How To Clean Stains on Leather

How To Clean Stains on Leather

Let’s face it, you can be extra careful and cautious around your leather products, but stains are bound to happen. Whether it’s from moisture, spilled drinks or using the wrong type of cleaning solution on them, chances are your leather will develop some noticeable stains. Thankfully, however, there are a couple of things you can do to help remove and eliminate stubborn leather stains.

Soap and Water

The first method you should try for removing leather stains involves basic warm water and soap. Take a small hand towel, wet it with warm water and place a couple of drops of mild dish soap on it. Before you apply it to your leather, squeeze out any excess water to prevent further damage to your leather products. Once you’ve done this, take the soapy towel and place it directly on the stain. Continue blotting the problematic area until the stain is no longer noticeable. Depending on how severe it is and what caused the stain, blotting should remove it without much effort.

Treat it Early

The key to removing leather stains is to identify and treat them early. Like most other materials, if you allow a stain to sit on the leather too long, it will seep through the fibers and become more difficult to remove. On the other hand, getting rid of fresh leather stains is usually a breeze with the soap and water method listed above. Just remember to blot the stain and not rub it in; otherwise, you could make it worse than before.


If soap and water just isn’t cutting it for your leather stains, you may have to use a little more ingenuity with your methods. One of my personal favorite methods for removing stubborn stains is to mix a solution of 1 parts white vinegar and 3 parts water and use it to try and blot out the stain. If there’s mold, mildew or bacteria growing on your leather, this solution is sure to destroy it, giving it a nice clean look and feel.

No matter what spot-removing method you decide to use on your leather product, remember to always give it ample time to dry afterward. Allowing cleaning products or even moisture to sit on leather may cause it to rot over time, which is something no one wants to see happen. After you’re done cleaning the leather, take a dry towel to wipe off any excess moisture and leave it in the open to dry for several hours.