6 Simple Ways To Clean Vaseline From Leather

There are various ways vaseline gets onto our leather items either from our hair, body or by your child going wild with it on your leather couch. There are a few different ways you can clean up the vaseline from your leather items, so in this article, we will be going over how to clean vaseline off your leather items.

In summary, you can clean vaseline from leather using a mixture of 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1/4 tablespoon of white flour or cornflour, a pinch of salt into a 1/4 cup of distilled water, and then use it to clean the vaseline from the surface of the leather.

You can also use things like dish soap, baby powder, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, etc to clean vaseline from leather goods such as furniture, car interiors, and any leather surface that has a direct head, hair, or skin contact.

Before we start getting into the details of how to use the above-mentioned household items to clean vaseline from leather, let’s discuss why this is such a problem and how we can prevent it.

Vaseline On Leather Goods

Vaseline when used to treat leather goods has many benefits such as it helps with water-proofing, it renews leather goods, and also protecting them.

However, when vaseline is allowed to stain leather, it can be such a nuisance as it discolors the leather and can be really difficult to remove if you do not know what you’re doing.

Vaseline contains a lot of oily and fatty substances that will not only leave stains behind but also make your leather goods such as couches, headrests, armrests, etc, sticky.

This greasy substance when allowed contact with leather goods seeps into the leather through its pores and gradually saturates it leaving a dark stain that can spread over time.

When the vaseline sits on leather goods it causes a stain which makes trying to clean it even more difficult. This is because it is not just the vaseline creating a stain, but also the dirt it picked up while sitting on your leather good.

One thing that is for sure is that there is definitely something that can be done about it, so let’s discuss some ways to clean it.

How To Clean Vaseline From Leather

There are various ways of cleaning vaseline from leather. What I’m particularly excited about when it comes to removing vaseline stains from leather items is that you can use the household items to do so without purchasing any expensive or fancy chemical cleaning products. So let’s go over them.

1. Using Baking Soda

One of the best and easiest ways to clean vaseline from leather goods is by using baking soda.

This household ingredient contains components that are able to break down the oily substances in vaseline. So it is one of the best ingredients you can use when cleaning up stains caused by grease.

It is also an ingredient that you can easily find in your home. Follow the steps below to remove the stain.

Things Needed:

  • Baking Soda
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Corn Flour or White Flour

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Put 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1/4 tablespoon of white flour or cornflour, a pinch of salt into a 1/4 cup of distilled water and mix thoroughly together.
  • Mix until there are no more lumps in the mixture.
  • You would get a very light paste or watery consistency.

Step 2:

  • Test out the cleaning mixture on an inconspicuous part of the leather and make sure there are no color changes or the leather feels rough.
  • If there is, reduce the quantities of the ingredients and test again.
  • If there is no color change and it doesn’t feel rough, proceed to the next step.

Step 3:

  • Put some of the mixture on your microfiber cloth and gently dab over the stained vaseline area to remove it.
  • Make sure to use circular motions while dabbing the cloth on the stained area, this will help loosen up and break down whatever greasy or oily substance is causing the stain.
  • Do not scrub.

Step 4:

  • Once you have dabbed the entire area of the vaseline stain on the leather, leave the mixture on for about 2-3 minutes.

Step 5:

  • With the help of a damp clean microfiber cloth, wipe off the residue.
  • Make sure you do not rub too hard. Simply pat the damp microfiber cloth over the leather to wipe off the residue.

Step 6:

  • Use a dry clean microfiber cloth to gently dry the leather.
  • This will prevent water stains from forming which can cause permanent damage to your leather goods.

Step 7:

  • Finally, condition your leather with a good leather conditioner.
  • This will keep the leather moisturized and nourished, which in turn prevents further damage like cracking or discoloration.

Step 8:

  • Let the leather air-dry and see if there is an improvement in appearance before you use the leather item again.

2. Using Baby Powder, Cornstarch, Or Talcum Powder

This is a very popular and common household item that can be used to clean vaseline from leather.

Do not overthink this one. Baby powder is exactly what you think it is, a powder made for babies to put on their bottoms when they are wet.

