One of the biggest threats to leather is stains. Kids can get sticky fingers on the sofa before you know it, and if you own a bag or a pair of shoes made of leather, it's only a matter of time until those items get stained too.

Luckily, here is how to remove different types of stains from leather.

Dark stains

Dark stains from items such as grease, oil or dirt can be removed using liquid dishwashing detergent or vinegar and water solution.

Begin by blotting the stain with a clean cloth then rub the detergent or vinegar mixture  with a soft cloth until the stain is removed. Afterwards, use a clean cloth dipped in cold water to rub off any soap residue.

The item should be allowed to air-dry. This process may need to be repeated several times for removal of dark stains.

Oil stains

Oil stains can be removed by applying talcum powder directly to the stained area and letting it sit overnight before brushing away the powder. For lighter stains, one tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a half teaspoon of warm water and applied to the stain may also remove the oil stain within 48 hours of application.

For oil spills on shoes, sprinkling salt on the spill while it is still wet will absorb most of the oil from the leather.

Image courtesy: rubnrestore.com 

Ink Stains

If you drop a pen or marker on your leather furniture and it leaves a stain, you can  use rubbing alcohol to remove it.

  • Soak a piece of cotton in rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover (make sure it has acetone).
  • Hold the cotton over the ink for about 30 seconds, then dab gently until the ink begins to transfer onto the cotton instead of into the leather.
  • Keep blotting until all of the ink is gone. However, if that doesn't work, try an eraser designed for removing ink stains from clothing. You can find these at most office supply stores or pharmacies.
  • Alternatively, buy leather cleaner and apply it as directed by the manufacturer.
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Mold Stains

Mold loves dark environments with little airflow like basements and closets. If you have mold growing on your leather furniture, you must get rid of it immediately before it spreads — not just to other parts of the furniture but also to other items in your home.

Wipe the mold away with a damp cloth and then dry everything thoroughly with a towel. If you don't get rid of the entire mold, it will grow back quickly. If you spot any mold or mildew, mix a solution of 4 parts warm water and 1 part distilled white vinegar. Use a cloth soaked in the mixture to wipe off any mold or mildew you find on your leather item.

Bottom line…

You don't have to throw away your leather stained items. Simply follow these tips to take care of your leather and enjoy your leather items for much longer.

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