If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of spilling beer on your leather couch or chair, you know how difficult it can be to remove the stain. Beer is a particularly tough substance to get rid of because it contains sugar and malt. In this article, I will discuss how to get beer out of leather using different methods. I will also provide tips on how to prevent future stains from occurring. Let’s get started!
Can You Get Beer Out of Leather?
The short answer is: yes, you can get beer out of leather if you act quickly, if you use the right cleaning solution, and methods. The best way to remove a beer stain from leather is to act quickly.
As soon as the spill occurs, blot the area with a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible. Then, follow one of the methods below to help you remove the beer stain from your cherished leather items.
Before we move on to the step-by-step guide on how to get beer stains out of leather let’s first take a look at what makes beer stains hard to remove so that right of the back you know what you’re up against.
What Makes Beer Stains Hard To Remove?
Beer stains on leather whether jackets, shoes or even leather couches can be a pain to remove. As mentioned before there are a couple of things that make beer tough to remove and it is important to understand these before starting the removal process.
1. Sugar and Malt
The first is that beer contains sugar and malt. These two ingredients work together to create a sticky residue that can be difficult to break down. This is because sugar and malt are both naturally occurring products that are used in the brewing process.
2. Beer Is Carbonated
The second thing to understand is that beer is a carbonated drink. This means that it contains carbon dioxide gas. When this gas comes into contact with leather, it can cause the leather to dry out and become brittle. So, it is important to be careful when removing beer stains from leather.
3. Leather Is Porous
The third thing to understand is that leather is a porous material. This means that it can absorb liquids, including beer. When beer is absorbed into the leather, it can be difficult to remove.
4. Different Types of Leather
Finally, it is important to understand that there are different types of leather. Each type of leather has its own unique properties and characteristics. These characteristics can affect how easy or difficult it is to remove a beer stain. It will generally be a lot more difficult to remove beer stains from suede leather than it would be to remove them from full-grain leather or smooth leather.
Now that we understand the challenges of removing beer stains from leather, let’s discuss some methods that can be used to remove them.
What Does Beer Do To Leather?
Leather is a natural material that is made from the skin of animals. It is very durable and can last for many years if it is properly cared for. But leather is still a natural material, and it can be damaged by certain substances. Beer is one of those substances. Here are a few things that can happen when you spill beer on leather;
- The Leather Item Will Become Stained
When beer comes into contact with leather, it can cause the leather to become stained. The stain will usually be a dark brown or black color. If you don’t clean the stain off quickly, it will become permanent and will never come out.
- The Leather Item Will Smell Bad
Another thing that can happen when you spill beer on leather is that the leather will start to smell bad. The beer will cause the leather to become damp, and this will create an environment where bacteria can thrive. The bacteria will produce a foul odor that will be difficult to remove.
- The Leather Item Will Become Brittle
If you don’t clean a beer stain off of leather quickly, the carbon dioxide and alcohol in the beer will cause the leather to become dry and brittle. This is because the carbon dioxide will cause the leather to lose its moisture, and the alcohol will prevent the leather from absorbing moisture.
- The Leather Will Become Sticky
Last but not least, the sugar and malt in beer can cause the leather to become sticky. This is because the sugar and malt will form a sticky residue on the surface of the leather. If you don’t clean this residue off quickly, it will become permanent and will be very difficult to remove.
This will not only distort or mar the look of your leather but it will also make the leather item very uncomfortable to use. Nobody likes a sticky gummy feel on their nice leather sofa or chair.
So those are some of the things that can happen when you spill beer on leather. As you can see, it is very important to clean up any beer spills as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage will be done. So, how do you clean up a beer spill? Read on to find out.
How To Remove Beer Stains from Leather
Now that we know what can happen when you spill beer on leather, let’s discuss how to clean it up. There are a few different methods that can be used to remove beer stains from leather. These methods include:
1. Mild Dish Soap And Warm Water To Remove Beer Stain From Leather
The first method is to use mild dish soap and warm water. This is a gentle method that will not damage the leather. The mild dish soap and warm water method is actually perfect for smooth or finished leather and faux leather. Here’s how to do it;
- Mild dish soap
- Warm water
- Bucket or Bowl
- Microfiber Cloth
- Leather Conditioner
Step 1: Blot The Leather Surface
- Start by blotting the leather surface if you still have some excess beer on it.
- Use a clean microfiber cloth to remove as much beer as possible.
- If the beer has already dried, you can skip this step.
Step 2: Remove Dirt, Dust, Or Debris
- Next, you want to remove as much of the excess dirt, dust, or debris from the leather surface as possible.
- You can do this by using a clean microfiber cloth or a soft-bristled brush.
Step 3: Dampen The Stains Leather Surface
- Dampen the entire surface of the leather using warm water.
- Do not soak the leather, just dampen it.
Step 4: Mix Dish Soap And Warm Water
- Next, mix together some mild dish soap and warm water in a bucket or bowl.
- You want to use about one teaspoon of dish soap for every cup of water.
Step 5: Dip Sponge Into Soapy Water And Scrub
- Once you have mixed the dish soap and water together, dip a sponge into the soapy water and gently rub the leather surface in a circular motion.
- Be sure to only use a small amount of pressure to avoid damaging the leather.
Step 6: Rinse Sponge And Repeat As Needed
- After you have scrubbed the leather surface with the sponge, rinse the sponge off and repeat as needed until all of the soap has been removed.
- Once all the beer stains are gone, rinse with cool water by dampening a clean cloth.
