How to Remove Stains From Leather? A Complete Guide

Whenever there is spoilage on your leather product, it is quite disturbing since there is a huge chance that it would build up into a stain. In case, you have a leather stain, there are many things that you can do, Here, in this piece of article, we are going to share with you everything there is to know about removing stain from leather. Before we start discussing the different ways to remove stains from your leather product, we are going to give you two golden rules to follow which will save your product from damage.

 These two golden rules are - 

  • Act fast
  • Treat appropriately

    Following these two rules will make you a superhero and you will be able to save your leather products from any kind of stain. Irrespective of what you have accidentally spilled on your leather product - coffee, wine, chocolate, or more, our tips will definitely help you get it out. Yes, we can help you save your leather product from any kind of stain except the ones left by dyes and bleaches. Both these products will permanently alter the color of the fabric at the molecular level, which makes it impossible to clean even with the methods we are going to share with you.

    So, now that we have discovered that there are different methods. Let’s begin discussing each of these methods one by one. Before that, let’s get to the cleaning equipment list.

    The Cleaning Equipment List You Need To Keep Handy!

    The leather cleaning toolkit you need to have before you start to treat the spillage includes - 

    • Spoon or blunt knife
    • Soft-bristled cleaning brush
    • Bucket
    • Soft Cleaning cloth
    • Hair Dryer
    • Stiff brush
    • Paper towels
    • Latex Gloves
    • Face Mask
    • Toothbrush
    • Vacuum Cleaner

    Most of the stuff on the list is usually present in every house. But if you don’t have any of the stuff mentioned in the list, it is time you get them now.

    If you think having this toolkit is enough, you are wrong. There are many substances that you would need to get rid of any kind of leather stain. So, what are these substances?

    Cleaning Substances You Need To Collect Before Initiating The Cleaning Process 

    • Glue Remover
    • Leather Degreaser
    • Ice Cubes in plastic bags
    • Salt
    • Soda Water
    • Leather furniture cleaner with conditioner
    • Petroleum jelly
    • Talcum powder
    • Washing-up Liquid
    • White spirit
    • White Vinegar
    • Bicarbonate of soda
    • Carbon tetrachloride
    • Milk
    • Rubber adhesive
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Soap flakes
    • Shaving cream
    • Soft erasers
    • Sticky tape
    • Wax crayons to match the color

    This is the list of substances that you need to keep handy to be prepared to treat any kind of spill. You might have noticed that there is a mention of borax, bleach, bicarbonate of soda, and even saddle soap. These are the chemicals that can help in getting rid of the stains from the leather. Since these products are high in alkaline, you should be very careful with them as it might lead to the breakdown of the fibers deep within the leather.

    General Leather Cleaning Care Routine You Must Follow  

    Every house has different types of leather products that need proper care. Here, we are going to share with you a general leather care procedure that you must follow to maintain the good health of all kinds of leather products.

    Apart from dye and bleach, most of the stains are treatable. In general, if you have accidentally spilled an oily or greasy stain, you should immediately treat it with an absorbent like talcum powder. Rest, depending on the different types of stains, you need to follow a procedure. Here, we are going to take you through the cleaning process you need to follow for each type of stain.

    1) Treating the Stain of Adhesive or Glue

    We know how devastating it is If you have accidentally spilled glue or any kind of adhesive on your leather products. For this, we need to make sure that you get the right procedure initiated. Here, we are going to share with you the steps you need to follow to get rid of adhesive or glue from leather.

    Step 1 - Check if the glue is dry or wet. If the glue is dry, skip right to step 5.

    Step 2 - Scrape the excess glue with a blunt knife from the surface.

    Step 3 - Now put a few drops of washing liquid on a soft cleaning cloth and rub gently. After applying the liquid, you need to dry it using a paper towel or any other soft cloth. If still, you see the glue stuck to the surface, go to the next step.

    Step 4 - Use a sponge with soapy hot water and rub it on the stain. If this does not work, move to the next step.

    Step 5 - You need to use the specialist glue remover or leather degreaser. If you don’t have any of these handy, you can also use Amyl acetate on a cotton swab and rub it over a stain. Before you start attacking the stain with a full zeal, make sure that you spot test first.

    Step 6 - If the glue is dried up, place some ice cubes inside a plastic bag and hold it over the spot.

