.3 relaxes stiff leathers and removes surface tension free from surface blotchiness prior to fat and oil replenishing. Fat and oil is replenished with Fatliquor-5.0 to rejuvenate the leather for the desired suppleness when dry. Dye refinishing is a consideration prior to a non-stick rub-resistant protection found in Kit Protector-S+ enhances a non-stick silky-feel to shield against sticky soiling. Note that the mentioned cleaning product suffix number denotes its pH value in this holistic leather-safe nubuck leathers degreasing system.


    Note that darkening effect are penetrated stains and deteriorated topcoat may be removed during the degreasing process. Dye fix and dyestuff refinishing when necessary is found in Kit
    1. Shake Degreaser-2.2 to gel prior to use.
    2. Transfer to Eraser-4 and apply with agitation.
    3. Suspended soiling is towel extracted until it shows clean.
    4. Spray Acidifier-2.0, towel extract until it shows clean and check for a healthy squeaky.

    1. Spray Hydrator-3.3 saturating the leather to relax stiff and stick together fibers and to wick out suspended foreign contamination.
    2. Covering the surface with tissue paper without airspace allows wick up soiling particulates to be trapped by the paper instead of remaining on the leather surface as it dries.
    3. Check for satisfaction prior to fat and oil replenishing.

    Fat and Oil Replenishing:
    1. Spray Fatliquor-5.0 and redistribute with foam brush until saturation.
    2. Repeat application each time water contents evaporate until fully saturated.
    3. Allow natural drying for extra softness.

    Non-stick, Rub-Resistant Protection:
    1. Shake well, mist spray Protector-S+ evenly and brush-in with nubuck Brush-2, 2. When dry thereafter groom with nubuck Brush-2 again for a silky finger writing effect and it is ready for use.

    Kit Content and Product Description:

    Leather Doctor® Degreaser-2.2 (120ml)
    Leather Doctor® Degreaser-2.2 is a pH 2.2 leather-safe waterbased degreaser with dye bleeding control. It is design for degreasing leather of penetrated oil, grease and sweat stains from skin and hair contact, especially the headrest and armrest of upholstery, collar and cuffs of garment including handles of bag. It is mandatory to work in conjunction with Rinse-3.0 to rinse emulsified soiling or Acidifier-2.0 for bleeding control, pH balancing sweaty contamination and rinsing leather from denaturing into rawhide. This universal leather degreaser is for all leather types including the common pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck and suede.

    Leather Doctor® Acidifier-2.0 (250ml)
    Leather Doctor® Acidifier-2.0 is a waterbased pH 2.0 leather acidifier designs for controlling dye bleeding in conjunction with Degreaser-2.2 in extreme prolong oil, grease and sweat decontamination system. As a standalone, it is for pH balancing alkaline overexposure that manifest as marks, streaks, brightness and tackiness. This universal acidifier is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin leather types.

    Leather Doctor® Hydrator-3.3 (250ml)
    Leather Doctor® Hydrator-3.3 is a waterbased pH 3.3 leather-safe hydrator. It is a fatliquor preconditioner with multi functional abilities. Surface application is primary to check for even surface tension free of blotchiness prior to fatliquor replenishing. Structural application will require saturating to an optimum level with moisture oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers. The multi functional abilities include: a) to check for surface tension for an even appearance free from blotchiness prior to fatliquor replenishing. b) To plumps, relaxes and separates crushed, shrunk and stick together fibrils for manipulating away-unwanted creases and wrinkles. c) To rectify alkaline overexposure areas by facilitating colloidal water movement to redistribute the leather constituents from surrounding areas. d) To activate the dormant dyestuff within the leather structure for color refreshing. e) To facilitates colloidal water movement within the inter-fibrillary spaces for wicking foreign soiling particulates to resurface. f) To stabilize, pH balance and charge the protein fiber below its iso-electric point (pI) ionic positive to hydrogen bond with the ionic negative fatliquor more effectively. This universal Hydrator-3.3 is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin.

    Leather Doctor® Fatliquor-5.0 (250ml)
    Leather Doctor® Fatliquor-5.0, a micro emulsion of fat, oil and water is an anionic charged pH 5.0 fatliquor for rejuvenating all leather types. It relaxes coarse breaks, creases and wrinkles enhance suppleness and prevent cracking. It softens the leather with stretchability, compressibility and flexibility, while enhancing its rip tensile strength greatly. It is for replenishing the original fat and oil that diminishes thru sun-bleaching, ageing, heat and alkaline overexposure or cleaning. On application, the water-encased molecule breaks free when hydrogen bond attraction takes place between the fat and oil with the protein fiber. The excess free water content wicks out leaving a breathing space behind for leather natural transpiration. The fat plumps the leather with fullness from easily collapsing into creases and wrinkles during stress or flex, while the oil lubricates the fibers so that they slide over one another smoothly like millions of inter-connecting hinges. Thus helps to keep leather at its optimum physical performance and prevent premature ageing. This universal Fatliquor-5.0 is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin.

    Leather Doctor® Protector-S+ (120ml)
    Leather Doctor® Protector-S+ is a non-film forming, non-stick, rub-resistant protector that enhances a natural silky-feel, with a classic leather scent for pure-aniline, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin leather types. It imparts a non-stick, breathable barrier, essentially to shield the detrimental effects of sticky soiling. Its natural silky-feel protection increases the leather resistance to wet and dry rubs, thus reduce stretch, scuff and abrasion. In addition, it reduces friction squeaks that wear the finishes when leather is rubbed during movement.

    Leather Eraser-4 Eraser-4 is a 2½ x 2¼ x ¾ inch foam rubber sponge block with a crepe side for effective dry/wet soil removal.

    Nubuck Brush-2
    Brush-2 is a nylon detailing brush ergonomically designed to be an extension of our hand with sturdy grooved grip, to produce an effective result easily and efficiently for many years to come. It is recommend for nubuck, to groom its nap effectively. The length is 7 inches with a three row 1½ inches nylon bristles cleaning head.

    3 inch Poly-Brush
    Poly-Brush is a dense foam that resists tearing and shredding and carries more material. It has a solid wood handle that allows greater control for quality results. It is for controlling and spreading fatliquor for a more even distribution.

    Paper Towel Rags (5 pc)
    Towel Rags rag works like cloth, lint free, highly absorbent and washable. General application is for extracting suspended soiling or for spreading hydrator, fatliquor or protector. It is for both dye and topcoat padding for smooth leathers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.


    Use this Nubuck Problem Solving Guide as reference for other soiling types.

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