Buffalo leather care: What you need to pay attention to when caring for suede

Pärchen mit Hund auf rotem Ledersofa in spärlich eingerichtetem Zimmer mit gelber Hängelampe, Sideboard und Filmscheinwerfer

Compared to normal cowhide, buffalo leather has a significantly higher porosity. It is the first choice for upholstered furniture, but it is also extremely popular for accessories such as bags. High-quality buffalo leather comes from either swamp or river buffalo. The natural leather impresses with its typical grain structure, in which the hair channels are clearly visible. Over time, buffalo leather takes on a characteristic lightening and thus develops its unique character.

Although suede is one of the most durable and long-lasting types of leather, the natural material needs the right care. The following article will tell you what you need to pay attention to when cleaning and caring for it and why buffalo leather is something very special.

What makes buffalo leather so special?

As a rough leather, buffalo leather falls into the category of suede . Visually, it impresses with its open-pored, natural structure , which results from the fact that the leather is made from the top layer of skin and sanded on the grain side . This reveals a variety of distinctive features such as healed scars, insect bites or bald and thickened areas, which give the buffalo leather its rustic and natural appearance.

Real leather lovers around the world appreciate the pleasant, soft and warm feel as well as the robust and durable nature of the leather. These properties make buffalo leather an ideal raw material for the production of long-lasting everyday objects such as bags and seating furniture.

Black buffalo surrounded by green plants

Image source: Pixabay

Like all natural materials, buffalo leather also has some disadvantages. It is rather rare and therefore relatively expensive to buy . This is due to the limited permission to kill the animals. The material is also susceptible to stains, as liquids can easily penetrate through the open pores and cause the leather to darken. A spotty surface and a tendency to fade are also characteristic. But with the right care, you can counteract these processes and enjoy your buffalo leather product for a long time.

Cleaning & caring for buffalo leather: How to protect the open-pored leather from external influences

Since liquids can penetrate very deeply into the open pores of the buffalo leather and leave unsightly stains, it is essential to protect the material properly . The right care and cleaning are crucial to maintaining its longevity and attractive appearance. The following tips will show you how!

  • Avoid products that contain fat: Avoid products that replenish fat such as leather grease or overly nourishing leather care creams in your care routine. These are counterproductive and can block the pores. However, if you have a smooth leather version or a sealed version of your buffalo leather, then the leather care lotion from Emma Grün is the perfect care product.
  • Immediate stain removal: When stains are caused by liquids such as coffee or wine, it is important to act immediately. Dab the stain with a dry cloth or kitchen paper without rubbing to prevent the stain from spreading.
  • Special cleaning products: For stubborn stains, special cleaning products for buffalo leather or grease-dissolving leather cleaners can be used. The premium leather cleaner from Emma Grün is ideal for this.

If you do see stains on your buffalo leather products, such as from coffee, wine or other liquids, you need to act quickly. Avoid rubbing the stains . This will only make them bigger, as the liquid will only be rubbed deeper into the leather . Instead, dab them with a dry cotton cloth or a piece of kitchen or blotting paper. You can then treat the stain further with a leather sanding pad or special erasers.

For stains caused by grease or oil, special cleaning spirits for buffalo leather or a grease-dissolving leather cleaner can help. If you are wondering how to treat your favorite aniline leather sofa , the following instructions will help you do it.

Cleaning and caring for buffalo leather sofas: step-by-step instructions

Caring for a buffalo leather sofa requires a certain amount of care and attention. To maintain the natural look and durability of the material, regular cleaning and the use of a light care lotion are necessary . Make sure to avoid chemically produced products. They contain aggressive ingredients that damage aniline leather and suppress the leather's breathability. The result: the leather dries out and becomes brittle over time.

If you choose the leather care lotion from Emma Grün , you are choosing an all-round carefree package. The natural ingredients are biodegradable and nourish your buffalo leather right down to the deepest layers . The result is impressive with its beautiful appearance and pleasant feel. The following step-by-step instructions reflect what your care routine should look like.

Step 1: Preparation

You should have the following things ready:

  • Natural leather care lotion for aniline leather
  • Soft cloths
  • Leather sanding pad
  • Leather cleaner for stubborn stains
  • Impregnation spray

Emma Grün Tip: Did you know that you can shop for all work materials and all cleaning and care products for leather and other materials on the Emma Grün website ? Take a look and be pleasantly surprised!

Step 2: Dust the sofa

Before you start cleaning, you need to remove dust and loose dirt from your sofa using a soft cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.

Step 3: Basic cleaning

Now grab a damp, soft cloth and gently wipe the sofa. If necessary, you can use a natural leather cleaner for aniline leather. Make sure that you do not use too much water for cleaning and that all dirt is removed.

Step 4: Apply protection

After cleaning, your buffalo leather needs care. However, you should avoid using products such as wax or leather care cream on buffalo leather because of their overly greasy properties . If you have buffalo leather with a smooth surface or sealant, use a light lotion instead. Apply this to your buffalo leather sofa with a soft cloth. This step helps to protect the leather from drying out and fading and provides it with everything it needs for a lasting, natural look. If you have a suede finish, it is best to skip this step because the fine hairs on the surface could stick together .

Step 5: Impregnation

To protect your buffalo leather sofa from future stains and liquids, you should waterproof your couch now. To do this, spray the waterproofing spray generously onto the aniline leather and then let it dry completely.


To preserve the beauty and durability of buffalo leather furnishings and accessories, regular cleaning and proper care are necessary. This is the only way to extend and maintain the lifespan and attractive appearance of buffalo leather products. For stubborn stains, natural aniline cleaning products should be used and the manufacturer's instructions should be followed.

FAQ: Questions & Answers

What is buffalo leather?

Buffalo leather is a strong and robust leather that comes from swamp or river buffalo. It is characterized by its open, natural structure and its typical grain structure.

How does buffalo leather differ from cow leather?

Buffalo leather has greater porosity and a more distinctive grain structure than cowhide. It is also often thicker and more robust.

How do I care for buffalo leather products?

Caring for buffalo leather includes regular cleaning, protection against drying out and fading, and impregnation to prevent stains. Special care products for aniline leather are recommended.

How do I remove stains from buffalo leather?

If stains occur, they should be dabbed off immediately with a dry cloth. For further treatment, special leather cleaners, leather erasers or a leather sanding pad can be used.

Can buffalo leather fade?

Buffalo leather tends to fade over time. This often happens under constant exposure to UV light. An aniline leather protectant can help minimize fading.


1. Leather lexicon: Buffalo leather – https://www.leder-info.de/index.php/Büffelleder

2. Cleaning and care of buffalo leather – https://www.lederzentrum.ch/tip/moebel/bueffelleder.html

3. Buffalo leather – https://www.gusti-leder.de/lexikon/bueffelleder

4. Buffalo leather vs. cowhide: Which is better? – https://fredericstjames.com/blog/buffalo-leather-vs-cowhide-leather-wich-is-better

5. How to care for and protect porous aniline buffalo leather – https://www.leathercare.com/de-int/pages/how-to-care-potect-buffalo-leather