Odors On Leather — In A Car Or In Your Home
We get a lot of inquiries asking if DooDoo Voodoo is (a) safe and (b) effective for treating odors in leather. The answers are, respectively: (a) yes, with precautions and (b) yes, according to our customers.
Many people write to tell us that their kitty peed on their leather couch or chair. From our customers' experiences, it seems there's something about leather shoes, handbags, furniture, etc., that entices cats to pee there. I think the cats sense that the material is, uh, organic (alive, or used to be) and to them it somehow seems either comfortable or a threat, hence their desire to mark their territory. I may be guilty of playing cat psychologist without a license, but that's my sense after decades of involvement with cats.
We also have heard from a number of customers that they successfully treated odors in their leather automotive interiors. The same precautions apply with regard to how to treat the areas as would apply to treating leather furniture or other household items and clothing.
Here are some tips to keep in mind so you attain the best possible odor control...and do the least amount of degradation of your leather surface. Note: I am NOT saying that using DooDoo Voodoo on your leather will inherently degrade your leather. I've used it on leather many times without any degradation at all. However, if your surface is already degraded, you may need to do some touch-up of the surface once you've treated with DooDoo Voodoo.
Remove As Much As You Can To Start With
Obviously, removing as much of the odor-causing material as you can is imperative. Do whatever you need to to remove it, but be sure you use only SOFT cloths, not paper towels, as these are too rough and will damage the integrity of the surface of your leather. If you have a carpet extractor with an upholstery wand, feel free to use it.
Don't Apply DooDoo Voodoo Then Leave It To Dry On Its Own
Leave DooDoo Voodoo on for 5 minutes, then wipe it up with a SOFT cloth (not a paper towel). Re-apply as you deem necessary, but allow p-l-e-n-t-y of drying time in between applications. Treating too soon, before the area fully dries, seems to make the odor last longer, not shorter. We can't tell you how long your particular leather will take to dry, but don't treat, wait a few minutes, treat again, etc. By rushing it like this, you'll actually have longer-lasting odor. Letting the surface fully dry in between allows DooDoo Voodoo to better do its job, thus shortening the odorous period. Use a fresh towel or washcloth for each application.
Apply A Leather Conditioner Afterward
I recommend using a leather conditioner on the area after treatment is finished and the area is FULLY dry. Don't rush into this step, especially if you've re-treated (see tip #1 above). This not only helps rejuvenate your leather, which will likely be drier after treatment with DooDoo Voodoo, it seems to help seal in any residual odors that might linger. A good leather conditioner can be found online or at auto parts stores or tack (horse-related) stores. I've used Lexol brand, shown here. Be sure to get the conditioner, which is in the brown bottle, not their leather cleaner, which comes in an orange bottle.
However, if your leather is in need of repair or re-dyeing, don't treat with conditioner after you've finished treating with DooDoo Voodoo. Save the conditioner for the very end after you or a professional have repaired and/or re-dyed your leather.
How To Repair & Re-Dye Your Leather If Needed
If your sectional, car seat, purse, etc., is in crummy condition, you might need to repair its surface, or at least re-dye it, after treating with DooDoo Voodoo. Don't sweat it, though: this is easier and more affordable than you might think.
I'll provide you a weblink in a minute where you can learn all about how to do these repairs and re-dyes yourself, but here's a short overview. To do it yourself, you generally wipe down the area with isopropyl alcohol pads that come in little disposable packets. These are available at the warehouse clubs or any pharmacy. Once you've cleaned the area, you use special "putty" to fill any cracks, tears or holes, possibly after stuffing cotton balls or foam rubber into the holes. In the case of tears, you may tuck some special mesh inside the tear to use as a bond. Once the putty dries (which is quickly), you sand it smooth with some extra-fine black (wet-type) sandpaper. You then clean up the dust caused by the sanding, and wipe down the area again with more alcohol pads. Once the area is dry, you paint on (with a foam brush) or spray on (with an inexpensive spray device called a Preval Sprayer) the new dye. You can do multiple coats, sanding lightly and wiping with alcohol pads in between coats, then finishing with a treatment with leather conditioner. They even make "grain pads" you can use to stamp leather grain into the putty, thus making your repaired areas look more like the original leather. I've seen some repairs where the grainwork was so good you couldn't tell where the repairs were.
I've used products from this company many times with great results and at low cost: http://www.leatherrepairkits.com/. I've not used their stuff on furniture, but I've used it in multiple Lexuses with awesome success. It's much easier to do than you might think, and could help seal in the odor if there's any slight residual. Treat with a leather conditioner after doing the repairs/re-dyeing. To go directly to the page on their site where you pick your colors and place your order, click here.
If you'd rather not buy online and your leather just needs re-dyeing, not physical repair of holes, tears, etc., you can probably find dyes that will work at an automotive (wholesale and retail) paint supplier in your area. These types of shops *may* not have the repair putty that you use to fix tears and holes, but they should have a good selection of dyes (which come in spray cans or bottles; you apply the latter with a foam brush, available at any hardware store). The major brand of dyes you might find in such stores is SEM.
If you're not the DIY (do it yourself) type, but need someone to repair and/or re-dye your leather, I suggest you call the nearest luxury automobile dealership (Lexus, BMW, Infiniti, Mercedes, Cadillac, etc.) and ask for the name and phone number of the person who does their leather work. These folks are typically subcontractors who come to each dealership at a specific day/time each week, so you might be able to drop by there to speak with them. They're typically phenomenal at what they do and can probably repair and re-dye your leather quickly and more inexpensively than you'd expect. Offer to pay them cash and I bet you'll get a better price.
I've used DooDoo Voodoo in multiple Lexuses and other vehicles of ours over the years with great success. Customers report similar experiences, too, in their BMWs and other top brands. Professional car detailers also have reported excellent success with DooDoo Voodoo, so I believe you'd be happy with the results on your sectional...or in your car.
Good luck. Let us know how your project goes!