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6 Ways To Safely Remove Color Transfer From Patent Leather

patent leather

One of the biggest problems of the shiny glossy surface of patent leather is color transfer and discoloration.

It can be nerve-wracking seeing a patch of foreign color appearing on your beautiful handbag or shoes and bewildering when it comes to what to do exactly to solve it.

So in this article, I did some research on how to remove color transfer from patent leather and I’m ready to share with you all I found out.

So, how do you remove color transfer from patent leather? The best ways to remove color transfer and discoloration from patent leather are:

  1. Rubbing Alcohol (Removing General Stains From Patent Leather)
  2. Rubbing Alcohol And Cotton Swab (Removing Ink Stain From Patent Leather)
  3. Soap And Water (Removing Water Stains And General Discoloration)
  4. Mild Moisturizing Soap or Dish Soap
  5. The Petroleum Jelly Method (Remove General Discoloration and color transfer)
  6. Nail Polish /Acetone Method

Continue reading this article to learn more about the various ways you can remove color transfer and color discoloration from your patent leather.

But first, how does color transfer and discoloration happen on patent leather?

How Does Color Transfer Happen On Patent Leather?

Patent leather is a material that is very resistant to stains from liquids, and tears than your regular finished leather.

However, patent leather is a lot more susceptible to color transfer and discoloration from water and pen stains, or especially if it’s placed close to colored items.

Patent leather will also discolor when stains seep through cuts, scuffs, and scratches on the surface of the patent leather.

So basically how this happens is in two basic ways that is:

  • Stains (liquid) sinking through scuffs, scratches, cuts, and getting underneath the glassy finish and
  • Color transfer by placing light-colored patent leather items close to a colored item.

If the color transfer or discoloration is on the surface of the patent leather then there are a couple of things you can try.

However, if the stain has gone underneath the glossy finish of the patent leather then sad news my friend, it may be almost impossible to remove the discoloration without first removing the to top coating of the patent leather.

Details On How To Remove Color Transfer And Discoloration From Patent Leather

There are a couple of methods I have researched you will be able to restore the color of your patent leather items.

One important thing to bear in mind though is, although the methods in this article are going to be technically leather safe, you would, however, want to do a spot test on an inconspicuous area of the patent leather with each approach.

1. Rubbing Alcohol (Removing General Stains From Patent Leather)

Using rubbing is a very effective way of removing general stains that may cause discoloration on the surface of patent leather.

Things Needed:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Soft Clean Cloth

Procedure: 

Step 1: Put a few drops of your rubbing alcohol on your cloth.

Step 2: Gently rub it over the surface of the patent leather item where the blemish is.

Make sure to rub in a circular motion until the stains are completely gone.

Step 3: Use a dry cloth to buff of the area.

“Generally, patent leather is can withstand and reacts very well with isopropyl alcohol. You’re definitely not going to experience any form of color loss”

2. Rubbing Alcohol And Cotton Swab (Removing Ink Stain From Patent Leather)

Ink stains on patent leather are a pretty common phenomenon yet there might be no foolproof way of knocking the stains out from the patent leather.

But one sure way of removing ink stains from patent leather that will work like magic if properly done is by using rubbing alcohol and cotton swap.

Things Needed:

  • Cotton Swab
  • Rubbing Alcohol

Procedure:

Step 1: Put a very small amount of rubbing alcohol on your cotton swab. Make sure the cotton swab is not completely wet.

You would want to put just about enough alcohol that would get the cotton swamp nicely dampened.  

Step 2: Dab the cotton swab dampened with rubbing alcohol on the ink stain.

You would want to do this is as gently as possible without rubbing to avoid the ink from spreading.

Step 3: When the ink starts to come off onto the cotton swab, you can take another cotton swab and repeat the process again until the in stain disappears from the surface of the patent leather.

The only caveat to this method is that it tends to strip off color from the patent leather. It will particularly not be suitable for dark-colored or colored patent leather items.

If you would want something that will work pretty much the same in terms of simplicity with even better efficiency without ruining the color of your patent leather, you can check out the Amodex ink & stain remover from Amazon!

3. Soap And Water (Removing Water Stains And General Discoloration)

As hard as this is to believe, it’s something that happens a lot on most patent leather items.

Ideally, the type of finish given to patent leather will make it highly water-resistant.

So it’s usually a huge surprise to find water stains on patent leather items.

But the fact still remains that it’s possible for patent leather to get water stains.

This will particularly happen if scuffs, creases, scratches, and cuts on the patent leather are not treated timely – which can allow water and other liquids to seep underneath the glossy glass finish.

But all the same, don’t freak out! This method will help eradicate the issue or drastically improve the stained area of the patent leather item.

Here’s how you go about it! But first, let’s take a look at what you will need for this.

Things Needed:

  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Water (distilled water preferable)
  • Mild Moisturizing Soap or Dish Soap

Procedure:

Step 1: Put a few drops (2/3drops) of your moisturizing soap or dish soap into a bowl with water.

Step 2: Dip your microfiber cloth into the soap solution, wring it out, and make it nice and damp.

Step 3: Rub over the surface of the water stain or discoloration in a circular motion and try your best to avoid parts of the leather without any stains.

Step 4: Buff over the surface of the patent leather to remove any form of soapy residue. 

Step 5: Leave to air dry. Do not dry on the sun as this can cause the patent leather to become yellow. 

Related Article: 6 Things That Turn Patent Leather Yellow

4. The Petroleum Jelly Method (Remove General Discoloration and Color Transfer)

Petroleum jelly is a highly versatile household item with so many uses in and around the house.

It’s also a good way to take care of stains that cause discoloration and stains on patent leather.

And of course, this is going to be a mild approach to dealing will discolorations, color transfer, and stains on patent leather.

Things Needed:

You will only need;

  • Paper towels
  • Petroleum Jelly

Procedure:

The process of getting this method done is pretty simple and straight forward.

Step 1: Put a liberal amount of petroleum jelly on paper towels.

Step 2: Rub it gently on the areas of the patent leather with the discoloration or color transfer. This is going to help neutralize the stain and the discoloration.

Step 3: Once you’re satisfied with the cleaning outcome, you can now use an extra piece of paper towel to buff off any excess residue from the patent leather surface.

6. Nail Polish And Acetone Method (For Stubborn Color Transfer & Discoloration)

If all the above fails, then it will mean only one thing – which is the discoloration or color transfer has gotten underneath the glossy finish of the patent leather.

While this is maybe pretty hard to remove or deal with, using the nail polish and acetone is a much stronger and harsher approach you can definitely use to resolve the issue or drastically improve the appearance of the discoloration or color transfer.

Here are the things you need before using this method!

Things Needed:

  • Tip
  • Nail Polish Remover or acetone

Procedure:

Step 1: Dip the q-tip end into the nail polish remover or acetone.

Step 2: Gently rub the wet q-tip in a circular motion over the parts of the discoloration or color transfer.

Step 3: With a clean and dry q-tip, rub the surface of the affected area in a small circular motion.

Step 4: Repeat steps 3 & 4 two or three times until the discoloration is completely gone, or substantially lightened.

A little heads up! The biggest challenge with using acetone or nail polish remover is that the nail polish can take away the lustrous shine of the patent leather item.

So the nail polish or acetone must be used in moderation and in a judicious way.

Macwilliam K. Appianing

Hi! I’m Macwilliam, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leatherwork enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day!

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