How to Remove Stains From Patent Leather?

How to Remove Stains From Patent Leather?

Patent leather items are a popular fashion statement, but they can be difficult to keep clean. If you have a patent leather item that is stained, don’t worry – we have the ultimate guide for how to remove stains from patent leather! In this article, we will cover common questions such as “what causes yellow stains on patent leather?” and “how do I remove stains from patent leather?” We will also provide helpful tips and tricks for keeping your patent leather shoes looking their best.

Patent Leather in General

Patent leather is a type of leather with an extremely glossy and shiny finish. It’s often used to make shoes, purses, and other fashion accessories. Patent leather has been around for centuries, but the modern version was first created in 1819 by an American inventor Seth Boyden. Since then, it has become increasingly popular due to its eye-catching shine and durability. 

The finish on patent leather is created through a process known as “varnishing” or “polishing.” This involves coating the material with multiple layers of varnish or polish in order to protect it from damage and give it a glossy appearance. While this makes patent leather very resistant to stains and water damage, discoloration and scratches can still occur over time.

Patent Leather in General

Fortunately, there are a few easy methods for helping you remove unsightly marks from your patent leather items. [1]

Cleaning Patent Leather Shoes

We shall begin with shoes as these are usually the most exposed to dirt, dust, and spills. As you will see in a few minutes, there’s nothing scary about cleaning patent leather shoes, so no need to get anxious!

Remove loose dirt and debris

The most important thing is to clean the dirt off as soon as possible. This way it’s easier to remove and you won’t risk damaging the finishing of your footwear. You can start by brushing the shoe with a soft brush, there’s no need for any special cleaning product or water. But don’t rub too hard: patent leather finish, while durable, can be damaged and rough rubbing will not do it well! Wipe gently in circular motions until all stains are gone. You may want to repeat this several times if the dirt is stubborn.

Inspect shoes for color marks and deal with them accordingly

As we mentioned, patent leather is vulnerable to color infiltration, so you should inspect your shoes for any potential marks after the cleaning is done. If you find any color marks, an eraser is your lifesaver. This will help you quickly and easily remove any color spots.

To use it, take the eraser, hold it firmly, and gently rub each spot in circles until you uncover your original patent leather color. If necessary, you can use a slightly damp cloth to further protect the shoe surface. Don’t forget to check other surfaces as well: straps, buckles, and soles.

Be sure not to rub the eraser too hard against the surface, as this could cause permanent damage. Finally, use a clean and soft cloth to buff your shoes until they shine!

Cleaning Patent Leather Shoes

Get rid of tough stains

While patent leather is quite resistant, it may still succumb to tough stains. If you find yourself facing an oil spill or some other kind of difficult stain, you will need something harsher than a brush or an eraser.

Your products to go in this case are either rubbing alcohol or vaseline. While rubbing alcohol may be too harsh for genuine unfinished leather, it can be used on patent leather without damaging the surface. Rubbing alcohol can be found in most drug stores and will help you get rid of tough stains like oil or grease. Simply dip a clean paper towel into the alcohol and gently rub it against the stain until it disappears.

Vaseline, on other hand, is a petroleum jelly product used as a skin protectant, moisturizer, and lubricant. It has also been found to work marvels in removing some of the toughest stains from patent leather. And surprisingly, it can salvage discolored and dull-looking patent leather surfaces.

All you have to do is apply some vaseline onto a q-tip or a paper towel, then rub it against the surface with circular motions until all dirt is removed. Be sure not to press too hard on your shoes!

Let the product sit on your shoes for a few seconds in order for it to properly soak into the leather.

Dealing with sticky stains

The last thing you want is to end up with sticky shoes! In case your patent leather gets wet and a sticky residue appears, you need to act fast. The best way to do this is by using mineral oil.

Mineral oils are petrochemicals derived from crude oil and are often used to condition, clean, and protect various surfaces including leather. These oils form a barrier on the surface of the material which helps prevent water, dirt, and other contaminants from penetrating it. In the case of patent leather, mineral oils also help give it its glossy shine.

Mineral oils are very gentle on leather, so they are ideal for this task. Simply use a cotton cloth to apply the oil and then buff your shoes until you restore their original shine.

