Is Alcohol Safe for Cleaning Leather?

Alcohol is a handy thing. It is used for various purposes. One of its purposes is cleaning. There are many alcohol-based cleaning solutions. However, you may think alcohol can be used to clean leather? Will alcohol damage the leather? If you have these questions in your mind, you have come to the right place. In this article, I will discuss the impact of alcohol on cleaning leather.

Alcohol is not safe for cleaning leather. However, it’s not always true. Usually, the neutral cleaner should be used to clean leather, but such cleaners can’t handle coffee or wine spilled stains on leather. To clean such stubborn stains rubbing alcohol can be used to clean leather products. But if an excess amount is applied, it may dry up the leather.

Rubbing Alcohol is very cheap. But out of excitement, you should not use a massive amount of it. You should always try to use a small portion, and for better results, you can always dilute it with an adequate amount of water.

Here, I will appropriately guide you to clean leather products using rubbing Alcohol. What to do and what not to do so that the leather product is not damaged. By reading the article, I hope you will get all your answers.

Rubbing Alcohol:

Rubbing Alcohol is a combination or mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water, where 70%-99% is isopropyl alcohol, and the rest is water. [Source]

70% isopropyl is a good disinfectant, while 99% isopropyl is suitable for cleaning purposes. So we mainly use 99% isopropyl solution as a cleaning agent.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Damage Leather? 

Yes, Rubbing alcohol damages leather. The alcohol includes a chemical that can remove the color from your leather products.

So, It will damage the paint of the leather products. If you use an excessive amount of alcohol, the leather will be dried out and damaged.

Using a high amount of alcohol may also lead to tearing or scratching the leather. A hole also may develop in the leather due to it.

But if you know the proper procedure and can determine the right amount, rubbing alcohol can be a great stubborn leather cleaner. Let me show you how you can cautiously apply rubbing alcohol to remove strong and stubborn stains from any leather product.

Clean Leather With Rubbing Alcohol Using The Following Steps:

Step 1: Cleaning the Surface: 

First, dilute the alcohol solution with an adequate amount of water. Before applying the alcohol, clean the leather surface with a clean cloth.

Cleaning the surface with a cloth will remove the oil, grease, loose debris, or other substances from the leather so that rubbing alcohol can work directly without any interference.

Step 2: Applying Rubbing Alcohol: 

Next, take a cotton ball and soak it in the alcohol solution. Rub the blotted area with the isopropyl solution-soaked cotton ball until the mark is gone.

Make sure that you rub gently. Don’t rub harshly otherwise; it may tear and decolorize the leather material.

By the way, if you want to fix faded by yourself, sun-damaged, or decolorized leather, read this article.

Step 3: Drying The Surface: 

After you are done with rubbing, dry the product with a hairdryer set to low heat to prevent it from leaving its effect.

If you don’t try it, the leather may dry out. There is also a chance of damaging the leather color. I have found an inexpensive hair dryer for you. You can check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

An Alternative Procedure To Clean Leather Surface: 

You can also clean the afflicted area with an alcohol-water solution sprayed on a lint-free cloth. This procedure has the potential to soften and swell the leather in addition to other benefits. 

For removing difficult stains like mud, you can do the same steps using a nylon scrubber or cotton brush.  

Can Alcohol Damage Your Skin During the Cleaning Process?

Yes, alcohol can damage your skin. So while using an alcohol-based solution, never touch it with your hand.

Try to spray it on a cloth and apply or use a cotton swab to remove the stain. Otherwise, alcohol may dry up your skin.

Although it won’t cause any major issue, try to be safe and avoid skin drying and irritation if there are any cuts in your skin.

Some Safety Tips On Using Rubbing Alcohol:

Alcohol is a susceptible product. If it is not used correctly, it can damage the leather product, so if you are careful about the following things, your leather product will never be damaged.

  1. Always dilute the solution with an adequate amount of water.
  2. After using alcohol, always remember to dry the surface. So that the color is not damaged.
  3. Don’t rub too harshly while cleaning the leather. It may scratch or tear the leather.
  4. Don’t use alcohol on full leather. Specifically use on the spotted mark.
  5. Never use rubbing alcohol directly on the surface. Try to use a cotton brush.

Now, you already know how to clean leather with alcohol safely. Let’s discuss how you can repair your leather from alcohol damage if your leather is somehow previously damaged with alcohol.

How To Repair Alcohol Damage On Leather:

While using Alcohol, if you mistakenly use a massive amount of alcohol, don’t be worried. You can always fix the Alcohol damage on leather. Follow the following steps.

Step 1: Dilute The Surface:

Use a soft cloth, damp it in water, and rub it where excessive alcohol was spilled. This process will dilute the Alcohol spilled on the surface. As a result, the leather will not dry out.

Step 2: Moisturizing Leather Surface:

After the leather has dried, use a thick leather moisturizer right away. Use a leather crack-filler if the leather has begun to crack.

In tiny tubes, this synthetic “liquid leather” adheres to actual leather and keeps it in place by forming a strong chemical bond.

Step 3: Dry And Dye The Surface:

The leather crack filler should be applied and allowed to dry before using a leather dye to match the remainder of the leather’s color.

Make an effort to integrate the color into the surrounding environment as much as possible. If you’re successful, the harm you’ve already done will be almost imperceptible.

Related Questions:

Can You Clean Faux Leather With Alcohol?

Yes, it is possible to clean faux leather with rubbing alcohol, but it’s hazardous. There is a high chance of the leather being damaged. So try to use a neutral cleaner while cleaning faux leather.

Can You Clean Leather With Water?

With mild detergent and distilled water, leather can be cleaned. But it can only be treated when it is a soft mark. Difficult stains on leather can’t be treated with water. You have to use proper leather cleaner for difficult stains.

What Is An Excellent Homemade Leather Cleaner?

Vinegar, coconut oil, Castile soap, essential oil, and grapefruit seed extract are the ingredients for making homemade leather cleaner. If you mix these ingredients in appropriate portions, you can create a homemade leather cleaner. 

Does Alcohol Remove The Dye Of The Leather?

Alcohol can damage the dye of the leather if accidentally spilled on leather. That’s why it’s very crucial to keep alcohol away from the leather. 

But if you really need to use alcohol to clean any leather material, dilute the Alcohol solution with water before using it. It will reduce the concentration of Alcohol. Thus the dye of the leather will not become light. 

Final Thoughts:

Rubbing alcohol is very cheap and available. Although there is a chance of damaging the leather hard stain can’t be cleared without an alcohol-based cleaning agent. If it is a normal stain, you can use another neutral cleaner.

But if the stain is hard, you can follow the steps mentioned in the article, and this will prevent you from damaging the leather. And thus, you can remove the stain successfully. I hope this article can answer your questions.

There are a few studies that show that a cleaner with a pH of 4.5-5.5 is better and safe for leather cleaning.

So, if you want a safe and dedicated leather cleaner that is gentle on leather, try the leather cleaner from chemical guys (Amazon Link). It has a balanced pH and can remove most types of stains effectively.

Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m the co-owner of I had spend hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned about office chairs.