It is a common household item you can use to help remove vaseline from leather goods. Here’s how you do it:

Things Needed:

  • Baby Powder, Cornstarch, Or Talcum Powder
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Vacuum, Broom, Or Cleaning Brush
  • Leather Conditioner

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • For fresh vaseline stains, blot as much of the stain with a clean (white) microfiber cloth or lint-free rag.
  • You can also use paper towels or tissues for the purpose.
  • You want to make sure that you are not rubbing or grinding it into your leather, but blotting out as much as you can.
  • You want to get the majority of it before moving on, but don’t worry if some remains as we will be getting to that shortly.
  • For older vaseline stains build up, you can scrape off of as much of the stain as you can with a plastic putty knife or edge of your credit card.

Step 2:

  • Take the baby powder and sprinkle it to the affected area until you have a thick layer covering the vaseline stain.

Step 3:

  • Now, allow the baby powder to sit on the surface of the stain for about 20-30 minutes.
  • This will give the powder just about enough time to absorb the vaseline grease stain from the leather.

Step 4:

  • After about 20-30 minutes has passed, take a clean vacuum, brush, broom, or microfiber cloth and wipe off the baby powder residue from your leather good.

Step 5:

  • Depending on how severe the stain is, you might need to repeat steps one through four until the vaseline stain is completely gone or significantly becomes lighter.

Step 6:

  • Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with warm water and wipe the area where you applied baby powder to remove residue.
  • Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the results.

Step 7:

  • Once you’re done removing all the remaining vaseline and baby powder residue, let the leather goods sit in a well-ventilated area for them to dry.
  • You can speed up this process by using a fan to help air it faster.

Step 8:

  • Apply leather conditioner and let it sit overnight.
  • If you do not have a leather conditioner, you can apply a very thin layer of vaseline on the entire leather surface.
  • Because you will be applying the vaseline evenly and very lightly, it will only condition and moisturize your leather without leaving any stains on it. Ironic right?
  • You can repeat this process if you feel like your leather good needs some extra help in the conditioning department. Done!

Here’s a video on how to moisturize leather with vaseline without causing any damage to your leather;

3. Using Dish Soap

As far as leather is concerned, dish soap is safe and a great way to clean both your natural and faux leather goods without leaving any stuck or greasy residue.

It can safely infiltrate the vaseline stain on the leather surface without any fear of damaging the leather material itself.

So if you have dish soap but do not have baby powder or cornstarch, then this is a great alternative that will also be effective. Here is how you go about it;

Things Needed:

  • Dish Soap
  • Distilled Warm Water
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Spray Bottle

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Add a tablespoon full of dish soap to a cup of distilled warm water.
  • Mix the two together in a spray bottle.
  • You can also do the mixture in a bowl

Step 2:

  • Put a few squirts or dampen your microfiber cloth with the mixture and then dab the surface of the leather where the vaseline stain is.
  • Then leave it to soak in for a few minutes.
  • The warm dish soap solution will begin to loosen the vaseline grease and make it easier to lift it away from the leather surface.

Step 3:

  • Using a clean microfiber cloth, wipe away the dish soap and vaseline grease stain from your leather good.
  • While you will need to use some elbow grease to really scrub the leather surface with microfiber cloth, be gentle as possible.
  • Scrub until you are satisfied with the results.
  • Make sure to keep the dish soap solution warm throughout the cleaning process.

Step 4:

  • Wash and wring out your microfiber cloth in clean water.
  • Use the damp microfiber cloth to wipe away any dish soap residue from your leather good.
  • You can use another microfiber cloth if you have one available, but it is not necessary.

Step 5:

  • Dry the surface of the leather using a dry clean cloth or rag.

Step 6:

  • Apply leather conditioner and let it air-dry.

4. Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is often used to disinfect wounds and various kinds of infections, but it can also be used to remove vaseline stains and other grease stains from leather goods.

What makes rubbing alcohol such a great alternative to cleaning grease and oily stains like the one from vaseline is that it is a solvent that is able to dissolve grease stains.

The only catch is that you have to remove all of the rubbing alcohol from your leather as soon as the vaseline stains come off. You would also want to thoroughly condition the leather once you’re done cleaning it.

