How to clean a color transfer on white patent leather

Written by nikki cash
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Colour transfer occurs when the dyes on new shirts or fabrics become rubbed onto white patent leather. White patent leather is vulnerable to dye stains as well as everyday ink, dirt or grease stains. Patent leather generally has a smooth surface, which helps make stain removal with household products easier.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Alcohol
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Linseed oil
  • Non-linen rag
  • Toothpaste
  • Nail polish remover
  • Hairspray
  • Buffing polish or wax
  • Vaseline

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  1. 1

    Clean the surface of the white patent leather. Mix one part alcohol and one part water and either pour this into a spray bottle or apply onto a rag. Then use the mixture to clean the patent leather free of the colour transfer. Let the leather air dry without direct contact with sunlight.

  2. 2

    Make a cleaner. Mix one part vinegar with two parts raw or food-grade linseed oil. Apply this mixture onto a lint-free rag.

  3. 3

    Apply the cleaner onto the white patent leather. Using swirling movements, rub the cleaner onto the leather. Let it dry overnight.

Tips and warnings

  • Other methods are available for cleaning colour transfer on white patent leather. You can rub toothpaste directly onto the stain, then lightly rub it off with a rag. You can also rub non-acetyone nail polish remover onto the stain with a rag or use aerosol hairspray on the stain and rub it off with a rag.
  • Use polish or wax to condition the leather after cleaning. Vaseline also shines and waterproofs the leather.

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