    Step 7 - Gently scrape and pick the glue off using a blunt knife.

    Follow these 7 steps and you are good to go.

    2) Antiperspirant Stain Treatment

    Unlike any deodorant, antiperspirant needs a professional treatment. These professional treatments include several strong chemicals which are not usually available in the market.

    3) Ash Stain Treatment


    Ashtray got split over on a leather product? Don’t know what to do? We got you covered. The good thing about the ask is that if it is dry, you can simply brush it off. Always use a soft bristled brush or a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the ash.

     4) Avocado Stain


    If you have stained your leather product with avocado, don’t worry. You can simply use a washing liquid and a soft cloth to rub the stain off. The best method to follow here is to use little water and blot dry.

    Using this method, you can easily remove the avocado stain.

    5) Banana Stain


    To remove banana stain, you can use a spoon or blunt knife to scrape it off. You can also remove the remaining stain using hot water and a sponge. Blot drying method can also work well in this scenario.

    6) Beer Stain Removal

    To remove beer stain from leather, follow these steps -

    Step 1 - Sponge the area with soda water to lift up the beer stain.

    Step 2 - Soak a soft washing cloth in warm water and then gently wipe the affected area where the stain has developed.

    Step 3 - Continue and repeat the process.

    Step 4 - If you smell beer in cloth still, go back to step 2.

    Step 5 - Check if the smell still remains. If still you find the smell to retain, sponge the area with a solution of water as well as white vinegar and then sponge again.

    7) Grease Stain Removal

     Everything including the makeup products and food can leave the stain on leather products. To remove grease stains from leather products, you must blot the stain with whitel lint free cloth. You must also sprinkle the absorbent like talcum powder and leave overnight. In the morning, wipe the powder with soft cloth and see if the stain is gone. If the stain is still there, you must repeat the process using dishwash detergent. Always apply leather conditioner after removing the stain.

    8) Removing Dark Stains from Light Colored Leather

    Getting rid of the dark stains on light colored leather is the most difficult. But still, there are a few things that you can do. Mix the cream of tartar and lemon juice in equal parts and apply it over the stain and leave it for 10 minutes and then rub it off with a damp sponge to see if the stain is gone.

    9) Removing Ink Stain from leather

    In case you see the ink stain on leather, here is something that you can try. Rub the ink stain with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and dry it using a blow-dryer. If the stain still remains, try applying even a thicker later of oil-free, non-gel cuticle remover. If the ink hasn’t faded by the next morning, use an ink-removal stick formulated specially for leather.

    10) Removing Algae, Mildew, and Mold Stain from Leather

    Another very gross stain is the stain of algae, mold, and mildew. To remove this stain, you must follow the following steps -

    Step 1 - Add a few drops of washing liquid to a cup of warm water for pour it over the spot. If the stain is caused by mold, you can also use the isopropyl alcohol and water.

    Step 2 - Sponge the affected area

    Step 3 - Wipe dry with cloth

    Step 4 - Repeat if needed

    Step 5 - If using alcohol, apply leather conditioner after to prevent the drying of the leather surface.

    These are a few very common stains that one comes across. Each one of the steps we have mentioned above has proved to be effective. So, if you are stuck with a bad stain on your favorite expensive leather product, it is time you get rid of it. Thankfully, apart from dye and bleach, there are no stubborn stains that cannot be treated. We have already shared with you the treatment for different type of stains and marks on leather. We hope this article was helpful.

    Understanding the Process of Spot Testing

    There are several chemicals that have proven helpful in removing stains from leather. One thing that you need to be aware of here is that not every chemical works well with all kinds of leather. This is the reason why we highly advise you to spot test. Spot test is a necessity to ensure that the product is not eternally damaged. This is the method in which you must choose a tiny corner of the product and apply the chemical you intend to use to clean the stain. Just dab the area with the product, blot it over a small area, and see how it reacts. If you see no harmful effect, the chemical is safe to use.


    In the end, we would like to say that there are many things that you need to consider when it comes to cleaning a stain from a leather surface. So, we hope that after reading this piece of article, you will be able to get rid of all different kinds of stain from your leather product. As we have mentioned before, there are different types of treatments for different kind of stains. So, whatever type of stain you got, make sure you treat it for the type of treatment it deserves.

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