Finding a stain on your favorite leather handbag or coat doesn't have to be devastating. If you act fast using the right materials, you can remove stains from leather without damaging the texture or the shine of your leather. Follow these steps and you can remove the stains.
- Act quickly. Don't wait once you notice a stain. Whether you spill your lunch onto your coat or find ink marks on the inside of your purse, you still need to act quickly.
- Scrape excess food or particles. Use a paper towel or knife to scrape any globs of food, seeds or oil spots. If the stain is oil, hold the paper towel to the surface of the leather so it soaks up as much of the excess oil as possible.
- Spot test. Before cleaning a visible surface of the leather consider spot testing an area on the inside of the coat or handbag. Follow the remaining steps in the hidden area before apply it to the visible surface of the stain.
- Apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball. Regular rubbing alcohol is all you should need as a cleaning solution for leather. Apply a small amount to a cotton ball. Don't soak the ball, just get it damp.
- Dab the stain with the cotton ball. Lightly dab the alcohol onto the stained area. The alcohol should begin to penetrate into the leather and release the stain. You might notice the sheen of the leather starting to dull as you dab on the alcohol; this is normal.
- Slowly rub to remove the stain. Rub the cotton ball against the stained area and slowly circle the stain. The stain should be removed within a few minutes of starting this and rubbing the stain. If the stain isn't coming up and the cotton ball is getting dirty, apply alcohol to a second, clean cotton ball and repeat the process.
- Allow the leather to dry. Once the stain has been removed, the leather will need to dry for a few minutes. The drying should happen fast since alcohol evaporates quickly.
- Condition the leather. After the leather has dried, the sheen will be duller in the area that was treated. Again, this is normal. Apply a leather conditioner to the surface of the leather to return the moisture content of the leather, make it supple and restore the sheen to the surface.
Leather stains can be cleaned. With a little effort and household items, you can stop the stain before it ruins your leather.