How to Remove Stains from Leather

A hand wiping a tan leather couch with a cloth

Couches, purses, shoes, car seats—there’s a lot of leather in your life, and all of it is at risk of staining. When you discover a stain on one of your favorite leather items, don’t fret! Most stains aren’t permanent. Learn how to remove stains from leather with these expert tips.

NOTE: Before you begin, check the tag for clues from the manufacturer. The sooner you attempt to remove the stain, the better.

How to Remove Water Stains from Leather Couches

Water stains are often caused by other things in the water, like minerals. If a spill is allowed to sit, it could leave a white ring when the water evaporates.

Dampen a microfiber cloth with distilled water and gently wipe the leather in a circular motion. Let the surface dry. If the water stain remains, repeat this process. When the stain is gone, condition the leather with a product recommended by the manufacturer.

How to Remove Grease Stains from Leather Purses

Oils from your skin and makeup products can leave unsightly smears on your beautiful leather purse.

To remove grease stains from leather purses, start by blotting up the oil with a white, lint-free cloth. Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder over the stain and let it sit overnight. Wipe the powder away to see if the stain is gone. If not, repeat this process or try using dishwashing liquid. Once the stain is removed, apply leather conditioner.

How to Remove Deicing Salt from Leather Shoes

You appreciate deicing salts for their ability to keep roads and sidewalks free of ice, but they don’t do any favors for your leather shoes.

Remove unsightly white stains by rubbing the leather with a cloth dipped in a solution of half water and half white vinegar. You may need to repeat this process multiple times. When the stain is gone, buff the leather and apply shoe polish paste.

How to Remove Dark Stains from Light-Colored Leather Car Seats

When mysterious stains appear on your car’s leather interior, don’t let it ruin your day! You can remove the stains with these tips.

Apply a paste of equal parts cream of tartar and lemon juice. Let the stain remover work for 10 minutes. Then, rub in a fresh layer of paste for good measure. Wipe the area with a damp sponge. To condition the leather, top your sponge with a bit of moisturizing soap.

How to Remove Ink Stains from Leather Furniture

If your kids decide to customize your leather chair with their inky works of art, rest assured you can remove the stains in a few ways.

Rub the stain with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Blow dry the spot. If the stain remains, try applying a thick layer of oil-free, non-gel cuticle remover. If the ink hasn’t faded by the next morning, buy an ink-removal stick formulated for leather. Follow the directions, and finish off your efforts with leather conditioner.

Arrange Housekeeping Help from Molly Maid

If you find you can’t keep up with your daily household chores, you’re not alone. No one wants to slave over the dirty dishes or scrub the toilet after a long day at work. Leave the housekeeping tasks to Molly Maid, and take some time to relax—you’ve earned it!

For help keeping things tidy when life gets hectic, please contact your local Molly Maid or call us to request a free in-home estimate for house cleaning services near you.