Here’s how you can go about doing this;

Things Needed:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Microfiber Cloth or Lint-Free Cleaning Cloth or Towel
  • Leather Conditioner

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Clean off any dust, debris, or dirt from the surface of the leather with a dry clean cloth.

Step 2:

  • Pour out enough rubbing alcohol on a clean microfiber cloth so that it can fully soak the cloth.

Step 3:

  • Once your microfiber cloth is nice and damp with the rubbing alcohol, begin to wipe the surface of the leather where the vaseline stain is.
  • The rubbing alcohol will begin to dissolve the vaseline stains and lift it off the leather.
  • You can repeat these once or twice if you need to.

Step 4:

  • Use a damp clean microfiber cloth to wipe away the rubbing alcohol and vaseline grease stain from your leather good.
  • While you will need to use some elbow grease to really scrub the leather surface with a microfiber cloth, be gentle as possible.
  • Scrub until you are satisfied with the results.
  • Make sure to not leave any residue from the rubbing alcohol on your leather as it can damage the material.

Step 5:

  • Once you’re done, thoroughly condition your leather item using a good leather conditioner.

Step 6:

  • Let the leather item air-dry for a few hours!

5. Using White Vinegar

Vinegar has a lot of cleaning properties that can be used to remove various kinds of stains, including grease and oily ones.

One thing you need to know about using vinegar is that it can damage the color of your leather if it has any dyes or pigments. This is because vinegar can also be used as a natural dye remover.

So it’s a good idea to test the vinegar on an inconspicuous spot if you have dyed leather or just use white vinegar. Here’s how you can go about using white vinegar for this purpose;

Things Needed:

  • White Vinegar
  • Lint-Free Towel Or Rag
  • Linseed Oil

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Mix two parts of linseed oil to one part of white vinegar.
  • You should have a thorough mixture with a nice consistency.

Step 2:

  • Prepare the surface of your leather by wiping off any dust particles, dirt, or debris with a dry lint-free towel.

Step 3:

  • Apply the vinegar mixture to your leather item using a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Make sure to massage the vinegar mixture well into the surface of your leather item so that it can do its job in removing the vaseline stains.
  • You can reapply the vinegar solution if you need to in order for it to fully penetrate into the leather material.

Step 4:

  • Leave the mixture on the surface of the leather for about 10 minutes and use a clean but dry microfiber cloth to buff the surface of the leather.
  • This will help to lift the vinegar solution and vaseline stains from your leather surface.
  • What will be left is a thin layer of linseed oil on the leather surface.
  • With this method, you do not have to condition the leather due to the linseed oil.

6. Using Lemon Juice

Last but not the least, lemon juice is not only great for adding flavor to your dishes but it can also be used in cleaning various kinds of stains.

This is because lemon juice is acidic and can be used to dissolve oily stains. It does this by breaking down the oils into water-soluble molecules and then lifting these molecules from the surface.

Here’s how you can go about using lemon juice in cleaning your leather;

Things Needed:

  • Lemon Juice
  • Cream Of Tartar
  • Leather Conditioner
  • Microfiber Cloth

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Prep the surface of your leather where the vaseline stains are by wiping it off with a dry microfiber cloth.

Step ​​2​:

  • Mix equal parts of cream of tartar and lemon juice.
  • You should have a nice thick paste.

Step 3: ​​​

  • With the help of a clean microfiber cloth, apply the lemon juice and cream of tartar paste to your leather item.
  • Make sure you are as gentle as possible because you do not want to damage your leather.

Step 4:

  • Leave the paste on for about 5-10 minutes and wipe it off with a damp clean microfiber cloth.
  • Completely dry the leather surface with a dry clean cloth.

Step 5​​​:

  • Using a leather conditioner, condition your leather item to seal in the moisture and restore its suppleness.
  • This will also help to get rid of any odor that may be left by your lemon juice mixture which is an added bonus.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, six different methods on how to clean vaseline stains from leather. I gave you a wide variety of solutions so that there is definitely something around your house or home you could use to clean vaseline from your leather goods.

If you found any value in this article, kindly share it with your friends and family so it can reach a wider audience.

I hope this article was informative and useful to you! Thanks for reading!

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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