How to Clean Dye Transfer Off Leather

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dish soap

  • White vinegar

  • Sponge

  • Soft cloths

  • Leather conditioner (optional)


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

Dye transfer can ruin the clean look of a white leather couch.
See More Photos

Dye transfer occurs when a colored dye bleeds onto another piece of fabric. This usually happens when garments of contrasting colors, 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.


Video of the Day

Step 1

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

Step 2

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


Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Step 5

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