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How to remove oil stains from a leather jacket

Updated February 21, 2017

Wearing a leather jacket is definitely a fashion statement. If you accidentally dripped oil on your leather jacket, you would want to remove the oil stain as soon as possible. You can't just throw a leather jacket into the washing machine, and some dry cleaners don’t clean leather jackets, as they might damage the material. However, with some simple household items, you can remove the oil stain from your leather jacket.

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  1. Sprinkle an absorbent substance such as baby powder, cornstarch, or salt onto the oil stain.

  2. Let the substance sit on the oil stain for an hour. The substance will absorb the oil from the leather jacket.

  3. Brush the absorbent substance off gently.

  4. Test the dry-cleaning solvent. Apply the solvent to a small area of your leather jacket that cannot be seen when you wear it. If the solvent removes colour or damages the leather in any way, at least the damage will not be visible.

  5. Place the oil stained portion of your leather jacket face down on a clean, dry paper towel.

  6. Pour the dry-cleaning solvent onto a soft cloth. Dab the cloth on the back of the leather where the stain is until the stain is no longer visible. Replace the paper towel with a clean one if it becomes wet with the solvent.

  7. Hang the leather jacket to dry.

  8. Squeeze toothpaste onto your finger. The cleaning and polishing qualities of toothpaste make it a great stain remover, especially for leather because it does not damage the material. Toothpaste absorbs the oil and removes any discolouration. Do not use a gel-type toothpaste.

  9. Rub the toothpaste onto the oil stain. Let it sit on the oil stain for 2 to 3 minutes.

  10. Wipe the toothpaste off with a paper towel.

  11. Tip

    Leaving the stain on the jacket too long will allow it to set and make it more difficult to remove.


    Work in a well-ventilated area when using strong cleaning solutions.

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Things You'll Need

  • Baby powder, cornstarch, or salt
  • Paper towels
  • Dry-cleaning solvent
  • Soft cloth
  • Toothpaste

About the Author

Adam Raphael

Adam Raphael has been writing technical and health-related articles for a variety of online sources for five years. His articles have appeared on a variety of popular blogs and other websites.

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