Leather & Vinyl Repair: Top 3 Least Known Causes of Damage to Leather Furniture

Most of us come into contact with leather every day. Whether it be a leather lounge, the leather interior of a car or a leather dining suite. But, did you know that you could be causing damage to your leather furniture without even realising? 

Below are the top 3 least known causes of damage to leather furniture as well as some insight into how to prevent the damage from occurring.

Medication Can Damage Your Leather Furniture

Medications are an essential part of everyday life for many people. What is little understood however, is that many oil based vitamins such as fish oil tablets and medications (including but not limited to diabetes and heart as well as many cancer treatments) can contribute to damaging your leather furniture. The reason for this is, in its simplest explanation, is that many medications or vitamins add a potency or acidity to our sweat and body oils. When this sweat and body oil are exposed to leather, they work quickly to break down the top coat seal of leather surfaces.

Once this occurs, body oils quickly start absorbing into the raw leather and subsequently rapidly break it down. It can be quite difficult to recognise the presence of oil damage on leather if you’re not trained in what to look for, but it typically presents as the leather losing colour, cracking, and/or discolouring. And unfortunately, once damaged by oil, the processes to repair or replace the damaged areas of leather is significant. We’ve included some examples of oil damage to leather below.

We understand that there’s often no choice but to take medicine or have the medical treatments. But, the good news is that there is a way to prevent the side effect damage to your leather furniture. The best and most cost effective solution is to cover the highwear areas of your furniture (such as head rests, armrests and seat bases) with a blanket or towel. This will act as a layer between your skin and the leather, and will work to absorb sweat and body oils before the leather does. But, remember to wash the blanket or towel weekly, as the oils can seep through it, to your leather, over time. 

It is also recommended that you have your leather furniture professionally cleaned and conditioned every 6 months. Doing so will help prevent an excess accumulation of the acidic body oils building up on your lounge surface. 

If parts of your leather furniture are already displaying the symptoms of oil damage, give your local Leather Doctor a call. They can help assess the extent of the damage and work with you to discuss all potential options and costs.

leather damage from medication

leather damage from medication

Workplace Residue Causing Chaos

There’s no better feeling than coming home from a long day of working out in the sun or on a dusty building site, to relax on your lounge.

We get it!

But the issue of kicking up your feet as soon as you get home is that the residue on your skin and clothing is silently damaging your lounge. 

Many trades people who are exposed to chemicals or materials such as grease, concrete or excessive dust or those who work out in the sun each day and are covered in sunscreen are more likely to damage their leather furniture quickly, and without realising. Without a shower to remove the oils, sweat, dust and grime from skin before sitting down, residue will quickly build up on leather furniture and compromise its integrity.  

A quick shower and change of clothes is recommended before you kick into relaxation mode. Towels and blankets, once again, provide a suitable and cheap barrier to protect your leather. And again, preventative measures including regular cleaning and conditioning will help prevent the damaging oils and sweat from building up on the leather surface. If this news is coming too late, and your furniture is showing signs of top coat damage, oil damage, cracks, splitting or colour loss, give your local Leather Doctor a call for a free quote on the resolution options.


Workplace residue damaging leather

Workplace residue damaging leather


Leather Damage From Body Oils And Sweat 

As a living creature, people are programmed to sweat and produce body oils. It’s inevitable. What we’re not conscious of though, is the damage our sweat and body oils can do to our clothing, sheets and furniture. Clothing (particularly under the sleeves) and pillow case discolouration (from hair oil and sweat) is commonly seen, but much easier to deal with (simply throw it in the wash or buy a new pillow case). However, the ease in repairs to or replacement of leather lounges is not as straightforward or cheap.

Because it’s not easily seen, the problem often becomes ‘out of sight, out of mind’. But the buildup of sweat and body oils can significantly damage the top coat of your leather furniture. Once this top coat is broken down, oils are quickly absorbed into the leather, leading to potential significant damage that can be costly to repair. Taking preventative measures and protecting your leather or vinyl furniture with regular professional cleaning and condition will help prevent your furniture from needing a major overhaul. 

Remember, the longer you leave your leather lounge without professional cleaning and conditioning maintenance, the more likely your leather is to experience oil damage and deterioration.

Leather damage from body oil and sweat 

If you have leather or vinyl furniture that’s experienced damage and you’re interested in having it repaired, contact the experts at The Leather Doctor today. In most cases, the issue can be easily rectified and will have your leather or vinyl furniture quickly looking like new again. Not to mention the time and money you will save on shopping for replacement furniture. What’s more, we offer free quotes to advise of the cost to clean or repair your leather or vinyl furniture. 

Servicing over 8,000 locations across all states and territories of Australia, The Leather Doctor has the professional knowledge and expertise necessary to be leaders in the industry and are committed to excellence for all customers. For a free quote and answers to all your professional leather repair and cleaning questions, contact a friendly team member at The Leather Doctor today.


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