Skip to content

Browse Our Leather Journals Collection Here | FREE SHIPPING on ALL orders over $75 or £60

sticky leather how to fix

How to Clean Sticky Feel From Leather

Are you plagued by a sticky residue on your leather furniture? Is your jacket now made from sticky leather? Do you yearn to know how to remove this sticky residue from your leather so that you can proudly sport leather once more?

Then you are in the right place, for today we will be exploring 3 methods you can follow to rid your leather of that irksome sticky residue.

Leather Craft Bundle
Leather Craft Bundle
Buy It Now

Method 1: Warm Soapy Water

Is your sticky leather only a little bit sticky? Do not hastily buy leather cleaner and leather conditioner before you try using just warm water with soap. Can you wash leather? Indeed, you can.

  1. Dilute some dish soap with warm water into a bucket or container - alternatively you can place an already combined solution into a container. 1 part dish soap to 8 parts of warm water is a good metric to follow, though generally you would be safe using 2 to 3 drops of dish soap for most container sizes. This is going to form the principal cleaning solution, so it is important to get it right (which is not very hard).
  2. Use a lint-free towel or sponge and gentle rub down the leather item - this is to remove any dust that might have accrued over time. Afterwards, rid this cloth of dust and then wet it in the solution. Using this damp cloth, rub down the leather item as gently as possible, though not at the expense of doing a thorough job. Take special care when cleaning natural leather furniture. Dedicating some time to it will ensure that you remove all of the sticky residue for good (or at least until the next time).
  3. Once you are done scrubbing the surface of the item, dampen another soft cloth with cool, clean water so that you can wipe off any cleaning residue. In this way, you can get a better look at the surface of the leather - especially in the case of faux leather exposed to body oils - to see whether it needs any more work done to it. If so, then repeat the steps with mild dish soap and warm water until you are satisfied.

Method 2: Leather Cleaner

Of course, you could just buy a dedicated leather cleaner to rid your leather sofa of the sticky residue.

  1. Shake the product - a leather saddle soap works great, even a mild saddle soap - well to prepare it for use. Load it onto a microfiber cloth. As is sometimes the case, the product might have come in a spray bottle, in which case, simply pay the microfiber cloth a few squirts and you will be ready to go.
  2. Wasting as little time as possible, apply a few drops of the cleaner onto the cloth and then gently scrub the leather in circular motions. You will want to pay extra attention to the area that is afflicted with the sticky residue and the areas surrounding. Natural oils have a way of wreaking havoc upon leather material, so you may have to perform this action a few times to get the best results, or at least the results you desire.
  3. Leave to dry for a few minutes. For this part of the process you are going to want to refer to the specific instructions included with your leather clearner, for this drying time can vary greatly depending on the product. Follow the specific instructions of the product to determine how long to wait before proceeding onto the next step of the process. The amount of time to wait could be anywhere between a few minutes to a whole hour.
  4. Once the surface has dried properly buff the surface of the leather with some conditioner and a soft cloth. Careful not to use too much leather conditioner at this stage. There really is such a thing as too much conditioner. Conditioning leather is an art all of its own, so go slow and be patient to achieve the best results.
Buy It Now

Method 3: Isopropyl Alcohol

You've tried the rest, now try one of the best alternatives.

  1. Obtain some isopropyl alcohol - easily done from just about any hardware store, though you can just as easily buy some online. Pour a small amount of it into the bottom of a cleaning container and dip in a soft rag or cloth.
  2. Rub away all of the sticky gunk from the surface of the leather. Any leather can become sticky, and any clean cloth soaked with isopropyl alcohol can rid the leather of this sticky residue. Make sure to rinse out the cloth every so often and then to soak it in alcohol again to remove any dirt residue. Also, ensure that contact time never exceeds 10 seconds.
  3. Put a few drops of dish soap into some clean water, preferably warm. Dampen the rag with the soapy water and wipe the surface of the leather to prevent the isopropyl alcohol reacting negatively with the leather and to remove any sticky residue left behind.
  4. Dampen another soft cloth with clean, cool water and wipe the surface of the leather in the same way to remove any soap residue. By this point, you should have successfully removed most of the sticky residue and you can repeat some of the previous steps if the leather surface is not quite to your liking.
  5. Once you are satisfied with the results, use a clean and dry cloth to wipe away any excess moisture from the surface of the leather. If left where it is it could leave stains and otherwise distort the leather.
  6. Now, you can leave the leather item to dry with air. Avoid using a hair dryer or a heater as this can also distort the leather in an undesirable way that can often not be reversed. To air-dry is to avoid this issue entirely.
  7. Finally, why not apply a leather procectorant at this stage of the process to ensure that this kind of thing does not happen any more frequently than it has to. Isopropyl alcohol is well suited to ridding both faux leather and genuine leather of any sticky residues of this kind, though it is wise to always balance the use of it with some warm and soapy water. Leaving the reactive qualities of the alcohol to perform upon the leather surface could spell serious trouble for the leather over time, hence why you should not bring them into contact with each other for any longer than 10 seconds.
sticky leather

Final Words

So, there you have it! Hopefully, by using one of these methods, you have been able to rid your leather of that irksome sticky residue.

FAQs Sticky Leather


Your leather might feel sticky for any one of a number of reasons. Sweat might have built up on the surface, the leather might have come into contact with water, the materials used to make the leather might have something to do with it, the leather might have been used, abused, and/or neglected, you might have used the wrong kind of cleaning products for it, the leather might simply be aging, or it might even have been exposed to extreme temperatures and humidity.


Not usually, no. There are plenty of different reasons leather might have become sticky, so you will usually have to determine the specific reason yourself and then act accordingly. Often, however, the stickyness and sticky residue on leather has to do with something that it has come into contact with. You can usually write this off as something that has been spilled onto it that itself is sticky in substance. Equally, though, it could be for some other reason. This is for you to diagnose.

Older Post
Newer Post

Latest articles

10 Best Backpacking Destinations

Join us as we explore ten of the best and most epic backpacking destinations in the world!

What Type of Leather Is the Best for Your Project?

The type of leather that is best for your project will ultimately depend on what you are doing. Let's learn more.
Close (esc)

Get 10% OFF on your first order

Enter your email address below to claim your discount code

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now