How to Clean Dye Transfer Off Leather

Updated February 21, 2017

Dye transfer occurs when a coloured dye bleeds onto another piece of fabric. This usually happens when garments of contrasting colours, such as white socks and a red T-shirt, are laundered together. However, it can also occur when a wet garment comes in contact with another fabric for an extended period of time. If you accidentally tossed a pair of freshly washed blue jeans onto your leather couch, chances are you'll have a splotch of dye to remove.

Make a mixture of two cups warm water, one tablespoon liquid dish soap and one tablespoon white vinegar.

Saturate a clean sponge with the mixture and blot the entire dye stain with it.

Let the mixture permeate the stain for five minutes. Wet the sponge once more and re-blot until the stain disappears.

Wet a soft cloth with cool water and wipe the leather clean.

Dry the leather completely with a soft cloth. Treat the area with a leather conditioner if desired.


Never use bleach or ammonia to remove dye from leather, as this may cause damage to the material.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Soft cloths
  • Leather conditioner (optional)
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About the Author

Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.