How to Get Scratches Out of a Leather Couch

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There’s no doubt about it—leather couches are a stunning addition to nearly any living room. But leather couches are also prone to getting scratched, and scratch-filled leather can quickly ruin the look of your sofa.

However, with a little elbow grease and a quick trip to the store, leather scratches can be repaired. You may need to try a few different methods to get fully fix your scratch, but scratch-free leather can once again be in your future soon. Here’s how to get scratches out of a leather couch.

how to get scratches out of a leather couch

Things You’ll Need

If you’re lucky, you may be able to repair your scratched leather with items you have at home. However, you may need to purchase a leather repair kit if your scratch is deep enough. Either way, here’s what you’ll need to get scratches out of your couch:

  • Clean, soft rags
  • Leather cleaner
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Leather conditioner
  • Leather marker or repair pen (optional)
  • Leather repair kit (optional)

Step 1: Remove Dirt

The first step in removing scratches from leather couches involves prep work. You’ll need to brush away any surface-level dirt, dust or pet hair from the leather. Next, use a leather cleaner to gently clean the scratched area—you don’t want to embed any dirt in your leather repair. If you don’t have leather cleaner, you can also use a small amount of white vinegar on a soft rag.

how to get scratches out of a white leather couch

Step 2: Buff It Out

Next, grab your leather conditioner. Put a small amount of conditioner onto a clean rag and then gently rub the rag in small circles on the leather couch, starting with the scratch and working outwards. This may take a few tries to remove the scratch. After this is done, wait about 10 minutes for the conditioner to be absorbed by the leather, and buff out any excess conditioner on the surface.

Step 3: Recolor the Scratch

Depending on how deep your scratch was and the type of leather on your sofa, the scratch may still be visible. If this is the case, don’t worry—we’ve still got a few more tricks up our sleeves. Time to break out the leather markers or leather repair pens.

Before using it on your scratch, test in an inconspicuous place to make sure the color matches. If it does, gently apply to the scratch and let it dry before deciding if you need another coat.

how to get scratches out of a leather couch sectional

Step 4: Use a Leather Repair Kit

If your leather stain still hasn’t budged, it’s time to bring out the big guns. You’ll need a leather repair kit, which should have all the supplies you need to repair a larger scratch. Though manufacturers’ instructions may vary, here are the general steps.

First, you’ll use a leather cleaner to clean the affected area. Next, you’ll apply a binder to strengthen the scratched leather, as well as the leather nearby. Once it has dried, you’ll gently sand the repair area to smooth it out. Brush off excess dust and then apply a leather filler, which will fill in the scratched area. Let this dry, then gently sand and brush again. You’ll then add a colorant to match the repaired area with the rest of the couch, and then finish the whole repair process with a sealant.

How to Keep Leather Couches Scratch-Free Longer

Repairing leather scratches can be an involved and lengthy process, so it’s best to be proactive about preventing scratches in the first place! Here are two ways to do that.

  • First, try to avoid letting cats or dogs near your leather couch. Our pets may be super cute, but they can also be super damaging to leather furniture.
  • Additionally, avoid sitting on your leather couch in clothing that has scratchy or sharp parts, like buttons or clasps with rough edges. Same goes for shoes too—zippers or studs can easily scratch your leather sofa.

However, sometimes leather scratches are just inevitable. When your sofa does get scratched, treat it as soon as you notice it. The longer you wait to repair the scratch, the harder it may be to fix.