Leather Care & Repair Specialists

Call Us on:

How To Clean Aniline Leather

How To Clean Aniline Leather

How to Clean Aniline Leather

This guide will explain how to clean aniline leather. Aniline leather is a very soft and natural type of leather, as it is only dyed and contains no pigmented surface coating. As such, it soaks in stains and dirt very easily. To identify if your leather is aniline leather put a small drop of water onto the leather and if it soaks in, you'll need to follow this guide explaining how to clean it. If the water sits on the surface, read this guide to clean the leather.

Because aniline and other absorbent types of leather soak up liquids and stains very easily, it is more important to protect the leather from new, than to simply clean them. The leather protection cream adds a protective barrier to the leather, which helps prevent staining as it stops the liquids soaking into the leather. This in turn, makes the leather easier to clean. Watch the two videos below illustrating the benefits of protecting leather.

How to clean aniline leather guide 2

This is a photo of some aniline leather. As you now know from the above information, aniline leather is very absorbent and so you shouldn't spray the leather ultra clean directly onto it. The leather would just soak it up preventing it from working.

Instead, we'll turn the cleaner into a foam to make it clean easier. If your aniline leather is brand new and doesn't need cleaned, make sure you apply the leather protection cream.

Cleaning with foam - Dispensing Leather Ultra Clean into foaming bottle

Step 1:

To overcome the problem of the leather soaking the liquid in, pour the leather ultra clean into a foaming bottle and screw the lid on.This turns the cleaner into a foam and so it is less likely to soak into the leather. This gives you more time to clean the surface and so makes cleaning aniline leather very effective.

Clean the aniline with a brush - Applying cleaner foam to brush

Step 2:

Also, because aniline is unprotected it means all the dirt and grime gets into the leather, rather than just sitting on the surface.

So, inorder to clean the leather effectively, you must use a tampico brush to clean into the leather fibres and loosen the dirt. Using a sponge or cloth will not be as effective as you would only been cleaning the dirt off the surface, not from within the leather.

The Cleaning Process

Although you will be cleaning with a foam, the aniline leather can and probably still will absorb the cleaner - it will just take longer to do so. Because of this, it is difficult to see how effective your cleaning is until the leather dries out.

My advice is to divide the leather up and tackle one panel at a time. Give one panel a thorough clean and then move onto the next. When you have foam on the tampico brush, rub it into the leather in a circular motion and then as the foam absorbs the dirt wipe it off with a terry towel.

You may need to clean the aniline leather 2 or 3 times to see a good difference. This is because as you clean some dirt off, more can surface from within the leather. However, if you have protected the leather from new, you won't get this problem and it will be easy to clean.

Grease Removal

As we are dealing with an absorbent type of leather, it is very common that the leather absorbs body oils and grease in the areas where you rest your head and arms. This noticeable by a dark patch in those areas. Using the leather ultra clean will not remove this type of stain, instead, you need to use the leather degreaser.

Maintaining Leather & Recommended Products

Four Seasons Leather Care Plan: A year round plan to keep your leather in pristine condition.

Leather Care Kit: A large leather care kit representing excellent value for money.


Sign in to post a comment or enter your email address and name to quick post.


5 months ago


Hi, I have just bought a nice naturally distressed tan aniline sofa. It does need a good clean and maybe colour balm but I am worried that this would result in the sofa losing its distressed leather look. Any pointers on cleaning and dying that would help retain its charm and softness? Thanks

5 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Mo. If the balms are suitable for your leather, they will enhance the colour already present and blend into the surrounding areas, and as such are great for keeping the mottled effect and colur variances over the leather. I hope this helps. Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

10 months ago


Hi I've been to look at a leather sofa aniline, the seat pads have faded considerably from the original dark brown to a light caramel colour can this be rectified? The suite also needs a good clean I've seen the guide and products I'd require to clean it but if the colour correction is not something I can't do myself I'd probably not buy it. Any advice much appreciated.

10 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Paul. If the ;leather is Aniline, it will be absorbent. You can check this by dripping a drop of water on the surface and see if it soaks in ... it should if it is aniline. In that case, you can use a dark brown Leather Recolouring Balm to restore the colour. Leather Recolouring Balm ... https://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Leather_Recolouring_Balm I hope this helps. Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

3 years ago


I have just purchased a new aniline sofa can you tell me what I need to protect it. mike

3 years ago

Furniture Clinic

To protect aniline leather I'd highly recommend our Leather Protection Cream. An application of this every 3-4 months will provide a high level of protection. Leather Protection Cream: http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Leather_Protection_Cream.php Our Leather Care Kit contains the Protection Cream along with the Ultra Clean Care Kit: http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Leather_Care_Kit.php