Removing Water Stain From Leather


Water stains on leather are a common problem, but they don’t have to be a permanent one. In this guide, we will teach you how to remove water stains from leather using simple methods that anyone can do at home. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent water stains from happening in the first place. So read on and learn how to keep your leather looking good as new!

Why Do Water Stains Appear on Leather?

Leather is a valuable, natural material that is created through the tanning of animal hides. It is strong and durable, yet also flexible, making it a popular choice for upholstery, clothing, and other items. However, leather is also a porous material, which means that it can absorb water and other liquids. When this happens, the liquid can seep into the leather and cause stains.

Why Do Water Stains Appear on Leathe

Water stains on leather are usually caused by one of three things:

  • Leather getting wet from rain or water spills
  • Humidity causing moisture to condense on the surface of the leather
  • People sitting or lying on leather while wearing wet clothes

Regardless of the cause, water stains are unsightly and can make your leather look old and dingy. [1]

Ways to Remove Water Stains From Leather

While water stains may look bad, they are actually relatively easy to remove. With the right methods and products, you can often get rid of water stains completely. In this section, we will share some tips on how to remove water stains from leather, as well as how to prevent them in the future.

Damp cloth method

The first step is to try and blot the stain with a damp cloth. This will work best if the water stain is still wet.

Dampen a soft cloth in warm water

To start, dampen a soft cloth in warm water. Avoid using hot water, as this could damage the leather. The cloth should be damp but not dripping wet.

Gently clean the stain in circular motions

Start by gently rubbing the stain in circular motions with a damp cloth. Use as little water as possible, as too much moisture can cause further damage to the leather. Keep an eye on the water stain as you clean, and stop if it starts to spread.

Dry the area with a soft cloth

Once the water stain has been removed, dry the area with a soft cloth. Be sure to buff it until it is completely dry to prevent any further damage.

Apply a leather cream

To protect the leather and keep it looking its best, apply a small amount of leather cream. A leather cream is a substance used to protect and moisturize leather. It is typically made of waxes, oils, and pigments, and can be applied with a cloth or brush. Leather creams come in a variety of colors, which can be matched to the color of the leather they will be applied to.

Be sure to test the leather cream in an inconspicuous area before using it on the entire piece of furniture. This will help you to avoid any unwanted color changes.

If the water stain is already dry, unfortunately, it will be much harder to remove. However, there are still some things you can try. [1], [2]

Rubbing alcohol method

If a stain is particularly stubborn, you may be able to remove it with rubbing alcohol. This method isn’t ideal for all types of leather, but it can be effective on some without making the damage worse. Check your leather item’s care instructions to see if it is safe to use rubbing alcohol on it. If it is, follow the following steps.

Apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball

Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and then apply it to the water stain. Be sure to use a clean cotton ball for each area you treat, as this will help to prevent the spread of the stain.

Gently rub the stained area

Use the cotton ball to gently rub the stained area in a circular motion. You may need to apply more rubbing alcohol to the cotton ball as you go. Don’t rub the leather too hard, as not only it can damage the leather, but also it may cause the stain to spread and dye to fade.

Repeat as necessary

If the water stain is still visible,
repeat the above steps until it disappears
. Once the stain is gone, wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any leftover rubbing alcohol.

Use conditioner

Rubbing alcohol can dry out leather, so it is important to follow up with a conditioner. Doing this will help to keep the leather soft and prevent it from cracking. [3], [4]

Mayonnaise method

It might come as a surprise, but mayonnaise can actually be used to remove water stains from leather. This method is particularly effective on light-colored leather.

Mayonnaise method

Apply mayonnaise on the water spot

First, take a generous amount of mayonnaise and apply it to the water stain. You can use your fingers or a soft cloth to rub it into the stain. Then, let the mayonnaise sit on the stain for at least three hours.

After the mayonnaise has had a chance to work its magic, use a soft cloth to rub it into the stain. You should see the water stain start to disappear. Again, don’t use too much pressure as you don’t want to damage the leather.

Wipe off the excess mayonnaise

Once the water stain is gone, use a clean cloth to wipe off any excess mayonnaise. You don’t want to leave it on for too long as it can attract dirt and dust. If there is still some residue left behind, you can repeat the process until it is completely removed. [3], [4]

Commercial cleaner method

If you have a water stain on your leather furniture, you can try using a commercial cleaner. There are many cleaners on the market specifically designed for removing water stains from leather. Follow the instructions on the cleaner and be sure to test it in an inconspicuous spot first.

Avoid leather cleaners that contain silicone, as they can actually cause more harm than good by preventing the leather from breathing and causing it to become dry and brittle.

