How to Remove Your Leather Coffee Stain

Sticky Leather

How to Remove Your Leather Coffee Stain

The black gold, they call it. The morning dew. Our sacred ambrosia. Et cetera, et cetera. If you’re a collar of any brew, chances are you’re filling up on this stuff like Garfield on a gourmet lasagna platter. It’s more than a commodity – coffee’s a culture. The tantalizing scent of roast coffee beans brewing is enough to drag even the most hardened sleeper out of bed faster than a spazzing alarm clock.

So what happens when it gets on leather?

You’ve probably noticed coffee stains stuff. Story’s no different for leather. Matter of face, leather coffee stains can be harder to clean than stains on most other materials. But don’t go putting on your Eeyore face – you’ve got a fixer-upper on your hands.

Snooze You Lose

Ideally, you’re going to want to get the leather coffee stain immediately after it’s spilled. Dab it with a soft, clean cloth. Don’t rub. Rubbing just pushes your coffee further into the leather’s pores, which is the opposite of fixer-upper-ing. Dab that leather coffee stain until you’ve gotten all you can get.

If the leather coffee stain has already set and dried, you’ll just skip straight to this next step: the leather cleaner. Make sure it’s a cleaner specifically designed for leather – those commercial varieties have pH levels that are to die for, and for leather I mean that literally. Cleaning agents often have an alkaline pH level, incompatible with leather’s more acidic flair. Set that stuff in, and you’re firing up a chemical reaction that will weaken your leather badly as the two forces try to neutralize each other. You can read a little more about this in our blog “Common Leather Care Mistakes.” We recommend you follow your leather manufacturer’s instructions when determining what to use on your leather, especially in suede’s case. If all else fails, you can try a homebrew treat I like: a concoction of mild soap and water, mixed together in a bowl until you’ve got lots of suds. Use these suds to clean the leather coffee stain (don’t get it too wet), and afterwards leave it to dry in a cool, indoors area away from sunlight and direct heat (“How to Dry Leather”). As a more potent alternative, Chamberlains has an alcohol-based deep cleaner, Straight Cleaner no. 2 that will pull out the deeper leather coffee stain plaguing your bag. Always test any leather treatment first in a discreet area before applying it to the whole item.

Douse and Rouse

Following leather cleaner, it’s always a good idea to give your leather some complimentary leather conditioner to restore all those lubricants it just lost while your cleaner was doing its thing. Leather Care Liniment no. 1 is a remarkable, all-natural recipe to try for this. Test it first like your leather cleaner, and apply it to the leather in thing, even layers using circular strokes. It’s particularly important to make sure the spread is even, or else you could end up with splotchy drying. Use a soft, lint-free cloth or applicator pad for this. Afterwards, let it dry in your familiar indoors location and buff the rest off. Voila!

As an alternative to leather conditioner, you can also use a water repellent, such as Chamberlain’s Water Protectant no. 3, to prevent coffee spills from damaging your leather in future. Water Protectant is a conditioner in addition to being a protector, so that bonus multi-feature stuff just made your job a whole lot easier.

If the leather coffee stain is still giving you problems, one more trick to try is corn starch. Sprinkle that stuff on and leave it overnight. Corn starch has very absorbent properties, and can pull stuff out of your leather pretty well. It might not get everything, but it will help remove the bothersome leather coffee stain at the surface. After the starch’s had a night to sit, lightly brush it off with a soft bristle brush and enjoy your handiwork.

Grab a Cuppa Joe

That’s a morning’s work well done, leathermancer. Keep the coffee pouring, but hopefully not spilling. Keep your leather away from places where it’ll be exposed to stuff like that. You’ll get the hang of it. You always do. I’ll see you next leather crisis!

Daniel Sutton

Got more leather questions? Suggest a blog topic to us here!