To use it, put a small drop of mineral oil onto the cloth and gently wipe it against the sticky area. As with all things, be sure not to rub too hard or you might end up damaging your shoes!

With mineral oil, you will need to let it sit on your shoes for longer than usual in order for it to properly soak in. It may take up to an hour, but you will definitely be rewarded with beautiful patent leather shoes!

Sometimes you may have to leave your shoes overnight if the sticky residue is really tough and won’t come off. Just make sure you don’t use too much oil, as this may leave your shoes looking greasy in the end!

Wipe your shoes

Now that you have done all the cleaning and removal of stains, it’s time to wipe your shoes. This step is important in order for your patent leather shoes to look their best!

Use a clean cloth dampened in water and mild soap to wipe away any excess product that is left on your shoes. Start from the top and work your way down, wiping gently but firmly in circular motions.

Repeat this process until all surfaces of the shoe are clean and dry. If you want to give it a nice shine, you can use a soft cloth to buff your shoes after they have dried out completely.

Just keep in mind that patent shoes aren’t 100% waterproof, so don’t use too much water!

Buff the shoes

Buffing is a crucial step to give your patent leather shoes a nice and glossy finish. Start with a clean, soft cloth and rub it against the surface of the shoe in circular motions. Do this for about five minutes for the best results. Buffing can keep the leather looking shiny and new by removing dirt, scuff marks, and other blemishes from the surface.

Dealing with sticky stains

Once you buff your shoes, let them air dry for a few hours. This will help the leather preserve its shine and elasticity.

Store your patent shoes properly

More than anything else, proper storage is essential to preserve your patent leather shoes. Leather needs to breathe and so it should never be kept in a plastic bag or any kind of airtight container.

Store your patent leather shoes out of direct sunlight and at room temperature for the best results. And make sure the area receives proper ventilation as this will help keep your leather shoes in great condition. 

To avoid any wrinkles or creases, stuff your patent leather shoes with crumpled paper or a shoe tree when you’re not wearing them and they’ll thank you for the next time you put them on!

Taking care of patent leather is an easy way to ensure that your shoes remain looking brand new for years to come. With these simple tips, you can have perfectly clean, shiny, and glossy patent leather shoes all year round! But we aren’t done yet. [2] [3] [4] [5]

Cleaning Patent Leather Purse

Now we move on to patent leather purses. The cleaning method won’t differ much from patent leather shoes, but there are some additional steps you should take to protect the surface of your purse.

Buff the marks with the eraser

Again, start by using an eraser to gently buff away the color marks. Eraser will work great in this case as well, but you should be extra careful and use gentle motions.

Use a glass cleaner

If the marks are still there after buffing, you can use a glass cleaner to clean your purse. A glass cleaner is a cleaning solution specifically designed to clean glass surfaces and remove stubborn stains. It helps to restore the shine of the surface and get rid of dirt, dust, smudges, fingerprints, and more.

Glass cleaners come in various forms: aerosol sprays, foam cleaners, wipes or liquids that require traditional wiping with a cloth. Some glass cleaners are also formulated to be used on other surfaces such as porcelain tile or ceramic countertops. And yes, these can be used on your patent leather purse as well!

It is important to read the instructions before using a glass cleaner, but the general rule of thumb is to spray or apply the cleaner to a microfiber cloth and use it on your purse. Start with small circular motions and build up until you cover the entire surface. Make sure you rinse off any excess product with clean water and dry it thoroughly before moving on.

Clean stubborn stains with a rubbing alcohol

Just like in the case with shoes, rubbing alcohol will help to remove stubborn stains and restore shine to your patent leather purse. Again, you should use a microfiber cloth and apply rubbing alcohol in small circular motions over the affected areas.

Cleaning Patent Leather Purse

Vaseline can help you out if the patent leather purse has any sticky residue. Use a cotton ball and spread it over the surface until the sticky residue is gone. You may have to repeat this step several times, but eventually, you should see great results.

Some people suggest using acetone nail polish remover to remove the stain. We don’t recommend using this method as it might damage your purse.

Wipe your purse

Once all the stains and smudges are gone, use a damp microfiber cloth and mild soap to wipe away any excess cleaning product. Dry your bag by wiping it with a dry microfiber cloth and you’re done.

If there’s still some moisture left, leave the bag to air dry. Do not expose your patent leather purse to direct sunlight or heat as this might cause it to warp and crack.