Instead of using a silicone-based cleaner, opt for one that’s made specifically for cleaning leather. These cleaners won’t damage the leather like silicone-based cleaners can, and they’ll also help to protect it from future water damage. [2], [3], [4]

Vinegar method

Vinegar is very similar to rubbing alcohol in that it can help to remove water stains from leather. And you also need to be extremely careful when using it, as it can damage the leather if not used correctly.

Mix a vinegar and water solution

To start, you will need to mix a vinegar and water solution. You should use equal parts of each, so if you are using one cup of vinegar, you will also need one cup of water.

Test the solution on a small area first

Once you have mixed the solution, it is important to test it on a small area of the leather first. This will help to ensure that the vinegar does not damage the leather. If everything looks good, you can proceed with the rest of the stain.

Apply the solution to a cloth

Once you have tested the vinegar solution, you will need to apply it to a clean cloth. Make sure that the cloth is damp, but not dripping wet.

Rub the stain gently until it starts to fade

Once the cloth is dampened with the vinegar solution, you will need to rub the stain gently until it starts to fade. You may need to apply more solution to the cloth as you go. Again, don’t apply too much force. Vinegar is a strong acid, and you don’t want to damage the leather.

Wipe away the vinegar solution with a damp cloth

Once the stain has faded, you will need to wipe away the vinegar solution with a damp cloth. Make sure to use a clean cloth so that you don’t spread the stain around. [3], [4]

How to Prevent Water Stains on Leather

As you can see, there are a few different ways to remove water stains, but the best way to prevent them is to take some precautionary steps.

How to Prevent Water Stains on Leather

Wipe the spills right away

The best way to avoid a water stain from leather is to wipe it up as soon as possible. This will prevent the liquid from seeping into the leather and causing a permanent stain. Use a clean, dry cloth to soak up any excess liquid, then blot the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining moisture.

If you have a stain that is already on the leather, you will need to act quickly. The longer a water stain sits on leather, the harder it will be to remove.

Apply water-repellent treatment

One of the best ways to prevent water stains is to apply a water-repellant treatment to your leather goods. Water repellent products work by creating a barrier between the leather and water. When applied correctly, they can significantly reduce the risk of water damage.

There are many different kinds of water-repellant treatments available on the market, so be sure to choose one that is compatible with the type of leather you have. Sprays are the easiest to apply, but you can also find water-repellent creams and gels.

When choosing a water repellent spray, be sure to select one that is specifically designed for use on leather. There are many different types of water repellent sprays on the market, but not all of them are suitable for use on leather.

Use furniture covers

Furniture covers are thin, protective sheets that are placed over furniture to keep them clean and free of stains. They are typically made of a plastic or nylon material and can be found in a variety of colors.

Most furniture covers are easy to clean and can be reused multiple times. They are an ideal option for those who have children or pets who often make messes on furniture.

There are two main types of furniture covers: slipcovers and fitted covers. Slipcovers are loose-fitting covers that drape over furniture like a sheet. Fitted covers stretch over furniture and have an elastic edge that holds the cover in place.

Use furniture covers

Let your leather items air dry

This step is important even for cleaning products that don’t contain water. Letting your leather item air dry will help it to retain its natural oils and keep the leather supple. Avoid using a hair dryer or other direct heat source to speed up the drying process, as this can damage the leather. [1], [2]

What to Know About Removing Dry Water Stains

Dry water stains can be some of the hardest to remove. They’re also some of the most common, since it’s so easy to accidentally spill something on your leather furniture or clothing. But it is still possible to improve the situation.

Wet the rest of the surface to make the color look even

Now, this may not be the most intuitive thing to do, but trust us – it works. When you wet the entire surface of the leather, it helps the color to look more even and can help to camouflage any remaining water stains.

To do this, simply dampen a clean cloth with some distilled water and slightly wet the entire piece of leather. Let it air dry completely before using.

Use stronger cleaning options

This might not be the option we suggest taking first, as it could damage your leather if not done correctly. But if you’ve tried all of the above and are still struggling with water stains, you may need to look into some stronger cleaning options. Vinegar, rubbing alcohol or commercial cleaners may help you to break up the water stains and get your leather looking clean again.

Just be sure to test any new cleaning solution in an inconspicuous spot first, to ensure that it won’t damage the leather. It’s important to note that you should avoid using strong products on unfinished leather. This includes things like saddle soap, vinegar, and alcohol.

And you should absolutely opt out of using bleach! This will permanently damage the leather. [2]

Use stronger cleaning options

Restoring Leather: Removing Water Stains

Water stains on leather can be unsightly, but they can often be effectively removed. To help you restore your leather items, we’ve compiled a table with multiple columns outlining the steps and considerations for removing water stains from leather.

