The question of how to remove liquid stains on tan leather is one of the most commonly-asked leather-related questions on the Internet. So you would think that there would be one simple answer that would work for all leather products. Unfortunately that's not the case. The problem is, different kinds of leather are treated with different conditioners and depending on what type of treatment your particular leather was provided with (and how long ago that treatment was applied), different cleaning methods may apply. However, the good news is, there are a few simple cleaning methods that work for most leather products.
Start by testing various cleaning products on a hidden section of the leather you wish to clean. Due to different surface treatments that leather can receive, different cleaning agents can affect different pieces of leather in unforeseen ways. Always test cleaning products in an inconspicuous spot first to make certain that the cleaner is not going to cause a bigger problem than the stain you are trying to clean.
Start with baby wipes. After testing baby wipes in an inconspicuous area and determining that they will not do any harm to your leather product, dab a wipe on the spot repeatedly and then start feathering out the moisture from the wipe so that the area being cleaned will not stand out from the rest of the leather surface. Baby wipes are a good product to begin with since they will clean several different kinds of stains and adds emollients to the leather which can help keep it supple. Follow your cleaning by applying a leather condition cream, following the directions on the product.
Try rubbing (isoprophyl) alcohol if the baby wipes do not remove the stain. Apply rubbing alcohol to a soft cloth and then dab at the stain on the leather and then feather out the rubbing alcohol in order to create a clean area that is of no particular shape so as to make it as inconspicuous as possible. Immediately following any alcohol cleaning it is imperative that you apply a leather condition cream to the entire leather product, following the cream manufacturer's instructions.
Rub antibacterial hand gel (soap) on the stain using your fingers if the baby wipes or the rubbing alcohol do not do the trick. Rub using a circular motion, covering an area larger than the stain. Wipe as much of the gel off as possible using a clean cloth, and then rub the entire piece of leather with a leather conditioning cream. Wipe off the cream and then reapply a new coating of cream and follow the manufacturer's directions for reconditioning your leather piece.
Use glass cleaner if all other products fail. Spray the stained area with Windex, allow it to soak for 60 seconds, and then wipe off the glass cleaner with a clean cloth. Wipe outward from the affected area in order to create an clean area that is of no particular shape so that it will be less conspicuous. Immediately after using glass cleaner apply a good cream leather conditioner, following the manufacturer's directions.
- After cleaning any leather it is a good idea to wipe on a good cream leather conditioner as most cleaning agents strip the leather of its moisture content and can cause it to crack or age prematurely.