Store your patent leather purse properly

Patent leather purses should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. If you’re not going to use it for a while, stuff the purse with tissue paper or acid-free cloth to help it keep its shape. This will also help to protect the surface of your purse from scratches and other damage.

A dust cover can also be used to keep your patent leather purse safe and dust-free. Make sure the cover is made from a breathable material that won’t rub against the surface of your bag and cause any damage. [2] [3] [4] [5]


Why does white patent leather turn yellow?

White patent leather can turn yellow for a variety of reasons, but the most common causes are exposure to light and oxidation. When exposed to UV rays, the chemicals in white patent leather can break down and cause discoloration. Oxidation is another factor that may contribute to fading or yellowing of white patent leather. It occurs when oxygen reacts with certain molecules in the material, resulting in a duller shade of color.

How do you get stains off of patent leather?

The best way to clean patent leather is by using a gentle cleanser and a soft cloth. Start by wiping the patent leather surface with the cloth to remove any dirt or dust particles. Next, apply a small amount of the cleaner directly onto the stain and let it sit for up to five minutes. After this time has passed, use a damp cloth to gently wipe away the cleaner from the patent leather until all of the stains are removed. You may need to repeat this process several times depending on how deep the stain is embedded in the material. Once you are finished cleaning, make sure to buff with a dry cloth for extra shine!

How do you get stains off of patent leather?

Vaseline and rubbing alcohol can also do the trick. Apply a small amount of vaseline onto the stain and let it sit for up to a minute. Then take a clean cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol and gently rub the area until the stain is removed. Always remember to buff afterward.

Can patent leather be cleaned?

Yes, patent leather can be cleaned without damaging it. To clean your patent leather item, you may not even need water. You can use a soft brush to wipe off dirt and dust and only resort to a damp cloth if necessary. To remove a stain, you can use mineral oils or vaseline to lift it away. One thing you should note when cleaning patent leather is to always use a circular motion in order to avoid damaging the material.

Can you use a magic eraser on patent leather?

Yes, you can use a magic eraser on patent leather. To remove stains, dampen the sponge slightly and gently rub the stained area in small circles. Always work in one direction to avoid leaving streaks or scratches on the surface. Make sure to test a small area first as some formulations of magic erasers may be too abrasive for delicate patent leather items.

Can you use vinegar on patent leather?

It is possible to use vinegar on patent leather if it is used with caution. Like most leather types, patented leather is a delicate material and should not be exposed to too much moisture, acidic substances, or harsh detergents. Vinegar should only be used in small amounts, diluted with water, and applied using a soft cloth.

Can you use vinegar on patent leather?

When using vinegar to remove stains from patent leather, it is best to start by testing it in an inconspicuous area first. This way you can make sure that the vinegar does not cause discoloration or damage to the material. Before applying any solution to the entire item, always do a patch test for colorfastness and observe for any changes over time.

It is also important to clean up any excess vinegar after application as this can cause discoloration or damage to the leather. After wiping off any excess liquid with a soft cloth, make sure to dry the area completely before using it again.

Useful Video: Quick Tips: How to Clean Patent Leather Shoe Stains


Patent leather items are expensive investments. So, when it comes to taking care of them, you need the right know-how and tools to ensure that you do not damage the leather surface in any way. Removing discoloration stains from patent leather is not as hard as it may seem, but you must be sure to follow the correct methods.

First, identify what kind of stain is on the patent leather. Is it dirt or grease? If it is a grease stain, use mineral oil and a soft cloth to remove the stain while being careful not to rub too hard so as not to damage the leather surface. For any other type of stain, make a paste using mild detergent and water and gently massage it into the stained area with your fingers. To remove stubborn stains, try using rubbing alcohol or vaseline as they are effective in removing discoloration without damaging the surface of the leather itself.

But more often than not, brushing the patent leather with a soft brush and mild detergent is usually enough to restore its original shine.

In this article we have covered the process of how to clean patent leather shoes and purses, to help you keep your items looking new and beautiful. Overall, removing stains from patent leather requires patience and the correct methods. As long as you take care of your item properly, you should have no problem maintaining its beauty for years to come. Now that you know how to remove stains from patent leather, go ahead and take pride in the care of your luxurious items!