Does Apple Juice Stain Leather? (Yes! Here’s Why & Easy Fix)

Does Apple Juice Stain Leather?

Spills on leather can be scary, even if the leather item has a top coat or sealant. This is all due to the porous and absorbent nature of leather. But the truth is that some liquids are more likely to cause staining than others.

Apple juice, for instance, will leave a telltale sign on leather if not treated immediately. The tannins in apples can darken the leather fibers if left to sit. But don’t worry, there are easy ways to remove the stain using a leather cleaner or mild dish soap.

Continue reading this article as I go into the details on why apple juice stains leather, how to remove the stain, and what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future.

Why Does Apple Juice Stain Leather?

There are two main reasons apple juice can stain leather:

1. Apple Juice Is Highly Acidic With a pH 3

The first reason is that apple juice is highly acidic. This means it can break down and damage the protective coating on leather.

pH is a measure of acidity and the alkalinity of a substance. The lower the pH, the more acidic the substance is.

Apple juice has a pH of around three, which is pretty low. In comparison, water has a pH of seven and is considered neutral.

This acidity can cause staining and discoloration if not removed quickly enough.

Acidic substances can also eat away at the leather fibers over time, causing them to weaken and break down.

So if you spill apple juice on your leather couch or shoes, clean it up immediately!

2. Apple Juice Contains Tannins

Secondly, apple juice contains tannins. Tannins are a type of pigment that can cause staining. Tannins are found in various fruits, vegetables, and even wines.

Tannins come from the seeds, skins, and stems of plants. They’re what give wines their astringent taste and cause tea to stain your teeth.

Tannins can also cause staining on leather if not cleaned up quickly. The tannins in apple juice will interact with the leather fibers and cause them to darken over time.

Tannins give apple juice its characteristic color and can also cause staining on leather. The tanning will usually depend on the type of apple used to make the juice.

For example, green apples contain more chlorophyll, which will give the apple juice a greener hue. Red apples, on the other hand, have more lycopene and will produce a pinker or redder color.

The tannins in apple juice can also cause staining on your clothes. So if you spill some on your shirt, be sure to treat the stain immediately.

3. Apple Juice Sometimes Contain Added Food Colors

Apple juice will come doused with heavy amounts of food colorant to make it look more appealing to consumers.

These added food colors can also cause staining on leather if it spills on them. The longer the apple juice is left to sit, the greater the chance of staining.

The added dyes of food coloring can also change the color of leather over time if not cleaned up quickly. So if you have a white leather couch, you’ll want to be particularly extra careful with apple juice.

What Does Apple Juice Stain Look Like On Leather?

There are usually a few signs that indicate an apple juice stain. These include:

1. Apple Juice Will Change The Color of Leather

An apple juice stain on leather usually appears as a dark spot or discoloration. The stain will be more visible on lighter-colored leather and may not be as noticeable on darker leather.

The discoloration will depend on the type of apple juice spilled on the leather. This will determine how easy or difficult it is to remove the stain.

The color of the stain will also depend on how long the apple juice has been on the leather. If it’s been left for a longer period of time, the

The stain may also change the color of the leather permanently if it’s not cleaned up quickly enough. So it’s important to act fast if you spill apple juice on your leather couch or shoes.

2. Apple Juice Will Give Leather A Sticky or Tacky Feeling

Another sign of an apple juice stain is a sticky or tacky feeling. This happens because the sugar in the apple juice will interact with the leather and cause it to become sticky.

When the apple juice spill is allowed to dry over the surface of the leather, it will leave behind a tacky residue.

The sticky residue on the leather’s surface can attract dirt and dust, further darkening the stain. So it’s important to clean up the spill as soon as possible.

3. Apple Juice Will Significantly Darken The Leather

Similar to my first point, an apple juice stain will significantly darken the leather if not cleaned up immediately.

This is because the tannins in the apple juice will interact not only with the leather surface but also the leather fibers and cause them to darken over time.

The darker the leather, the more difficult it will be to remove the stain. So it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible.

How To Remove An Apple Juice Stain From Leather

Now that we know why apple juice can stain leather, let’s talk about how to remove the stain.

If you have an apple juice stain on your leather couch, car seats, or jacket, here is the most effective way to remove the stain using mild dish soap, leather cleaner, or saddle soap:

Step One:

  • First, blot the area with a clean white cloth to remove as much of the spill as possible.
  • Be sure to use a dry and absorbent cloth, so you don’t spread the stain.

Step Two:

  • Next, mix a small amount of dish soap with warm water.
  • Put 5-10 drops of mild dish soap, depending on the size of the stain.

Step Three:

  • Dampen a clean white cloth with the soapy solution and blot the area gently.
  • You don’t want to scrub too hard, as this can damage the leather.

Step Four:

  • Once you’ve blotted the area with the soapy solution, dampen another clean white cloth with clean water and blot the area to remove the soap residue.

Step Five:

  • Pat the leather surface with a dry cloth to remove any remaining moisture.

Step Six:

  • Allow the leather to air dry completely. Repeat these steps if necessary until the stain

is gone.

Step Seven:

  • Once you’re happy with the results, apply a thin layer of leather conditioner to the area to restore moisture and protect the leather.
  • And that’s it!

Just follow these simple steps, and you should be able to remove an apple juice stain from your leather couch, car seats, or jacket.

For more information and hacks on how to remove fruit juice stains from leather, you can read our blog post via the link.

If you have any questions or need professional help, feel free to contact me, and I would be happy to assist you further.

I hope this was helpful. Happy cleaning! 🙂


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft 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 about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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