How to stop the leather from staining clothes

Leather items are often dyed to create incredibly stylish and fashionable statements. Whether it is a leather bag, leather shoes, or leather belt – any leather material can be dyed and, once done, can look brilliant. Leather dyes can also be used to hide damage and to repair leather, and this is often done on leather furniture to cover cracks and stains. But sometimes, if not sealed properly or subject to the wrong conditions, this leather dye stains clothes and skin. If this happens to be your best designer outfit or your just your DIY superhero costume, you will probably be disappointed.

When the dye transfers onto clothes, it adheres to them just as it did the leather, creating incredibly hard-to-budge, unsightly dye stains. This can even happen from being hung too close on your clothes rack. But luckily, there are a few ways to stop the leather from staining clothes, and even better, there are ways to prevent the staining from ever happening!

Stopping leather dye from staining clothes

There are a few different ways to put a stop to leather stains on your clothes. In order to choose one, you should first try to determine what is causing your leather dye to stain your clothes. The most common cause of leather dye

 stain is simply that the leather has not been sealed correctly after being dyed, leading to the dye rubbing off and onto other materials. It might also be caused by excess dye on the surface of the leather, lots of friction, and exposure to ammonia or water.

For leather dye that needs sealing

If you’ve dyed your own leather and failed to use a suitable leather sealant, this is likely the reason that your leather items are staining clothes. It is a simple fix, you’ve just got to use a leather sealant to cover the item and prevent that gorgeous leather handbag from imprinting on your torso each time you wear it.

Vaseline as a sealant

This is best used as a temporary sealant until you are able to get a more suitable leather sealant for your leather boots, leather bags, or leather jacket. To use vaseline as a leather sealant, rub a generous amount of the cream onto the leather with a dry cloth and then leave it to dry in a well-ventilated room. When dry, apply a leather conditioner for optimum shine.

Resilience as a sealant

Leather resilience is an ideal sealant. It is made out of an acrylic veneer and comes in a large range of colours and finishes. It is a versatile sealant that can be used on pretty much any leather product, whether that is one of your fanciful leather jackets or just scrap leather materials.

To apply resilience, paint it on with a soft brush in thin layers. Leave the resilience to dry between each layer in a well-ventilated room and away from direct sunlight. The leather would benefit from a leather conditioner.

Carnauba wax

Carnauba wax is another ideal leather sealant. It works well as a protective coating and is even hydrophobic, meaning that once it is applied, the leather will have more water resistance than before.

To apply carnauba wax, use a soft brush and apply thin, even coats. Between each coat, leave the wax to dry completely before continuing. Once dry, use a leather conditioner to provide a shiny finish to your material.

Hairspray

Another way to seal your recently dyed leather is to spray hairspray onto the material and then wipe it around with a dry cloth. This works best on leather shoes and can help to protect not only your shoes but also your feet from leather dye transfer.

How to remove excess dye

If your leather is staining clothes because there is excess dye sitting on the leather’s surface, you can wipe this away to prevent leather dyes from staining any further. You may also want to use a sealant after. To wipe away excess dye, use a damp cloth or a leather cleaner and gently rub at the material.

How to prevent the leather from staining clothes

It’s all well and good trying to stop your leather from staining clothing once you’ve noticed some stains, but it is even better to prevent the stains from occurring in the first place. You can do so by:

Avoid wearing fabrics that will create friction.

If you’re a regular user of leather handbags, leather bags or leather boots, then check through your wardrobe and only wear soft clothes with your leather items. Harsher fabrics like denim are more likely to create friction. This will make your leather items leave unsightly dye stains on your denim.

Keep your leather items dry

Moisture and water can cause dye transfer, especially on recently dyed leather products. It is important that you try to keep your newly dyed leather clothes away from water for a few weeks to allow it to set properly. This will help to stop your leather from ruining any clothes!

Keep away from ammonia or bleach

Too often, people opt to use a leather cleaner with ammonia or bleach in to remove leather stains from leather furniture and clothing. But this can damage the finish on the leather and lead to cracks, both of which can result in leather dye rubbing off or leaking. If you have leather stains on your sofa, try using cornstarch instead!

What to do if your leather bag has already stained your favourite clothes

If it’s too late, and your favourite outfit has been ruined by your newly dyed leather bag, invest in some stain removers and gently try to treat the stain. There is no guarantee that you will be able to remove stains, as leather dye is created to be permanent, but you may be able to at least fade the stain.

Kevin Darabont
I am a freelance writer who loves to craft, home decor improvement, and active DIYers. I am happy to share my knowledge and experience to the world and learn new things everyday.