Repairing Scratches on Leather Furniture

How do I cover deep scratch marks on a leather sofa?

Janie from Lilburn, GA

Professional Advice

As someone who worked as a leather repair technician for 10 years, this is something I have come across many times. Most of you appear to be talking about surface scratches on a wax finish. Please forget olive oil, milk, or any other home remedy mentioned here. Yes, they work to an extent, but the lasting effects could be horrible.


Leather is porous when exposed and milk, oil, or other food product will rot after time and cause your sofa to smell. For the kind of scratches most of you seem to be talking about, some warm water and a soft cloth will provide you with exactly the same effect.

For deeper scratches, scuffs, burns, or tears please contact a local professional. All is not lost, the beauty of leather is that no matter what happens to it, a repair can always be done.

The best way to avoid this happening is to keep the cats off the furniture in the first place. A suggestion that has often worked is to sprinkle fine ground pepper over the sofa when you go out. The cats will soon learn that the sofa is not a nice place to be. They get it on their feet and then wash them which obviously doesn't taste too good. Harmless for the cat and the sofa. (07/08/2009)

By Kiely

Scratches on Leather Furniture

The olive oil works wonderfully. I remodeled my home last year and bought new furniture throughout, including two leather chairs. Six months ago I was adopted by a cat that had kittens in my yard. She does not scratch the leather, but simply by jumping or walking on it damages the leather. I thought the furniture was destroyed until I tried the olive oil. (04/15/2008)


By Linda

Scratches on Leather Furniture

I used the iron and damp cloth idea after rubbing my black leather sofa with olive oil and it has come up a treat. They were quite deep scratches too, and now you cannot even see them. Promise it works. (06/20/2008)

By Annie

Scratches on Leather Furniture

I just tried the olive oil and it helped some. I also tried the ironing with the wet cloth and it discolored the leather making things worse. (08/31/2008)

By Jim

Scratches on Leather Furniture

I tried the shoe polish and the Murphy's oil soap spray. It worked great. I have two cats and two dogs. The dogs are not allowed on the furniture, but it is very difficult to keep the cats off. We figured the furniture would be fine since both cats are front declawed. No, their back claws dig into the furniture when they are running around in their "cat mischief" and being chased by the dogs.


I rubbed in the shoe polish first then went back over it with the oil soap. My husband was amazed. He was ready to get rid of the cats. They are safe, for now. (11/15/2008)

By Camille from Las Vegas

Scratches on Leather Furniture

My grandchildren decided to use their fingernails to draw stick people on the back and seats of my heavy brown leather couch. I was appalled that the couches would look like that forever, then read these tips.

I just tried the Orange Oil. I used Pledge and sprayed it first on a paper towel, then rubbed the paper towel on the leather. It not only took care of the drawings, but was a great conditioner, making the leather look better than before the drawings. (11/22/2008)

By Marie

Scratches on Leather Furniture

I have dark brown leather couches and I used the dark version of old English (furniture polish) and it worked great. (12/21/2008)


By Rachel

Scratches on Leather Furniture

I know this sounds crazy, but someone told me about it and I just did it today, it completely fixed the scratches on my dark brown/reddish toned recliner. Milk.

I took a paper towel and polished it with milk, and they disappeared.
On a light colored recliner it didn't look as good, but that might have been because the leather on that one is much more severely damaged. (12/22/2008)

By Elisheva

Scratches on Leather Furniture

One way to prevent kitties from damaging your leather is to go to Pet Smart and buy kitty nail guards. They are plastic sleeves you slip onto your cats claws. It's much better than declawing your cat. (02/14/2009)

By xelleZ


9 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

November 23, 2010

Does anyone have any idea how to repair dog scratches on leather furniture?

By Diane from Morrison, IL


March 6, 20110 found this helpful

My dog ruined my weekend when I came home Friday to find that she scratched the heck out of the bottom of the couch trying to get her tennis ball. After reading all the remedies here I decided to try Kiely's first since this person is a pro and I did not like the idea of using food products. So I used hot water and a clean dish rag and began wiping back and forth. I have soft Italian leather, and this process seemed to loosen oils and spread into the mass of scratches after about 60 seconds of wiping back and forth. This completely worked. I only wish I did this a couple days ago.


I often question the number of products on the market that claim that they designed specifically to clean this or that, when really they are just doing the same thing that water would do or another simple household product. For example I spend lots of money on different products to clean the grout in my tile shower. Nothing worked. Then we had a cleaning lady (a pro) come by and she just grabbed a $1 bottle of bleach and it practically cleaned itself.

Thanks Kiely for adding some practical advice to the conversation.

Answer this Question

October 10, 2016

How do you get scratch out of a leather couch?


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 107 Posts
January 31, 20170 found this helpful

You can actually find shoe polish in a colour that matches your couch, and that should do it. YOu could also use olive oil.

Also, is there any way you can call the manufacturer and ask their advice? It would be best to do the right thing for your specific couch.


more advice seen here -


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
February 5, 20170 found this helpful

There are many leather repair kits sold on Amazon. You can also go to your local shoe repair shop and buy it there

Answer this Question

May 4, 2016

This is a page about repairing cat scratches on leather furniture. Cats like to scratch, particularly when grooming their nails. If you have leather furniture it may have been damaged by your kitty.

Cat laying on leather couch with claws extended toward camera

May 1, 2017

Scratches on leather furniture can go through the dye leaving light marks. There are a number of products you can use to mask the damage. This is a page about fixing scratch marks on a cream colored leather sofa.

Upholstered cream leather sofa.

More Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 23, 2010

Does anyone know a trick for reducing the visibility of cat scratches on my beautiful Italian leather dining chairs?


August 14, 2010

I am looking for advice on cleaning leather furniture and removing scratches.


March 18, 2008

How do you treat scratches on leather?


July 24, 2007

I just purchased leather furniture literally two days ago and already have scratches all over it!

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