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Home Remedies for Leather Stain Removal

Leather can be expensive to clean professionally. Luckily, there are a few reliable home remedies that can work as well as professional methods. There are different processes for cleaning unfinished leather and finished leather.

Leather stain removal can be expensive.

Leather can be expensive to clean professionally.  Luckily, there are a few reliable home remedies that can work as well as professional methods.

There are different processes for cleaning unfinished leather and finished leather.  In any process, unfinished leather should never get wet and finished leather should never be completely soaked.

The items you will need to remove leather stains at home can be purchased at any grocery store. 


Wet Suds Method

Finished leather generally is easier to clean that unfinished leather.  In fact, you can use mild soap to clean most stains off leather.

Mix one cup water with several drops of mild liquid dishwashing detergent.  Dip a cloth into the mixture and rub it over the stain until the stain is gone.

Rinse the area with a sponge soaked in clear water and dry completely to prevent watermarks from forming.  Be careful not to soak the leather at any point to avoid warping the leather.


Removing Salt Stains

In the winter you may notice unsightly salt stains on your finished leather shoes.  To clean them, mix equal parts water and white vinegar.

Dampen a cloth with the mixture and rub it over the salt stains.  Rinse the area with a cloth slightly dampened in water.

Dry it completely with paper towels or a clean cloth to prevent watermarks. 


Removing Ink Stains

Ink stains can be removed from finished leather with rubbing alcohol.  Dampen a corner of a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and blot it over the stain until the ink is removed.

Do not rub the stain as it could cause the ink to spread.  Rinse the area with a cloth dampened in clear water.


Dry Suds Method

You can use dry suds to clean most stains off suede–which is unfinished leather.  Mix one cup of water with several drops of mild liquid dishwashing detergent.

Mix it vigorously until suds form.  Dip a sponge in the suds without getting it wet.

Work the suds into the suede until the stain is removed.  You may need to reapply the suds as you remove the stain.


Eraser

This method should be used if other methods of cleaning suede have not removed the stain.  Use a pencil eraser or a white art gum eraser to remove the top layer of the suede.

Use care when rubbing the eraser into the suede so as to not make a hole in it or wear it down too much. 


Sandpaper

This home remedy should only be used if all other methods of cleaning suede have failed.  Rub the stain with very fine grit sandpaper or a fingernail file until the stain is no longer visible.

Use care as to not rub too vigorously, as you can make a hole in the suede. 

About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.

Photo Credits

  • leather image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com
  • leather image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com