How To Get Rid of Stains On Leather Shoes

You’re investing time and effort into keeping your favourite pair of leather shoes in tip-top shape. You follow a regular cleaning routine as per our leather cleaning guide. Yet one day, when you least expect it, you look down to find the unspeakable on those beautiful shoes - a stain. Sadly, those are something that will probably need special attention beyond your regular cleaning routine.  

The number one thing to keep in mind is that you want to treat the stain as soon as possible so as not to let it soak into the leather and dry. Start off by blotting gently with a dry cloth to absorb any excess liquid before it sets in fully - never rub or you risk spreading the stain outward and downward into the leather. The longer you let a stain sit untreated the worse it will be to deal with.  


The other thing you want to keep in mind is that the below-recommended solutions may not be suitable for all kinds of leather. You must start by knowing the kind of leather you’re dealing with as more delicate untreated types and lighter colours are more likely to be damaged by DIY solutions. You should also always start off by testing on an inconspicuous area first to avoid damaging your shoes.    


Before we get into some of the DIY solutions that we’ve rounded up to help you treat stains on leather shoes, it’s important to remember that prevention is key. So, spraying your leather shoes with waterproofing spray is the best way to prevent liquid-based stains. While definitely not as absorbent as fabric, it’s important to remember that leather is still a porous material and as such is prone to absorbing liquids and staining.  


How to remove grease or oil stains from leather shoes

Start by sprinkling baking soda on the stain. The dry, powdery nature of baking soda will help draw the liquid out of the leather. Rub the baking soda in gently with a damp cloth and then allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight. Finish off by wiping the powder away with a soft cloth.


How to remove ink stains from leather shoes

Using a non-acetone nail polish remover, dip a cotton swab in it and blot the stain. Don’t rub or you could make the ink spread. Blot gently, keeping the cotton swab on the stain itself so that it doesn’t spread until the stain is gone. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth and dry with a towel. Using a non-acetone-based nail polish remover is paramount!


How to remove water stains from leather shoes

Water stains will form when a small patch of water dries unevenly on a leather surface. The trick here is to lightly wet the entire leather surface and then allow it all to dry uniformly rather than in patches. You have to be careful to make sure you only dampen the leather and not soak it. Also, make sure the shoe is properly stuffed to make sure it doesn’t lose its shape as it dries.     


How to remove wine stains from leather shoes

We’ve dedicated an entire blog to this pesky culprit. Wine is one of the most annoying stains to get rid of so we’ve rounded up a range of methods to try here.


How to remove scuffs from leather shoes

Scuffs aren’t stains per se but are pesky nonetheless. We’ve also dedicated an entire blog to dealing with them - click here to read it.  


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