5 Simple Ways To Remove Rubbing Alcohol Stains From Leather

how to remove Rubbing Alcohol from leather

Rubbing alcohol is a common thing used around most homes so it’s no surprise leather items around the house will from time to time get rubbing alcohol stain. These alcohol stains must be removed as they can leach out the natural oil from the leather. But how do you remove rubbing alcohol stains from leather?

Here’s how to remove rubbing alcohol stains from leather:

  1. Buildup Body Oils On The LeatherThrough Use
  2. Condition The Leather With A Leather Conditioner
  3. Clean The stained Leather With A Leather Cleaner
  4. Heavily Blotting Out The Rubbing Alcohol From The Leather
  5. Use Toothpaste To Remove Rubbing Alcohol Stains From Leather

To learn about the details of removing rubbing alcohol stains from leather, keep reading this article.

1. Buildup Body Oils On The LeatherThrough Use

There’s a popular saying that goes like time heals everything and in this case, it is to a large extent true when it comes to removing rubbing alcohol stains from leather. But wait for a second! There’s a formula to this method.

This method simply means when your leather items get alcohol stains, you do want to put them to good regular use.

This will particularly work with leather items that regularly come into contact with our skin or palms. This will typically include bags, wallets, key holders, to mention a few.

Putting the rubbing alcohol-stained leather item to regular use will allow you to rub your body oils on it in a very natural way. The leather will absorb the body oils to help gradually restore the leather.

One of the biggest downsides of rubbing alcohol stains is that it dries out the natural oils contained in the leather.

So putting the leather item to good use is a great alternative to reintroducing the lost oil in a very slow and controlled way.

I find this to be a great method if I do not want to oil, condition, purchase any leather care products, or if you want a great hands-off approach to dealing with rubbing alcohol stains on leather.

2. Condition With A Leather Conditioner

I find Using a leather conditioner to be such a great fit for most kinds of situations on leather and in the case of rubbing alcohol stains, the leather conditioner is also king.

Using the leather conditioner on your leather after it has been stained with rubbing alcohol or any type of alcohol is also another way of effectively dealing with it.

The great thing about this method is that there are several leather conditioners to choose from that can perfectly suit the kind of outcome you desire.

Not only will the leather conditioner get rid of the rubbing alcohol stain(s) but it will also fix whatever fiber damage that it may have caused like severe dryness and discoloration.

The most important thing when it comes to the leather conditioner method is to make sure you treat the rubbing alcohol stain and damage as soon as possible. 

All you have to do is to follow the application instructions on the specific leather conditioner you choose and the rubbing alcohol stain should disappear by the time the conditioner dries.

This method is great if you haven’t conditioned your leather for a while. This is so you wouldn’t have to worry about over-conditioning or over-oiling your leather.

What you would, however, want to go for are the leather conditioners that are also more of cleaners at the same time – often marketed as leather cleaners & conditioners

A great example is the Weiman Deep Leather Cleaner & Conditioner. It’s great because it helps to restore leather surfaces from leather furniture, shoes, saddles, car seats, Bags to leather Jackets, and everything in-between.

3. Clean With A Leather Cleaner

Yes, you guessed right! Another awesome remedy to removing rubbing alcohol stains from leather is actually using a good leather cleaner to clean it out.

This will be a perfect remedy if it has been quite some time since you actually cleaned your leather item.

What’s great about this method is that usually when leather is exposed to rubbing alcohol what you’re likely to have (especially when the leather hasn’t been cleaned in a long time) is not actually going to be a stain but the rubbing alcohol pulling out the dirt from that section – creating more of a spot than a stain.

So by simply cleaning your presumed stain with a good leather cleaner, you will be returning a clean surface on the surface of your leather item and that’s going to be the fix you’re after.

The only fear is if the leather is coated the rubbing alcohol may pull out some of the colors then in this case you may need to restore the color.

Otherwise, I would try cleaning the leather first to see if it’s actually a clean spot or if the color has been removed or a stain damaged might have occurred.

All that is required is to get a dedicated leather cleaner, brush, and towel and then follow the application instructions so you do not cause further damage to your priced leather item.

4. Heavily Blotting Out The Rubbing Alcohol

Ever heard the popular quote by Albert Einstein “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Well for this method you’re going to do just that.

When your leather gets stained with rubbing alcohol, one of the common things you will notice is the significant change in color around the affected area.

One best way of fixing the stains is to heavily blot out the rubbing alcohol stains with rubbing alcohol to help even things out.

What you do is to dilute your rubbing alcohol with water using a ratio of 2 to 3 parts of rubbing alcohol to 7 to 8 parts of water.

After you have rightfully diluted the rubbing alcohol with the water, dampen a soft clean rag or a microfiber cloth with the solution and then gently rub it or as it were, blotting the entire section of the leather where there is the rubbing alcohol damage.

You would want to be as gentle as possible so you do not pull out too much finish in the form of polishes and color from the leather surface.

You will begin to notice the alcohol stain fading and once allowed to dry, the whole section will have an even look.

But wait! That’s not all! You would want to heavily condition your leather after using the blotting method to remove rubbing alcohol stains on the surface of the leather. Voila!

5. Use Toothpaste

Now here’s a cool hack you can use to remove rubbing alcohol stains from your leather items.

Spoiler alert! This method includes using regular toothpaste to remove rubbing alcohol stains from your leather.

This is such a great remedy because while this is somewhat similar to using a specially formulated leather cleaner, it’s a lot more effective especially if the rubbing alcohol stain has been on the leather for quite some time now.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use this method.

Things Needed:

  • Paper towel
  • Toothpaste
  • Towel or old toothbrush
  • White vinegar
  • 2-3 clean dry rags


Step 1: If the rubbing alcohol stain is fresh, blot the affected area of the leather with some paper towels.

You can simply do this by pressing the paper towels gently against the leather to soak up any excess rubbing alcohol.

Step 2: Dampen your towel or old toothbrush with water. You would want to wring it out quite a bit so it’s not soaking wet.

Step 3: Load a small amount of toothpaste on the damp towel or toothbrush.

Step 4: Now begin to gently scrub the rubbing alcohol-stained area of your leather item with the toothpaste you loaded to the damp towel or toothbrush.

Step 5: After you have thoroughly wiped the affected area, wash the towel in clean water and wring it out.

Now use the damp towel (or a clean damp towel if you used the toothbrush) to wipe the surface of the leather to remove any toothpaste residue.

Step 6: Dampen a clean rag with full-strength white vinegar and begin to wipe the surface thoroughly.

Wiping the entire surface of the leather as thoroughly as possible will help to prevent any color variation that may have been caused as a result of moisture from the cleaning process.

Step 7: Use a rag dampened with clean water to wipe off any excess white-vinegar residue from the leather and then use a clean dry cloth to dry off the leather.

Step 8: Leave leather to air-dry.

Step 9: Moisturize or conditioner your leather item and allow to air-dry again before use. Voila! Your leather item should be as good as new.


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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