How to clean dark blue dye off of white leather

Written by jessica leigh | 13/05/2017

White leather and dark washed blue denim---they both look great but when combined can do some serious damage. Anyone who has ever worn a pair of white leather sneakers with a pair of dark blue jeans knows just how serious dye transfer stains can be. What you probably don't know is that you most likely already have tools to eliminate the dark blue dye stains on your white leather at home. Whether you are cleaning shoes, furniture or clothing, these simple household items are sure to do the trick.

Gently rub the stain away with a white eraser, like the rubber kind that children use in school. It may sound strange, but if stains haven't set into the grain of the leather they can easily be erased from the surface with this common school supply. If the stain won't come out, do not rub harder; you will only wear out the leather. Try another method.

Combine equal parts water and white distilled vinegar in a small bowl and sprinkle salt over the dye stain on the leather. Dip a sponge into the vinegar/water mixture and squeeze to get rid of excess liquid. Scrub the stain in a circular motion until it is no longer visible. This method works especially well because the salt is a mild abrasive that won't damage leather and the acid in the vinegar acts as a solvent.

Dip a cotton ball in some rubbing alcohol to combat tough-to-get spots. Scrub the area lightly with the cotton ball. Once the cotton ball is mostly blue from the dye, discard it and start again with a fresh cotton ball. Repeat until the stain has been eliminated.

Dampen a white cloth with cold water. Rinse the area where the stain was to remove any cleaning solution that is left on the leather. Wipe clean and pat the area dry with a towel to get rid of excess moisture.


Treat your white leather with a sealant to protect it from future staining.

Tips and warnings

  • Treat your white leather with a sealant to protect it from future staining.

Things you need

  • Clean white eraser
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Water
  • Small bowl
  • Granulated salt
  • Sponge
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • White cloths
  • Towel

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