Does Yoghurt Stain Leather? Solved! And 5 Ways To Remove It

Does Yoghurt Stain Leather?

If you’ve ever spilled yogurt on your leather couch or car seat, you know how difficult it can be to remove. Yogurt is a dairy product, and as we all know, dairy products can be tough to get rid of once they set in.

So in this article, I will answer whether or not yogurt stains leather. Spoiler alert, it does; Because it does, I’ll also provide four methods for removing yogurt stains from leather!

Let’s get into it!

Yogurt causes a protein-based stain on leather. Yogurt may also contain fruits and other food colorings that can cause stains that can be difficult to remove from leather. The good news is that there are a few ways you can get rid of yogurt stains from your leather couch or car seat.

Stick around as I share with you the main reasons yogurt stains leather and how to remove it with four different methods.

You’ll be able to get those yogurt stains out of your leather in no time! Read on to find out how.

Reasons Yogurt Stains Leather

Here are a few reasons why yogurt stains leather:

1. Yogurt Is A Diary Product

Dairy products are notorious for causing stains. When it comes to leather, yogurt is no exception. The main reason yogurt stains leather is that it’s a dairy product.

When dairy products come into contact with leather and other porous surfaces, they cause a protein-based stain. Protein-based stains are difficult to remove and usually require professional cleaning.

What makes protein-based stains difficult to remove is the fact that it causes the stained surface to become hydrophobic (water-repelling). This means that water and other liquids cannot remove the stain.

Another common effect of protein-based stains is that they tend to create a sticky residue on the surface. This is because when the protein in the yogurt interacts with the leather, it creates a reaction that causes the leather to become sticky.

The only way to remove a protein-based stain is by using a cleaning solvent that can break down the proteins. Once the proteins are broken down, you can remove the stain.

2. Some Yogurts Contain Food and/or Fruit Coloring

Another reason yogurt stains leather is that some yogurts contain food and/or fruit coloring. These colorings can transfer to leather and other surfaces, causing a difficult-to-remove stain.

While these food and fruit colorings are added to yogurt to make it more visually appealing, they can cause serious headaches when it gets on your leather and other surfaces.

The best way to remove a yogurt stain that contains food and/or fruit coloring is by using a color-safe cleaning solvent.

This will help to break down the coloring and remove the stain without damaging the leather.

Once you’ve applied the color-safe cleaning solvent, you’ll need to use a clean cloth to wipe away the stain.

3. Yogurt Is Acidic

How acidic or alkaline a substance is is determined using its pH, which will generally determine how difficult or easy it is to remove a stain.

Generally, acidic substances are a bit more difficult to remove as they tend to interact with the surface, making it more difficult to remove the stain.

Yogurt is slightly acidic with a pH range of 4.3 and 4.4, and while this doesn’t make it impossible to remove the stain, it does make it a bit more challenging.

This means that when the yogurt comes into contact with your leather surfaces, it will start to interact with the leather if it is not cleaned or removed in a timely manner.

Over time, this interaction will cause the yogurt stain to become even more difficult to remove.

An alkaline cleaning solution is the best way to remove an acidic stain. This will help to neutralize the acid and make it easier to remove the stain.

How Do Yogurt Stains Look Like On Leather?

Now that we know why yogurt stains leather, let’s take a look at what it looks like.

  • Yogurt Darkens The Leather

When yogurt comes into contact with leather, it will cause the leather to darken in color. The darkening effect is most noticeable on light-colored leather.

This is usually due to the high acid content in yogurt. The acid reacts with the leather, causing it to darken.

  • Yogurt Stains On Leather Are Sticky

Another sign of a yogurt stain on your leather is if the area feels sticky to the touch.

This is because of the milk proteins in yogurt. When these proteins come into contact with leather, they can cause the leather to feel sticky.

  • Yogurt Stains On Leather Can Be Smelly

Another thing to watch out for is the smell. Yogurt stains on leather do not only ruin the look of the leather but also the smell–especially if the yogurt spill or stain is not cleaned up immediately.

The milk proteins in yogurt can start to rot and produce a foul smell. This is why cleaning up yogurt stains is important as soon as possible.

The milk proteins in yogurt can cause the leather to develop a sour smell. This is because the proteins start to break down and release smelly compounds into the air.