Step 7: Blot Leather Surface Dry
- Once you have removed all of the soap from the leather surface, use a clean microfiber cloth to blot the surface of the leather dry.
Step 8: Apply Leather Conditioner
- Finally, you want to apply a leather conditioner to the surface.
- This will help to restore moisture and protect the leather from future damage.
- You can find leather conditioners at most stores that sell leather goods.
That’s all there is to it when it comes to using mild dish soap to get beer stains out of leather.
2. Using Vinegar And Neatsfoot Oil To Remove Beer Stain From Leather
The second method is to use vinegar and neatsfoot oil. This is a more heavy-duty method that should only be used on tough stains. Not only does this method get rid of the beer stains out of your leather but it also restores the natural oils that may have been removed.
Meaning you may not have to necessarily condition your leather after you have cleaned it with this method. To start;
- Neatsfoot oil
- A Clean White Cloth
Step 1: Mix The Cleaning Solution
- In a small bowl, mix together one part vinegar and two parts neatsfoot oil.
Step 2: Apply The Cleaning Solution
- Using a clean white cloth, apply the cleaning solution to the beer stained areas of your leather.
Step 3: Wipe Away Excess
- After you have applied the cleaning solution, wipe away any excess with a clean cloth.
Step 4: Let It Air Dry
- Let the leather dry completely before using it or putting it away.
3. Using Soda Water To Remove Beer Stain From Leather
The third and pretty easy method is to use soda water. This is a quick and easy method that can be used on any type of leather. Not only does it remove the beer stains but it also helps to restore the original color of your leather.
- Soda Water
- Clean Cloth
Step 1: Sponge the beer-stained area liberally with soda water using a clean cloth.
Step 2: Allow the soda water to sit on the stain for about five minutes.
Step 3: Wipe away the soda water residue with a clean cloth.
Step 4: Repeat as needed until the stain is gone and the leather is restored to its original color.
4. Using Cornmeal To Remove Beer Stain From Leather
Another effective method for removing beer stains from leather is to use cornmeal. The cornmeal method is perfect for unfinished and suede leather. Here’s how to do it;
- Microfiber Cloth
- Soft Bristled Brush
Step 1: Blot The Excess Beer Spill
- Blot the excess beer spill with a dry microfiber cloth as soon as possible.
- If the leather is unfinished, lightly brush the area with a soft-bristled brush to loosen any dried residue.
Step 2: Dampen The Leather Surface
- Dampen the surface of your leather with a warm water solution.
- Avoid saturating the leather; you only need to dampen it enough so that the cornmeal will stick.
Step 3: Sprinkle The Cornmeal
- Sprinkle a layer of cornmeal onto the dampened area.
- The cornmeal will absorb any remaining beer and help to lift the stain from the leather surface.
Step 4: Wait 15-20 Minutes
- Allow the cornmeal to sit on the leather for 15-20 minutes so that it can absorb the beer stains.
Step 5: Vacuum or Brush Away The Cornmeal
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove the cornmeal.
- If you don’t have a vacuum, gently brush the cornmeal away with a soft-bristled brush.
5. Using Rubbing Alcohol To Remove Beer Stain From Leather
This is my favorite especially if the beer stain has also left behind a sticky residue on the surface of the leather item. Rubbing alcohol is great because it not only removes the beer stains but it also evaporates quickly so that you’re left with no residue.
The best part about using rubbing alcohol is that it’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive. To use rubbing alcohol;
- Rubbing alcohol
- A clean microfiber or lint-free cloth
- Paper towels
- Leather Conditioner
- Step 1: Pour the rubbing alcohol onto the clean cloth.
- Step 2: Rub the area of the leather with the beer stain gently with the cloth until you see the stain coming off onto the cloth.
- Step 3: Once you’ve removed as much of the stain as possible, use a paper towel to blot the area dry.
- Step 4: Allow the leather to air dry completely.
Repeat steps two through four if necessary.
- Step 5: Finally, condition your leather using your usual leather conditioner.
It is always important to use a leather conditioner after you have used a solvent such as rubbing alcohol to clean your leather. This will help to replenish any natural oils that may have been removed during the cleaning process and will also help to prevent the leather from drying out and cracking.
6. Using A Leather Cleaner To Remove Beer Stain From Leather
This I will say is the best and most effective method to use when trying to remove beer stains from leather. Professional leather cleaners are specially to clean all types of stains on leather without causing any damage.
Although this method is the most effective, it is also the most expensive as you will need to purchase a professional leather cleaner. To remove beer stains from your leather furniture using a professional leather cleaner, simply follow these steps:
- Step 1: Purchase a quality Leather Cleaner from your local store or online retailer.
- Step 2: In a well-ventilated area, spray the cleaner directly onto the beer stain.
- Step 3: Using a clean cloth, wipe the cleaner in a circular motion until the entire stain is removed.
- Step 4: Once the stain is gone, use a damp microfiber cloth to rinse the surface of your leather.
- Step 5: Next, you would want to condition leather to replace all of the natural oils that were removed during the cleaning process.
- Step 6: Finally, allow your leather furniture to air dry completely before using it again.
As you can see, there are several ways that you can remove beer stains from your leather furniture. While some methods may be more effective than others, it really depends on the severity of the stain and the type of leather that you’re working with.
If you have a light beer stain, you may be able to get away with using a simple home remedy such as cornmeal or rubbing alcohol. However, if the stain is more stubborn, you may need to use a professional leather cleaner.
No matter which method you choose, always remember to condition your leather after cleaning to prevent it from drying out and cracking.