7 Reasons Why Faux Leather Gets Sticky

why does faux leather get sticky

One of the most common complaints I have seen many people have about faux leather is that it gets really sticky. This is not a new phenomenon, and in this article, we will explore why faux leather becomes sticky.

So why does faux leather get sticky? One of the main reasons why faux leather gets sticky is due to the leather care products that are used on them. These products leave sticky residue on the surface of the leather due to ingredients like oils and waxes. Another common cause of stickiness on the surface of faux leather goods is dirt, spills, stains, and body oils.

Learning about these reasons sparked my interest and in the remaining parts of the article, I’m going to share with you all the details on how faux leather gets sticky and a few helpful hacks on how to get rid of the stickiness without ruining your precious leather goods. Keep reading this article to find out more!

But first, there are a few cool things I will like to tell you about faux leather as a material so that everything I talk about in the remaining part of this article will be in a better perspective.

What Is Faux Leather?

Faux leather is a type of material that emulates the look and feel of real animal skin. Faux leather simply means the material isn’t actually leather. I

t’s made with different materials such as vinyl, veg-tan, polyester, or suede. The faux leather can be in any number of colors just like natural leather which makes this type more versatile than its counterpart.

It can be used for furniture all the way down to clothing and accessories because it’s easy to clean (no wrinkles), lightweight & durable! But what about those sticky situations we mentioned earlier? Let me tell you why faux leather gets sticky.

Here’s Details of Why Faux Leather Gets Sticky

There are many reasons why faux leather gets sticky and below are some of the main reasons why faux leather gets sticky.

1. Sweat Buildup On Faux Leather Makes It Sticky

Sweat can be a big contributor to why faux leather gets sticky. If you wear something for an extended period of time and it’s made out of faux leather, then the sweat from your skin will mix with oils in the material which is what causes that stickiness.

One way to combat this is by wearing clothing items such as leggings or skirts so that there isn’t any direct contact between your skin and the faux leather fabric.

But if you are going for maximum coverage I would recommend using some sort of spray sealant.

Faux suede cleansing finish before putting on anything made out of faux leather because it prevents stains – including sweat!

Sweat is the most common cause of sticky residue not only on faux leather items but for real leather items as well.

Sweat will not only cause stains on your favorite faux leather jacket but it can also cause those pesky, uncomfortable sticky situations you don’t want any part of!

But there’s good news: You can avoid this type of mess by investing in some items that have natural oils such as linen or silk because they are designed not to get ruined when exposed to perspiration and body odor.

Another option for avoiding this discomfort is having a cleaning crew take care of all those gross spots before they ever become an issue.

Of course, if you’re feeling thrifty then another way around this problem would be taking out your clothes after use so that excess moisture doesn’t build-up

2. When Faux Leather Comes Into Contact With Water It Can Become Sticky

One of the most common reasons that faux leather can become tacky is because it has been in contact with water. Water will make any material feel sticky, which includes fabric and leather alike.

If you have a piece of faux leather furniture, such as a sofa or chaise lounge chair, then this could be the culprit for your stickiness problems.

Make sure to keep these pieces away from moisture sources like steam from cooking nearby so they stay dry and don’t get tackier over time.

You may also want to invest in some form of protection if there are spills around where you live your life; having a protective barrier between yourself and liquid spillage should help prevent future sticky surfaces!

3. Materials Used To Make The Faux Leather

The materials used to make the faux leather fabric can be one of the major contributory factors to it being sticky. Faux leather is made up of materials such as polyurethane, vinyl, and PVC.

Because most of these materials are plastic-based, they have a high potential of being sticky especially if the faux leather has been incorrectly manufactured.

Faux leather is not as breathable as natural leather and so with a large portion of its constituting ingredients being plastic-based, this is the perfect recipe for the sticky feeling you might be having on your faux leather items.

4. Faux Leather Gets Sticky From Use And Neglect

The wear and tear of your faux leather items is also a major contributing factor to them being sticky. The more you use the item, the more dirt will be transferred onto it which in turn causes stickiness when not wiped off timely enough.

If dust accumulates on top of this layer of grime from lack of cleaning, then there will also be an additional reason why your faux leather might feel sticky as well.

And because most faux leather items are coated with plastic-based materials for protection against liquids, another thing that can worsen the stickiness over time is continuing to neglect the faux leather item whether a bag, jacket, etc.