This is because of the bacteria in yogurt. The bacteria will start to grow and multiply in the warm, moist environment of the leather. This can cause the leather to develop a musty or sour smell.

  • Yogurt Stains On Leather May Sometimes Be A Colored Stain

Sometimes, yogurt can leave behind a colored stain. This is most likely to happen if the yogurt is flavored or dyed.

The color from the yogurt can transfer to the leather and leave behind a color stain. This is why it’s important to be careful with colored yogurts and to clean up any spills immediately.

How To Remove Yogurt Stains From Leather

Now to the big question: how do you remove yogurt stains from leather?

There are a few different methods that you can try, depending on the severity of the stain and the type of leather.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to blot up as much of the yogurt as possible. Use a clean cloth or paper towel and press firmly on the stain.

This will help to remove some of the yogurts and prevent it from spreading further into other parts of leather.

Next, you’ll need to choose a cleaning solution. You can either use a store-bought leather cleaner or conditioner or make your own at home.

Here are four easy ways to remove a yogurt stain from leather:

Pro Tip: Always use cold water to clean or remove protein-based stains like yogurt, as using warm or hot water can cause the stains to set in deeper into the leather fibers making it more difficult to remove.

Method 1: Use Mild Dish Soap Solution

The mild dish soap method is a common DIY solution for relatively new or light yogurt stains. If you’ve had the yogurt stains for a few hours up to a few days, this can be a good method for you.

The best part is it only requires two simple ingredients that you likely already have in your home–mild dish soap and cold water.

The mild dish soap method can be used on both natural and faux leather surfaces–no matter how big or small the leather item or stain is.

To remove the yogurt stains using the mild dish soap method, these are the steps to follow;

Step One: Mix The Dish Soap Solution

  • Add a few drops of mild dish soap to a bowl of cold water and mix until the water is sudsy.
  • Make sure to add enough dish soap so that the water is sudsy but not too much, as this can cause the leather to dry out.

Step Two: Dampen Your Microfiber Cloth With The Solution

  • Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the soapy water and wring it out until it’s only damp.
  • You want to use a clean microfiber cloth for this.

Step Three: Gently Wipe The Leather Surface

  • Gently rub the damp dish soap cloth or sponge over the yogurt stain in a circular motion.
  • Be sure to use gentle pressure, as you don’t want to damage or scratch the leather.

Step Four: Rinse The Leather Surface

  • Once the yogurt stain has been removed, take another clean, damp cloth and wipe away any soap residue.
  • Then, use a dry cloth to pat the area dry using another clean, dry cloth.

Step 5: Condition The Leather

  • Once the leather surface is dry, you’ll want to condition the entire surface of the leather to help restore moisture.
  • You can either use a store-bought leather conditioner or make your own at home using olive oil or coconut oil.

Method 2: Use Saddle Soap And Cold Water

If you’re looking for a deeper clean for yogurt stain on leather that has been around for a while, saddle soap is a good option.

Saddle soap is specifically made to clean and condition leather surfaces and can be found at most stores that sell leather goods or online.

Saddle soap contains three key ingredients that can effectively help to remove yogurt stains from leather: soaps, moisturizing oils, and waxes.

These ingredients work together to clean the leather surface without damaging it. To use saddle soap to remove a yogurt stain from leather, follow these steps:

Step One: Apply Saddle Soap To Cleaning Brush

  • Dampen your leather cleaning brush or microfiber cloth with cool water and rub it over the saddle soap.
  • Most saddle soaps come in a bar form, so you’ll want to create a lather by rubbing the brush or cloth over the soap.

Step Two: Gently Rub The Soap Into The Leather Stain

  • Once you have a good amount of saddle soap lather on your brush or cloth, gently rub it into the yogurt stain in a circular motion.
  • Use gentle pressure, and don’t scrub too hard, as this can damage the leather.

Step Three: Wipe Away The Soap Lather With A Damp Cloth

  • Once the yogurt stain has been removed, take a clean, damp cloth and wipe away any soap residue.
  • Then, use a dry cloth to pat the area dry using another clean, dry cloth.

Step Four: Apply A Leather Conditioner (Optional)

  • If you want to help condition the leather after cleaning it with saddle soap, you can apply a leather conditioner for added protection and treatment.

