How To Remove Scratches From Leather

3 Materials
15 Minutes

I have a West Elm Hamilton sofa, which is beautiful aniline leather. As beautiful as it is, my cat treats it like her personal scratching post. In this article I'll share how to remove scratches from the leather.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Distilled water (distilled is important, do not use tap water!)
Soft cloth
Hair dryer (optional)

Dampen the cloth with distilled water and rub it gently across the scratch marks. The marks will darken as they soak in the water.

At this point you can either wait for the water to dry or use a hair dryer to help bring out the natural oils in the aniline leather as it dries. (For these photos I did not use a hair dryer since the baby was sleeping.)
After it dries, apply leather conditioner for further protection.
Here's a before photo of the cat scratches.
And here's an after. So. Much. Better. Isn’t it?

I decided to buy a pheromone spray to discourage scratching but haven’t been as consistent as I should be in using it. Once I do, I’ll let you know my thoughts on it. In the meantime, please give me all of your advice for training cats to not scratch!

Suggested materials:

  • Distilled Water  (Grocery Store)
  • Soft Cloth  (Target)
  • Leather Conditioner  (Amazon)

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Kimberly Smith

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

Join the conversation

  • A.J.
    on Sep 29, 2018

    Hello Kimberly

    Thankyou for instruction on getting scratches in leather to dissipate. I'm going to try this in my vehicle!

    I also have two cats.. Kitt/Katt... Who when younger.. (They are 4 and 6 years now) would be attracted to tables, counters and or furniture. My go to was aluminum foil. For some reason they did not like the sound or the feel. So my suggesting is to get heavy duty aluminum. Drape it over the arm of the chair, or wherever you don't want them for a few days along with the pheromones and out of habit hopefully they will avoid the area. I hope this works for you like it has for me. Thanks again.

  • Sherry Nushart
    on Jan 28, 2019

    I'm going to try it also on my leather sofa. My German Shepherd is always laying on the couch and scratching it when she stretches or just generally getting on and off.

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