How to remove oil, grease, resin or chewing gum stains on leather

When deciding on the correct procedure for cleaning, repair and maintenance of leather, it is important to identify the type of leather. Incorrect cleaning methods can easily increase the damage. For the purposes of cleaning and conditioning, we distinguish between the following types of leather:

PIGMENTED LEATHER: Pigmented leather is the grain side of the leather with a binder based colour coating on the surface. Carry out a water rubbing test. A drop of water wouldn’t penetrate the surface. Most pigmented leathers are semi-gloss, of one colour (one tone) and have a grained surface.

ANILINE: Aniline is porous grain side leather. When you carry out a water rubbing test, a drop of water would penetrate into the surface and darken it.

SUEDE AND NUBUCK: Suede and Nubuck have a velvet-like surface. Suede is the backside of the grain split or the two sides of a flesh split. Nubuck is the sanded grain side. The velvet effect is much finer. Nubuck and Suede are also porous and sensitive leathers. 

PU-LEATHER: PU leather is also called “bicast leather” or “bycast leather”. These are polyurethane coated split leathers. Split leather is the flesh side (it is the less stable suede leather when leather is split into grain side leather and flesh side leather). A grain structured film is glued on top of the split leather to make it look like the more valuable pigmented grain side leather.


Pigmented smooth leather

Porous aniline leather



PU leather, Bycast leather



Fresh oil and fat stains are easier to remove than older stains. Coloured fats and oils are more difficult to remove. Also previously attempted improper cleaning attempts can reduce the chance of a satisfactory result.

COLOURLOCK Grease Absorber Sprayis a solvent based spray mixed with an absorbent powder. Spray the COLOURLOCK Grease Absorber onto the stain and let dry completely. The solvents contained in the product dissolves oils and fats and the powder absorbs it. The remaining powder has to be vacuumed or removed using a brush. This process has to be repeated until the stain is removed or no further improvements can be achieved. The spray can be used on all types of leather. Please refer to the appropriate manual and always test first in an unseen area.

Oil stains on a vegetable tanned aniline




First try to remove sticky residue by sticking and removing masking tape. This method is harmless and further processing is easier. Encrusted resin or resin residues will remain. Remove remaining resin with turpentine. But always test solvent cleaners first in a hidden area for any surface changes and proceed with caution. Sometimes a simple, transparent eraser can be used to remove the remaining stains.

Please contact us if stains are not completely removed. We may be able to recommend a suitable alternative.  


Resin on porous leather sinks into the surface. You could try to remove with turpentine, but the risk of additional solvent stains is high.

In most cases, DIY products may not help and may need to be treated professionally. Please contact us with photos for further help.



Chewing gum gets rigid, firm and brittle when cooled down. Cool larger chewing gum residues on pigmented smooth leathers with a cooling element from the freezer or ice spray and try to remove. Residual stains can often be removed with a transparent eraser.

Please contact us if stains are not completely removed. We may be able to recommend a suitable alternative.  


Chewing gum on porous leather leave visible stains. Residues on aniline sink into the surface and on suede and nubuck it bonds the fibres. Also try to remove by cooling down to make the residue brittle.

Please contact us if stains are not completely removed. We may be able to recommend a suitable alternative.  

Share this page on:

© 2024 COLOURLOCK Australia. All rights reserved.
a kotori web solution