Over time if the faux leather item is not adequately cleaned up with an immediate application of the right faux leather care products like mild soap solution then the grime will only accumulate more and the faux leather can become sticky.

5. Using Wrong Leather Care Products Will Make Faux Leather Sticky

One of the most common misconceptions about caring for faux leather is that it does not need to be cared for at all.

This can lead to your material becoming sticky and difficult to clean over time. You would want to use the right faux leather care products for your seats.

This can happen easily because faux leather, unlike natural leather, is a nonporous material and everything you apply to its surface if you do not buff it off thoroughly or if the product is too greasy will stay on its surface and subsequently cause the leather to become sticky.

You should always test out the products you pick up for use on your faux leather items as some of these products instead of cleaning or improving the appearance of your items could also leave behind sticky or tacky gunk on your faux leather items.

You do not want to use any products that will have this kind of damaging effect on your faux leather materials or any other leather material for that matter.

This is why it is always recommended that for any cleaning of upholstery in general, mild soap solution should be used with a microfiber cloth or other soft cloth without rough edges or extra residue from previous use.

Another important thing work mentioning is that your best bet would be using distilled water because tap water may contain impurities such as metal ions which can cause discoloration and white spots after drying.

Such minerals get left and can be very difficult to remove later on down the line when you try to clean up spills etc.

6. Old Faux Leather Items Will Become Sticky

Another common reason why most faux leather items get still is from the faux leather item outliving its lifespan. This can happen when the faux leather item is old.

So if indeed if your faux leather item is old one of the things you will notice is that the plastic coating over the faux leather surface may have started to wear off, leaving the faux leather surface sticky, faded, and very old-looking.

If this is your plight then it may be time to think about getting a new faux leather item rather than restoring the old one.

Indeed, your best solution would be to find yourself a new set of faux leather furniture, jacket, etc.

One important tip I wish I knew when I bought our first faux leather furniture was any sticky residue on the surface of the item you’re buying should be cleaned first before taking the item home.

You do not want to particularly deal with the old faux leather item the feels sticky as there will be no turning back. It will only get worse.

7. Extreme Temperature & Humidity Can Cause Stickiness On Faux Leather

The temperature or humidity around your faux leather items can also cause the material to get sticky.

If you live in a humid area, then it is possible that your house could be too damp which can cause the faux leather items to get sticky and fast.

While you might have bigger problems to deal with like mold and mildew, having that gummy feeling on your faux leather items can simply be unbearable.

Faux leather does not do as well when exposed to heat so in this case, this problem would probably happen more often with clothing than furniture pieces.

But either way, you would want to keep safely help your faux leather items so that the crazy humid or temperature conditions do not cause them to get sticky.

How To Remove Sticky Residue From Faux Leather

Removing sticky residue from your faux leather items shouldn’t be very hard or too tricky for you even if you’re not particularly handy.

There are a few methods that you can use to remove sticky residue from faux leather. You may choose any of the following:

Method 1: Warm Soapy Water

One of the basic methods you can use to deal with stickiness on your faux leather items is using warm soapy water solutions. This is particularly useful because it is easy to do and you can get a good cleaning done in the process.

What You Need:

  • Container
  • Bucket
  • Bowl
  • Lint-free Towel or Sponge


Step 1

  • First off, you need to dilute some dish soap with warm water into your bucket or container that has some warm soapy water already poured in it.
  • 2-3 drops of dish soap will do.

Step 2

  • Using your lint-free towel or sponge, gently rub down your faux leather item.
  • Be as gentle and as thorough as possible so that your remove every gunk from the surface of your faux leather item without ruining its surface.

Step 3

  • Once you’re done scrubbing the surface of your item, dampen your microfiber cloth or lint-free towel with fresh clean water, and then thoroughly clean the faux leather surface.
  • You may repeat this until all of the stickiness is removed from your faux leather piece!

Method 2: Using Faux Leather Cleaner

You can use a faux leather cleaner to remove the sticky residue. The best type of faux leather cleaners is those that have glycerin as one of their ingredients because it’s able to penetrate deep into your furniture and wipe away stains from inside out so you don’t need to worry about any spot or stain left behind on your couch.

The reason why these glycerin-based faux leather cleaners are so important is that they help to lubricate, loosen dirt & oils, and helps restore suppleness.

