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Thread: Large Dark Spot on Arhaus Leather Sofa

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2024

    Wink Large Dark Spot on Arhaus Leather Sofa

    Hi! First time poster. This site has come up a lot in my Google searches, so I am posting to see if you can send me in the right direction!

    I just purchased this Arhaus leather sofa secondhand. This is my first time owning a decent leather sofa, so I am unsure of how to care for it or how to treat the dark stains. One of the dark spots is rather large. I've tried searching how to clean the dark stain, but I don't know what caused the stain (i.e., is it protein-based, oil/grease, etc?), so I'm left wondering what would be the best approach...or if I should accept it as it is and let my three kids continue the destruction.

    I'm also looking for input about how I can care for the sofa in general.

    Thank you!

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


    From the pictures, it is clear that this is 'Aniline' leather, which means the coloring is derived from a transparent dyestuff. I rule out 'wax pull-up' as there is no lightening of color from scratch or scratch. It is hard to tell if the topcoat finish is 'gloss' or 'satin'. Gloss aniline is more common, and satin is of waxed leather less common. Does the label indicate the leather finish type?

    The leather finish identification will help when coming to refinishing so that it matches the original. It is either 'Aniline Gloss Topcoat 76G' with 'Leather Protector B' or 'Aniline Waxy Satin Topcoat 21W' with 'Leather Protector W'.

    >>> One of the dark spots is rather large. I've tried searching how to clean the dark stain, but I don't know what caused the stain (i.e., is it protein-based, oil/grease, etc?), so I'm left wondering what would be the best approach..

    Here is the copy and paste from Leather Doctor FAQ for your reading. . .

    *How to identify Leather Stains?

    Leather Stains are identified by Appearance, Odor, Color, Feel-of-Hand, Location, and Buildup or Absorbed!

    - Appearance

    Stain identification by appearance will show whether it is characteristic of a spill, rub-on, penetrated or deposited.

    It may also reveal dye or finish damage caused by the stain.

    - Odor

    Stain identification by smell can be very helpful in positive identification.

    Some of the more common odors may be moldy, smoke, putrid, or ammonia from urine.

    - Color

    Stain identification by color will also give a clue about the staining material.

    If the stain is red, it could be beverages, nail polish, lipstick, blood, or some other things.

    Color identification may not necessarily be right; with time, a red bloodstain may turn to a stain that ranges from tan to black.

    The color of the leather may mesmerize or alter the color of the stain.

    - Feel of Hand

    Stain identification by feel of hand may help determine the stain types.

    For instance, if it is sticky and red it could be candy, beverages, or other things that have sugar in them.

    If the stain is brittle and stiff, it may be nail polish, shellac, or paint.

    If it smears, it may have a grease base to it, such as lipstick.

    - Location

    Stain identification by location may give a clue as to the makeup of the staining substance.

    If it is dark at the headrest or the edge of the armrest, it is most likely stain by body oil, grease, and perspiration by hand or by the head.

    - Buildup or Absorbed

    A stain may take several appearances.

    The stain may be lying on top of the leather (buildup) on most pigmented leather or absorbed into the leather on most unfinished, aniline, and nubuck leathers.

    Naturally, it could also be a combination of absorbed and built up.

    If it has been absorbed, this will be an indication that it was a liquid when it penetrates the leather.

    It should also alert us that it may have chemically changed the dye of the leather.

    An example of this would be a perspiration stain that has reacted with the leather dye and changed it in some way.

    This would occur more likely on dyed absorbent leathers.

    The perspiration could also have weakened the fibers of the leather.

    In any event, this leather may show a marked color change in that area after spotting, and possibly after cleaning.

    Examples of built-up stains are paint and some foodstuff, etc.

    Examples of absorbed stains are beverages, wine, tea, coffee, etc.

    A combination stain may be lipstick, ink, mustard, etc.

    It will have part of its staining matter absorbed into the leather and part of it accumulated on the surface.

    A stain may also be a substance that has wet solvent-soluble and dry solvent-soluble components combined.

    An example of this would be gravy which contains grease, flour (from a plant), and milk (from an animal).

    Paint-type stains are readily detected because of their stiff nature and generally bright colors and they seem to be sitting on top of the leather.

    When identifying stains always try to determine whether they are of a protein, cellulose, oil-based, or colloidal makeup nature.

    Three common types of soiling or stain are solvent-soluble, water-soluble, and insoluble.

    Stains are of a combination nature, and in most instances, there will be no information regarding the stain especially if they are bought used.

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    This is a leather problem-solving guide for Aniline leather.

    >>> I'm also looking for input about how I can care for the sofa in general.

    What is Aniline leather?

    Aniline leather is leather that has dyed through to the reverse suede side with transparent dyestuff. The surface is further dye coated to even out appearance and sealed with a urethane clear gloss topcoat to bring the beauty of the grain surface show through. Micro crazing develops sooner which makes the leather more comfortable in transpiration and a bit more absorbent too.

    How to take Good Care of Aniline Leather?

    Even if we do not use it, still in the showroom, the leather will still dry up and softness turns to stiffness especially exposed to sunlight, and heat and intensity of color will weaken with sun fading. So periodically, the color intensity needs to be refreshed by activating the dormant dyestuff within the leather structure to resurface; any unnatural wrinkles, creases, or curls will also need hydrating to relax; and the loss of fatliquor conditioning fat and oil through evaporation will need to be replenished too. When leather is put in use we need to have a cycle of care to match the severity of the soiling condition to maintain the highest level of appearance and softness with strength at all times. The leather-safe system of care includes preventive, routine, periodic, and restorative care.

    What is a Preventive Care system for Aniline leather?

    A preventive care system for aniline leather is the initial surface protective conditioner applied prior to putting it to use to impart the leather with a buttery feel that enhances the leather luxuriously to the sense of touch; a non-stick surface that shields the leather from sticky soiling thus prolonging a high level of appearance; a rub-resistant ability reduces friction noises that translate into less friction wear; and the optional leather scent diffuses a classic leather scent that boosts the sensuous leather more appealing to the leather lover.

    What is a Routine Care system for Aniline leather?

    A routine care system for aniline leather includes procedures such as general dust cleaning, attending to spots and stains as required especially the pH balancing of sweat stains from shifting alkaline, thus preventing the leather from tackiness. A routine non-stick rub-resistant protection after neutralizing rinse helps keep leather in a more attractive and healthy state while preventing premature wear.

    What is a Periodic Care system for Aniline leather?

    A periodic care system for aniline leather is recommended before soiling causes damage to the finishing; this keeps leather consistently clean and healthy at all times; body contact areas would require more frequent attention than the unused areas; while the leather headrest, hand rest, handles, etc gets the most of body oil and sweat.

    What is a Restorative Care system for Aniline Leather?

    A restorative care system for aniline leather is the ultimate restorative or salvage care system that removes accumulated soiling including aged conditioners, and accumulated soiling that fills creases is often mistaken for cracks.

    For your further reading take a look at these relevant kits. . .

    For refinishing see . . .

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    Aniline Leather Redyeing Kit

    For repairs see . . .

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    Leather Repair Kit A8.r

    For Routine, Periodic and Restorative cleaning see . . .

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    Aniline Leather Care Kit A3

    Further questions are welcome to see you through this project.

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    Roger Koh
    Leather Care System Formulator
    Consultant / Practitioner / Instructor / Coach
    email: [email protected],
    email: [email protected]
    phone: 604 773 1878

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