Method 3: Use Leather Cleaner

This is the best option for cleaning yogurt stains from your leather surfaces if you have a leather cleaner.

Leather cleaners are made specifically for cleaning all kinds of leather surfaces and will not damage the material.

Leather cleaners are usually made of natural pH-safe ingredients to use on any leather surface.

To use this method, follow these steps:

Step One: Spray On The Leather Cleaner

  • Spray the leather cleaner onto your microfiber cloth.
  • Allow it to saturate the cloth.
  • I generally do not spray leather cleaners directly on the leather because it can easily over-saturate the area and cause damage.

Step Two: Wipe The Stain With The Cloth

  • Use the cloth to wipe the yogurt stain in a circular motion.
  • Be sure to apply pressure as you wipe to loosen the dried yogurt from the leather surface.
  • You may need to reapply the leather cleaner to the cloth a few times to remove the yogurt stain completely.

Step Three: Wipe The Cleaned Area With A Dry Cloth

  • Once the yogurt stains are gone, use a dry cloth to wipe off any leather cleaner residue.

Step Four: Allow The Leather To Air Dry

  • Next, allow the leather to air dry completely.
  • Do not use a hairdryer or any other heat source to dry the leather, as this can cause damage.

Step Five: Condition The Leather

  • After the leather is dry, you can use a leather conditioner to help restore any lost moisture and essential oils.
  • Using leather conditioners is highly recommended after cleaning leather with a leather cleaner.
  • Finally, once the leather is properly conditioned, allow it to air dry completely before using it or putting it away.

Method 4: Use White Vinegar Solution

White vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can be used to clean all kinds of surfaces, including leather.

When mixed with cool water, it can effectively remove yogurt stains from leather. While white vinegar is a safe and effective cleaning agent, it is also acidic.

This means that it can strip away the natural oils from the leather, so it’s important to use this method sparingly and only on small stains.

But the upside is that the vinegar method is one of the most inexpensive ways to clean your leather.

Plus, remember the bad smells I mentioned could result from yogurt stains on leather? Vinegar is a good deodorant, so it can help remove any unpleasant smells that might be lingering.

To use white vinegar to remove yogurt stains from leather, follow these steps:

Step One: Mix White Vinegar And Water In A Bowl

  • In a bowl, mix together equal parts white vinegar and cool water in a bowl.
  • You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the mixture to help cut through the vinegar smell.

Step Two: Dab The Stain With A Cloth Soaked In The Solution

  • Use a cloth soaked in the white vinegar solution to dab at the yogurt stain.

Step Three: Let The Solution Sit On The Leather

  • Now, let the white vinegar solution sit on the surface of the leather for 5-10 minutes.

Step Four: Rinse The Leather Surface

  • With the help of a clean damp cloth, rinse the leather surface to remove the vinegar solution and residue.

Step Five: Dry The Leather Surface

  • Use a clean, dry cloth to pat the area dry.
  • You can also allow it to air dry completely

Step Six: Conditioning

  • Finally, once the leather is dry, you can use a leather conditioner to help restore any lost moisture and essential oils.
  • It’s best to use a natural leather conditioner that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.

Method 5: Use Leather Cleaning Wipes

Whenever accidents happen, we are usually quick to pull out cleaning wipes. But the general cleaning wipes may sometimes contain isopropyl, which can be harsh for leather.

So, it is best to use leather cleaning wipes that are designed for this specific material. These wipes will not only clean the yogurt stain but also maintain the quality of your leather.

Leather cleaning wipes are formulated with both natural cleaning and conditioning agents and are safe to use on all types of leather. The best part is they are easy to use and do not get as messy as the other methods.

Leather cleaning wipes are convenient to carry if you’re on the go–making them perfect for cleaning leather car seats, shoes, bags, etc., wherever you are.

To use leather cleaning wipes, follow these steps:

Step One: Take Out The Leather Cleaning Wipe

  • Take out one leather cleaning wipe from the pack.
  • Wring it out lightly if the cleaning wipes are over-saturated.

Step Two: Gently Rub The Wipe On The Stained Area

  • Gently rub the wipes on the yogurt-stained area in a circular motion.

Step Three: Let The Leather Surface Dry

  • Finally, let the leather surface air dry completely.
  • Voila! You have removed the yogurt stain from your leather without any fuss.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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