What You Need:

  • Faux Leather Cleaner (of your choice)
  • Soft Microfiber Cloth or Brush


Step 1

  • Shake the container well and load it on your microfiber cloth. If the container for the faux leather cleaner you pick outcomes in a spray bottle, simply put a few squirts on your microfiber cloth.

Step 2

  • Without wasting too much time, apply the cleaner onto your cloth first then gently scrub in a circular motion over the area where there’s sticky residue until all of the product is absorbed.
  • You might have to do this a few times in some cases to be able to get the best results.

Important Tip: Make sure to test out the product on an inconspicious part of the faux leather item before applying it to the entire surface of the faux leather.

Step 3

  • Leave to dry for a few minutes. This will depend on the type of product but generally, a product that is quickly dry will within 30-40 minutes dry.

Step 4

  • Buff the surface of the faux leather item and your item should be as good as new.

Method 3: Using Isopropyl Alcohol

Some faux leathers may not be as forgiving when it comes to stains and spills. If you’ve noticed that your faux leather is a sticky feeling, chances are this could be caused by an oil or liquid of some kind having been spilled onto the surface.

This can happen if someone accidentally drips food on their furniture or something like mayonnaise gets dropped from a sandwich and runs down the side without being caught in time.

In most cases, these substances will just wipe off with regular cleaning products but there might be one product you should reach for before anything else: Isopropyl alcohol.

Before we get into how to clean nasty oils out of faux leather using Isopropyl Alcohol, let’s go over why it works so well.

The trick to cleaning up stubborn liquid spills from faux leather is that Isopropyl alcohol has a greater affinity for oil than any other substance, meaning it will mix with the oils on your couch and break them down into smaller particles which are then easily wiped away.

Now, here’s how to use isopropyl alcohol to remove sticky gunk from the surface of faux leather.

What You Need:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Rag, Soft Microfiber Cloth, or Sponge
  • Dish Soap or Saddle Soap
  • Faux Leather Protectant


Step 1

  • First things first! You’ll need some isopropyl alcohol.
  • Pour a small amount into the bottom of your cleaning container and dip in your duster, rag, cloth, or whatever you’ve chosen to clean with.

Step 2

  • Next comes the fun part – rubbing away all that sticky gunk from any surface it’s clinging to.
  • Apply the Isopropyl Alcohol by rubbing it over the surface of the faux leather in circular motions until all traces of stickiness or saponification oils have been removed.
  • The whole process should only take about five minutes if you’re really going at it hard, but don’t forget to wet down your rag every so often before wringing out as much of the isopropyl alcohol as possible after each new wipe cycle.
  • Be sure not to let contact time exceed ten seconds on any given surface.

Step 3

  • Put a few drops of dish soap into clean water. Dampen your rag or microfiber cloth with the soap solution and wipe the surface of the leather.
  • This will help to stop the reaction of the isopropyl alcohol on the surface of the leather. This also removes any sticky residue that the alcohol removed.

Step 4

  • Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with clean water and wipe the surface of the faux leather to remove the soap residue.

Step 5

  • Now use a dry clean cloth to wipe away any excess moisture from the surface of the leather item.

Step 6

  • Finally, leave the item to air dry.

Step 7

  • Apply a faux leather protectant on the surface of your faux leather item and your item is ready for use again. Enjoy!
  • Isopropyl Alcohol will help break down and remove sticky substances like saponification oils easily from both natural and faux leather items.
  • This is what makes it one of the best alternatives to removing stickiness from your faux leather items.

Tips On How To Prevent Faux Leather From Getting Sticky

There are several ways that you can prevent faux leather from getting sticky. Here are a few practical things you can do to keep your faux leather sticky-free.

  • Clean your faux leather items regularly with warm water and a few drops of dish soap.
  • Apply leather protectors on your faux leather items regularly to keep your items protected from the weather.
  • Make sure to buff the surface of your faux leather items as thoroughly as possible whenever you polish or apply any leather protector on it.
  • You want to as much as possible, avoid contact with oily substances such as cooking oils and use a towel or absorbent cloth to immediately clean away any spills without delay.
  • Avoid allowing your faux leather items to get too wet or too dry for long periods of time.
  • Store your faux leather items in a cool, well ventilated place away from direct sunlight and heat sources such as radiators.
  • If you are storing your faux leather for a long time, consider keeping them dust bags or containers if applicable to protect them from dust and other particles that may damage the surface.

Recent Posts