Steps Procedure Materials Needed Time Required Difficulty Level
1 Blot the Stain Soft, absorbent cloth or paper towels 5 minutes Easy
2 Air Dry Room temperature, well-ventilated area Varies (until completely dry) Easy
3 Rehydrate the Leather Leather conditioner, soft cloth 15-30 minutes Easy
4 Buff and Restore Shine Soft, dry cloth 10-15 minutes Easy

Explanation of the Table:

  • Steps: Lists the sequential steps for removing water stains from leather.
  • Procedure: Provides a brief description of what to do in each step.
  • Materials Needed: Lists the necessary materials and tools for each step of the process.
  • Time Required: Indicates the estimated time needed for each step.
  • Difficulty Level: Rates the difficulty of each step, with “Easy” indicating simple tasks.

By following these steps and considering the materials required, time involved, and the ease of each step, you can effectively remove water stains from your leather items and restore their natural beauty and luster.


What happens when water gets on leather?

If water spills on leather, it can cause water stains. These occur when the water penetrates the leather and leaves a mark. Water stains can be difficult to remove, but there are a few things you can do to try to get rid of them.

Can you get water stains out of leather?

Water stains on leather are difficult to remove and often require professional help. If the stain is fresh, you can try to remove it with a damp cloth. For older stains, you will need to use a leather cleaner or even use a rubbing alcohol to salvage the situation.

Can water stained leather be repaired?

Water stains on leather can often be repaired, depending on the severity of the stain and the type of leather. If the water stain is mild and the leather is aniline or semi-aniline, you may be able to remove it with a cleaner made specifically for that type of leather. If the water stain is more severe, you may need to use a different method, such as sanding or dyeing, to repair the damage.

How do you get water stains out of leather seats?

There are a few ways that you can remove water stains from leather seats. One way is to use a damp cloth and gently rub the stain in a circular motion. Another way is to use a mild soap and water solution and lightly scrub the stain with a soft brush. You can also try using a specialized leather cleaner that is designed to remove stains from leather.

How do you get old water stains out of a leather purse?

If you have an old water stain on your leather purse, don’t despair! There are a few things you can do to try to remove it.

First, try blotting the stain with a clean, dry cloth. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a mild soap and water to gently scrub the stain. If the stain is still visible, you may need to use a stronger cleaner, such as saddle soap. Once you’ve removed the stain, be sure to condition the leather to help restore its natural moisture.

Why do water stains form on leather?

Water stains on leather typically form when water droplets are allowed to dry on the leather surface. These stains can occur due to spills, rain, or even high humidity. When the water evaporates, it can leave behind mineral deposits and discoloration on the leather.

What should I do immediately after getting water on leather to prevent stains?

To prevent water stains on leather, act quickly. First, blot the wet area gently with a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much moisture as possible. Do not rub, as this can spread the water and potentially worsen the stain. After blotting, allow the leather to air dry naturally at room temperature. Avoid using heat sources like hairdryers or direct sunlight, as they can cause the leather to crack or warp.

How can I remove fresh water stains from leather?

Fresh water stains on leather can often be removed by simply allowing the leather to dry naturally. Once the leather is dry, use a leather conditioner to moisturize and restore the affected area. This can help alleviate minor water spots and prevent them from becoming permanent.

What if the water stain on my leather item is already dry and set?

If a water stain on leather has dried and set, you can try using a leather-specific cleaner or a mixture of mild soap and water. Gently clean the stained area with a soft cloth or sponge, being careful not to scrub too aggressively. Afterward, recondition the leather with a leather conditioner to restore its texture and luster. For stubborn stains, it’s best to consult a professional leather cleaner.

Can vinegar be used to remove water stains from leather?

Vinegar can be effective in removing water stains from leather, but it should be used with caution. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, dampen a clean cloth with the solution, and gently blot the water stain. Be sure to test this method on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage. After treating the stain, recondition the leather to maintain its suppleness.

What preventive measures can I take to avoid water stains on my leather items?

To prevent water stains on leather, consider applying a leather protector or water repellent spray to your items. These products create a barrier that helps repel water and minimize the chances of stains forming. Additionally, store your leather items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture to reduce the risk of water damage.

Useful Video: Stains, Scratches and Scuffs – How To Remove Them From Dress Shoes?


Water stains can easily ruin the look of your leather furniture, clothing, or other items. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be difficult to remove. However, by following the proper steps and using the right products, you can successfully remove water stains from leather.

If you have a wet stain, good news the removal process is easier. All you need to do is blot the area with a clean, dry cloth to remove as much of the water as possible. Then, apply a small amount of leather cleaner to the area and rub it in using a soft, dry cloth. Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth, and then allow it to air dry completely. Sometimes you may get rid of the spot with a dampened cloth alone!

However if the stain is dry, things get trickier. In this case, you may have to resort to rubbing alcohol or vinegar. And don’t forget, the best way to deal with water stains, is preventing them in the first place! By using coasters and taking care of your leather items, you can keep them looking like new for years to come.

If you have any questions about how to remove water stains from leather, please feel free to leave a comment below and we will be happy to help!