How do you Remove Old Water Stains from Leather?

We all love the staffs that are made of leather. Using leather goods gives us a premium feel, and thus we always want the leather to look good and keep them away from stains.

I am actually fond of using leather-made products. I experienced water stains on my leather seats, shoes, jackets, and bags in the past. I didn’t know how to remove or get rid of these stains.

But I was willing to try anything that will help me to get rid of these marks from my leather staff as I loved them very much.

So, I did a lot of digging for days and talked with a few leather experts as well. They provided me some ways, which I tried later, and they all worked very well. And finally, I was able to get rid of old water stains from my leather chair.

Below I describe six ways you can use to remove old water stains from leather.

1. Use a Dedicated Leather Cleaner that has a pH of 5.5-6

A dedicated leather cleaner will always give better results if you want to remove old water stains from leather. Research shows that cleaners with a pH level of 5.5-6 are most effective for cleaning and removing water stains from leather. 

I have found an inexpensive but effective leather cleaner, and you can check it out here on Amazon. It is powerful enough to remove any tough stains and water stains as well.

Also, the pH is within controlled limits, which ensures the safety of your leather material.

How to apply this Leather Cleaner?

  • Take a clean piece of a soft cloth.
  • Then, pour a few drops of the leather cleaner on the cloth. If the spots are larger, then pour more of the liquid on the cloth.
  • After that, rub on the spot gently in a circular motion. If the spot is tough, rub a bit strongly.
  • Finally, wipe the residue with a cloth or tissue and then let it dry for 30 minutes. 

This is the most effective process that will definitely work. However, there are other effective and easy ways as well. Let’s talk about them one by one, shall we?

2. Apply Aqueous Solution of Vinegar

Vinegar is also considered an effective leather cleaner. Usual white vinegar can be used on any leather item to remove old water stains.

However, I do not recommend anyone to apply vinegar directly. Mixing water with vinegar and then applying it to leather is a good idea because of the low pH level of vinegar.

Vinegar is completely safe on leather, if you apply it properly. Still, if you are confused about applying vinegar on leather, check out my article, Is Vinegar Safe for Leather furniture?

How to apply Vinegar solution on Leather?

  • Mix equal proportions of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Then, spray the vinegar solution directly on the water stain (If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can use a bowl to prepare the solution and dip the cloth on the solution).
  • After that, take a clean piece of cloth and rub the cloth gently on the spot. Keep rubbing it harder if the stain is persistent. Continue the process until the stains go away. Add more vinegar to the solution if the stain is tough. 
  • Finally, allow it to dry, and you will notice that the water stains have disappeared.

3. Try Rubbing Alcohol & Cuticle Remover

Rubbing alcohol can be used to remove persistent and old water stains from leather. It can also be used to remove other types of stains on leather-like ink stains as well.

Follow the process below to remove water stains on leather using rubbing alcohol on leather.

How to Apply Rubbing Alcohol and Cuticle Remover on Leather?

  • To remove old water stains from leather using rubbing alcohol, at first dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol.
  • Then, slowly and gently rub it on the stained surface and blot the stain. Use a blow dryer to dry the area.
  • After that, if the stain still remains, apply a thick layer of non-oily, non-gel cuticle remover. Cuticle remover has an acidic property which will help to remove the stain. Leave it overnight and wipe it off with a water-soaked cloth.

4. Condition the Leather Properly Using Coconut Oil

Sometimes restoring the natural oil content of leather helps to remove old water stains from its surface. Conditioning properly helps in the restoration of the natural oil content of leather.

The easiest way to condition leather is to use coconut oil. So, applying coconut oil will remove old water stains easily. Follow the process below to condition leather with coconut oil and remove old water stains.

How to condition Leather using Coconut Oil?

  • First, clean the leather with water or vinegar using a piece of clean cloth or tissue and let it dry.
  • Then, Take another clean piece of cloth and rub coconut oil on it and then apply it on leather gently in a circular motion.
  • After rubbing properly, let it sit on the surface for 30 minutes and then wipe off the excess oil.

If the coconut oil is frozen, I recommend rubbing it with your hand and melting it before applying. Don’t use heated coconut oil on leather. 

5. Rub it with Little Mayonnaise

This might seem weird, but actually, the mayonnaise that we eat has good cleaning capabilities that you might not know before.

When I heard of it, initially, I thought of this as a gimmick. But it really works. As mayo contains vinegar and oil, it can help to remove old water stains easily.

How to Use Mayo on Leather to Remove Old Water Stains?

  • First, put a thick layer of mayo on the water stain for half an hour. Then take a piece of cloth and then rub it in a circular motion.
  • Keep rubbing the specific spot until you notice it going away. 
  • After that, you can use a damp or wet cloth to clean off the remaining mayo and let the dry leather overnight.

6. Try Leather Cream:

Leather cream is often used to clean and condition dry leather. Leather cream is also effective when it comes to removing old water stains from leather.

Because of its cleaning and conditioning properties, it is widely used to remove several kinds of stains on leather. You can check out my recommended leather cream on amazon by clicking here.

How To Apply Leather Leather Cream to Remove Water Stains?

  • Firstly, take a wet cloth and wipe the spot thoroughly.
  • Then, grab another clean and soft cloth and damp it with the leather cream.
  • After that, keep rubbing it until the stains go away. This should not take more than 2-3 minutes.
  • Finally, allow the leather material to dry, and you will notice that the stains are gone.

Related Questions:

What Happens if You Get Leather Wet?

When you let any leather material get wet, the leather’s natural oil content and tannins get depleted. When the leather dries out, it becomes more vulnerable to cracks.

So, if you get any leather material wet, make sure to condition it properly afterward, which will resist it from peeling and cracking in the future and expand its lifespan.

How do you Remove Water Stains from Vachetta Leather?

The best way to remove water stains from vachetta leather is to use any dedicated leather cleaner with a pH level of around 5.5-6.

Also, if you can prepare an aqueous solution of white vinegar properly, it can be used to remove water stains from vachetta leather effectively 

Final Thoughts:

There you have it! I have mentioned six of the easiest and most effective methods of removing old water stains from any leather material.

I have separately explained each method and showed a step-by-step process to apply each method for your convenience.

I hope you find this article helpful.

Thanks for reading! Please take a minute to read my article, How to Fix Sun Damaged Leather – 5 Simple Steps to Follow.

Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m one of the creators of I spent hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I learned about office chairs.