Removing oil stains from leather
Oily substances tend to leave a strong stain where ever they go. It could be the oil from your food like melted butter, or some kind of massage oil or anything.
Sometimes, kids would put paper food wrappers (like a pizza box) on the couch which could leak the oil and grease up whatever surface they are lying on. And the stains are even more visible on light colored leather.
The oil or grease can settle into the leather permanently and be very difficult to remove. Therefore its best to act as soon as possible. However, you need to be very careful when applying any kind of cleaning solution, since it can remove the shine of the leather.
Here are some simple remedies that you can try out with common household items to remove oily stains from leather objects.
1. Corn Starch or Talcum powder
Corn starch or talcum powder act as an absorbent and pull the oil out from the leather. First take a tissue paper and gently rub the oil stain to lift as much oil as possible. The tissue paper shall absorb oil and there will be less oil left on the leather.
Next drop some talcum powder or corn starch (or wheat germ) on the stain area. Press gently and leave it like that for a day. The powder will absorb the stain back from the leather.
Next day rub the powder off and again rub with a tissue paper. The stain should gone.
This method works best for stains that are fresh or very recent. Old and dried stains will be difficult to remove using this method and you would need some alternative.
2. Dishwashing liquid
Mix a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a cup of water. Now wet a piece of sponge and dab over the stain very carefully. Dab only till the stain is removed and stop immediately after that.
Doing this can potentially cause the leather surface to loose its shine from the stained area. So be careful.
3. Little baking soda
Mix about a tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl of water. Moisten a piece of microfiber washcloth or sponge with it and use it to dab over the stain gently without rubbing elsewhere.
You should see the stain loosing out with the effect of the water and once the entire stain has been removed stop dabbing any further.
4. Vinegar Solution
Vinegar contains acetic acid which can remove oil stains quite effectively. But it must be diluted by mixing with water so that its corrosive effect on leather is minimal and only the stain is removed by its effect and not the leather’s shine.
Mix about a tablespoon of plain white vinegar in a cup of water. Now soak a cotton ball or sponge with it and gently dab over the stain. Keep doing till the stain disappears and then stop immediately.
Extra tips and advice
After removing the oil stain, the leather might loose some of its smoothness and shine from the stained area. In case of leather shoes this will be insignificant since you can always polish the shoes and make them shine again.
With other items like jacket, purse or car seat, you need to apply leather conditioner to restore the shine of the leather to make it look like before.
If the item under the stain is something expensive and valuable then its best to call a professional for the job rather than trying yourself.