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How to Remove Oil Stains from Leather: Step-By-Step Guide

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Remove Oil Stains from Leather?

Guide on How to Remove Oil Stains from Leather?

Do you have a leather product that has been stained by oil? If you are wondering now the only option is to throw it away then you are wrong. You can still save your favorite leather wallet, briefcase or jacket by removing the oil stains and making it new again.

Although removing oil stains from leather can be difficult because oil and grease both repel water and does not break down. Once the oil is absorbed and dried, it becomes difficult to remove the stains from the leather. You can follow our detailed step-by-step guide to remove the oil stains from your leather item.

How Do You Get Dried Oil Stains Out of Leather?

How to Remove Oil Stains from Leather: Step-By-Step Guide

Firstly, it is important to act fast when you see an oil spill on the leather as the oil takes no time to penetrate and get absorbed into the leather. Take a dry cotton cloth to remove the excess oil from the leather surface then follow the process below-

  1. Check the Intensity of the Stain : The leather stains can be of different severity and each type of stain requires a different method to clean it. If the stain is very severe then it is advised to seek professional help to address the situation. For light to moderate stains you can sprinkle baking soda on the stain to absorb the oil from the leather and then treat it with some conditioner.
  1. Preparing a Cleaning Solution : If the leather oil stains are light then you can choose a simple solution of soap and water. For more severe stains, you can make a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water or vinegar and water. Mix an equal proportion of any one product depending on the kind of stain - liquid soap, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol.
  1. Clean the Leather : Before proceeding, make sure to wear protective gloves then damp a clean cloth in the solution and do a patch test on a less visible area. If there is no discoloration then, start cleaning the oil stains gently with this mixture. Do not apply the mixture in excess quantity as the moisture can harm the leather. You can repeat this step until you get the desired result.
  1. Dry the Leather  : Once the stain is no more visible, allow the leather item to dry in an open ventilated space naturally. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight or use of hair dryer to make the process faster.
  2. Apply Conditioner – Once the leather is dried, apply a good amount of conditioner on the leather surface to seal the leather pores and to restore the moisture. Allow the leather item to dry again in an open space.

Now your leather item is stain-free and ready for use again.

Also Read : How To Remove Paint From Leather

Will Baking Soda Remove Oil from Leather?

How to Remove Oil Stains from Leather: Step-By-Step Guide

The ability of baking soda to remove oil stains depends on the severity of the stain. For light and small stains, baking soda can be used. Simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the stain and let it sit on the stain for a few hours or overnight.

Then brush off the powder from the leather, once the stain is removed or reduced significantly you can apply some leather conditioner to seal the moisture. Baking soda is known for its absorbing capacity and hence it can absorb the oil from leather.

Check this: How to Remove Mold From Leather?

How to Prevent Leather from Oil Stains?

How to Remove Oil Stains from Leather: Step-By-Step Guide

Here are some quick tips to avoid future oil stains on leather that will save you from the hassle of removing oil stains from leather.  

  • Careful Handling : Be careful while handling oily and greasy items around your leather items to avoid spillage.
  • Use a Leather Protectant : There are many commercial leather protective sprays and creams available in the market which create a liquid-repellent coating on the leather which saves the oils from penetrating into the leather and you get more time to clean the spillage before it can damage your leather item.
  • Regular Cleaning : Clean your leather item regularly which will remove any light stains on the leather before it becomes permanent on the leather.

 Also Check : How To Polish Leather Shoes Tips 


Removing oil stains from leather can be a tough task because leather is a highly absorbing porous material and hence it can absorb the oil very quickly and give your leather items permanent stains.

You can use our simple step-by-step guide to remove light to moderate stains using rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or soap solution.

But if the stains are very severe then we advise to take your leather item to professionals as they can address the situation and save your leather accessories from permanent damage. 

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