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How to Stop Leather From Staining Clothes

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We all love leather items for their durability, stylishness, and aesthetic appeal. Heck, leather items are some of the most costly in most apparel shops.

However, it can have its weaknesses as well. Often leather dye rubs off and leaves stubborn stains on other garments.

In this article, we share some handy tips on how to stop this from happening, how to clean stained clothes, and more.

To stop the leather from staining clothes, first, investigate the cause of the stain. You have several options and precautions if the leather is rubbing off the dye. These include using sealants, hairspray, and air conditioner, among others.

Stopping Leather Stains on Clothes

The following tips will help stop the leather dye from rubbing off and ruining your clothes.

Use Sealant

Variously called waterproof or protector, this refers to an agent that covers the surface of the leather and prevents it from transferring colors. Common dye sealants are Resolene and Carnauba wax (paid links to Amazon).

Using Hair Sprays

Using air spray stops leather from transferring dyes.

  1. All you have to do is place your garment on a flat surface, for instance, on a table and spray it on leather jackets, shoes, wallets, or caps.
  2. Be keen to spray evenly inside and outside the item’s surface to allow uniform protection.
  3. Next, air-dry the leather item under shade for approximately 24 hours.

Carnauba Wax

Meguiar’s G7014J Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Paste Wax, Creates a Deep Dazzling Shine – 11 Oz Container
  • PASTE WAX FOR HIGH SHINE: Luxurious blend of carnauba wax and polymers creates strong, long-lasting protection to preserve your finish with a brilliant reflective shine
  • CLEAR COAT SAFE: Special blend of carnauba and protecting polymers is safe and effective on clear coats and all glossy paint types
  • BETTER GLOW: Improved formula creates an even more brilliant shine and deeper reflections

A blend of waxes and conditioners, carnauba, forms a waxy protective coating on the leather surface, stopping water from soaking in, leaving it soft and shiny.

Moreover, it keeps off dirt and grime and also eases cleaning with a brush. Use your hands or a brush to apply carnauba, and then buffer to create a shiny sheen.

Leather Resolene

Fiebing’s Resolene Finish – Neutral – 32OZ Protective top Finish for Leather
  • Protects your leather finish
  • Dyed, antiqued and Polished leathers take on a gorgeous gloss finish
  • Spray on or apply with a damp sponge
  • Doesn’t alter color of leather but dries to a mellow gloss
  • Perishable if Frozen

Resolene consists of acrylic, an agent known for its wide use for its protectiveness and durability on the surface it is applied.

Once applied, Resolene forms a thin veneer of protection against liquids and cannot easily rub off on clothes.

Resolene comes in different colors and finishes, making it a versatile substance for most leather items.

Leather Tan Kote

Fiebing’s Tan-Kote (4oz) – Resin Based, Easy-to-Use Top Finish Creates a Mellow Gloss and Rich Shine 46.46″ L x 46.46″ W
  • The prefered leather finish for saddle makers. The finish allows for the saddle to be cleaned and oiled without damaging the finish or leather.
  • Neutral color can be tinted different colors by using small amounts of Fiebing’s water-based dye and mixing it in.
  • Tan-Kote can be used to emphasize features in carved leathers. Enhance and bring out carved and stamped designs on tooled leather.
  • Tan Kote is often used to thin Fiebing’s Antique Finish.
  • The Fiebing Company has been manufacturing high quality Leather Care products in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. Since 1895

Tan Kote is also a perfect coat for preventing the leather from rubbing off clothes. Made from natural resin, Tan Kote forms a protective layer over the leather surface, leaving it glossy.

This makes it easy to keep off dirt and grime that rubs off other clothes.

Other Methods for Preserving Dye on the Leather Surface

The above measures will keep the dye firm on the leather item and stop it from rubbing off on other garments. However, in conjunction with that, these other tips will also keep off leather dye from transferring to your clothes.

Mind What You Wear

Avoid wearing abrasive fabrics that might rub on leather. For example, wearing denim with leather shoes might rub dye and stain it. Instead of leather shoes, wear denim with loafers or trainers.

Not only will that help in avoiding the leather stains, but you will look even more stylish. For new leather couches, avoid wearing bright-colored jackets or pants.

Keep Water Off Leather Items

Not only does wetting spoil leather, but it also makes the dye rub off its surface to other items and garments.

Instead of water, use a solution of vinegar in water and use a soft piece of clothes to rub its surface and dry under shade.

Thereafter, apply conditioners and sealants to keep the dye from leaking.

Avoid Any Cleaning Agent With Ammonia

While ammonia is a fantastic cleaning agent, you shouldn’t use it on leather. Ammonia and indeed any bleaching agent will spoil the leather finish, cause it to leak leather dye, and stain your clothes.

How to Remove Leather Dye Stains From Clothes

Following the steps above should keep your garments from dye damage. However, if they have already been stained, fret not. Just follow the following tips, and you will restore them back to their original condition.

Sort the Clothes

Before you start the washing, sort out the clothes, separating the whites from the colored to as to wash them separately.

Washing the Colored Clothes

Pour water into a basin, add non-chlorine bleach, and soak the clothes in the solution for 1 hour. Non-chlorine bleach is safe for washing colorfast clothes, but to be sure, you can also read the wash instructions on the garment.  

Afterward, put the clothes into the washer, add the normal dose of detergent, run a normal wash cycle, rinse and dry. A point of caution, though; skip the tumble dryer until you’re sure the stain is removed to avoid it becoming permanent. 

Washing Instructions for White Clothes

Pour sufficient water and add ½ cup of liquid chlorine bleach to make a solution for soaking in the garment.

Thereafter add a dose of heavy-duty washing detergent and load your washing machine with cool water; wash and dry normally. In this case, use a tumble dryer with caution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Possible to Clean Leather Stains?

Leather stains are stubborn. However, like most other stains, the rule is to always work on the stains when fresh to avoid them set into the fabric. Depending on whether they are fresh or old stains, you soak them in non-chlorine bleach for colorfast clothes. And for white, you can use chlorine bleach before washing them in the normal wash cycle.

Why Is Dye Rubbing off My Leather?

Leather items shed dye for many reasons. These may include the use of poor quality material and dye, wetting leather, and cleaning with inappropriate cleaning agents, among others. To stop this from happening, you can do several things. These include the application of sealants and conditioners. But above all, avoid contact with your leather items in water to maintain their durability.

What Home Remedy Removes the Dye From Clothes?

There are several homemade remedies for removing leather dye from your clothes. One of them is the use of white vinegar and borax. Soak your clothes in a solution of water and any of those cleaning agents for a minimum of an hour, before washing with your normal detergent.

Next, you can learn how to stop your clothes from changing color over time.

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