Can You-Bleach-Leather-How-to-Bleach-Leather-Shoes–Jacket

Can You Bleach Leather? How to Bleach Leather Shoes – Jacket

Bleaching is often seen as the go-to method to lighten different fabrics. But chlorine bleach is not the safest chemical to use for many fabrics.

Can you bleach leather? Yes, you can bleach leather if you use a special bleach called oxalic acid. This solution is designed to make leather and wood lighter. Chlorine bleach and ammonia will ruin the fabric if you go for that common alternative. Just follow the directions to find the best application.

To learn more about bleaching leather just continue to read our article. It lets you know the best ways you can bleach this classy and expensive material without ruining it. You spend a lot of money on the material, there is no sense in wasting it by using cheap methods or materials.

What Happens When You Bleach Leather


If you use the wrong bleaching chemical, you will ruin your leather skirt, wallet, shoes, and so on. Chlorine bleach and ammonia should be avoided at all costs even though they are quick solutions to your leather color problem.

If you want the bleaching done right and your leather left unharmed then you need to turn to one of two options. The first option is leaving the leather out in the sun. This method does not add any harmful chemicals to your leather item but it does take a long time to bleach out the color.

The second method would be to use leather bleach which is safe for the fabric. It needs to be diluted first before application and if you want a lighter color just add more bleach to the mixture.

Be careful as the water may turn the material darker as you work to make it lighter. Chlorine bleach and ammonia will ruin the fabric even if you dilute those chemicals a lot.

Will Bleach Discolor Leather?

The wrong bleach will discolor the leather material and make sure you end up at your favorite leather outlet to get anew leather clothing item. This is not a safe option to use when you want to lighten the color on your nice skirt, dress, jacket, or even shoes and handbag.

Also, bleach can damage the material making it totally unwearable. The type of damage will depend on the quality of the leather, the type of processing it went through, and other factors.

This applies to those car seats you own that had beer, soda, or some other liquid on them. It is easy to reach for the bleach because it is a great stain remover. But that would be the wrong decision to make.

When removing stains from leather seats, wipe the liquid up as quickly as possible, then vacuum the area if you can. The vacuum will get the dirt out from the cracks and crevices but make sure not to push too hard as the attachment may scratch the material.

After vacuuming, use a good cleaner made for leather but avoid the bleach. After cleaning, use a leather conditioner to get the material back into shape.

Will Bleach Lighten Leather?


Yes but you may not like the results once you are done applying and removing the bleach from the material. Chlorine bleach will not provide the lightening results you are trying to reach. Neither will ammonia.

If you have to bleach your leather, then use a leather bleach that won’t harm the material nor make it look like someone spilled a chemical on it. When you use this type of bleach or Oxalic acid, as it is known by, you will or should get the desired results.

Of course, you may have to add more bleach to the mixture to really lighten the material up. When the bleach dries, you remove the residue by wiping the area with a damp cloth. You do not want to use too much water as that may darken the area again and ruin your hard work.

This is a delicate process as leather is not a good material to be bleaching. So many things can go wrong especially when you try to remove any stains before bleaching the fabric to make to lighter. Make sure to follow all instructions carefully.

Can You Bleach Leather Shoes?

It is possible to bleach leather shoes but when chlorine or some other non-leather bleach is used you should only attempt this process on white leather footwear. The results you get when you apply the solution to darker colors may not be that attractive.

The key to using bleach in this situation is to make sure it is really diluted. The equation is one part bleach to 5 parts water. Any stronger and you run the risk of turning your white leather shoes a yellowish tint.

It is not the most recommended solution to use. There are alternatives like Murphy’s wood oil soap or you can try using toothpaste, baking soda, and other fine non-chemical alternatives.

Of course, as we have said previously, you should really use a leather bleach when wanting to lighten your leather shoes. Your footwear stays intact and you can get the desired tint without running the risk of ruining them.

As with bleaching any leather and using any leather product, make sure you follow the instructions to the letter. The deviation may not produce the result you want.

How To Bleach Leather White


The best way is to use oxalic acid which is a leather bleach designed to protect the material as you clean it or remove the color. But before you do that, you need to apply a deglazer to get the leather finisher off the material.

You do that by using a clean cloth and dip it into the liquid and then rub it on your shoes. Then use a clean cloth to remove the deglazer once it dries. This will remove the top finishing coat. Keep rotating the cloth so you can use a clean section all the time.

Now mix the oxalic acid with water by following the directions on the packaging. Then wipe the shoes with the mixture first. Let dry before doing anything else. If you do not get the desired results doing the bleaching this way, soak the shoes in the mixture in 10-minute segments.

Let dry after every 10 minutes until you get the results you are looking for. There is some risk to this step though.

Can You Bleach a Leather Sofa?

Again the answer will be yes you can. You can try the slow method and put your sofa out in the sun and let its rays do their lightening work. But the problem with this method is that it may take weeks or months to get to the desired color tone you want.

Or you can go a little faster and mix about 30 mls (1 oz) of the oxalic bleach with 2 cups of water and rub the bleach onto your sofa. This will still take some time but not as long as using the sun method.

Other cleaning solution options are mixing 1 part vinegar with 2 parts linseed oil, or 1 part liquid dishwashing soap and 5 parts water; and finally 1/2 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup vinegar.

You may have success with all three or just one of the three options. The quality of the leather will also influence your results. The key will be to not use too much water as that can stain the leather as you work to remove the color.

Will Bleach Ruin Leather Seats?


Yes, it will. Leather seats are no different from any other leather product and the chlorine bleach will definitely ruin your leather seats. If not damaging it, it will discolor it, especially if you use too much bleach in the cleaning solution.

This should apply to all those detergents that have bleach as one of their ingredients. No one has said anything about oxygen bleach and leather so far but that is also a chemical you need to avoid when bleaching leather.

A good alternative would be a 50-50 mixture of water and bleach but you still run the risk of having the water stain the material. When it comes to bleach make sure to get the kind that is made to work on leather.

Anything else will not help your material look good. Instead, it will lower the value and spoil the look of your room.

How To Bleach Leather Furniture

Generally, you should mix enough oxalic acid with water and either rub the mixture onto your leather furniture or spray it on. The latter may give you a more even coverage. Let the mixture dry before wiping the residue off with a damp cloth. Water is going to be the main risk here as it will damage the furniture if too much is applied.

The more oxalic acid you use the lighter the color will become. So make sure you know the tint you want before you start the process. You do not want to go too far in lightening as there is no way to neutralize the solution until it dries.

Plus, you can either add more oxalic acid to the mixture if your results are not what you want. Or you can just repeat the process using the same amounts of water and the acid.

Will Peroxide Bleach Leather?


Peroxide mixed with sodium gives you oxygen bleach. This type of bleach, along with ammonia and chlorine bleach, isn't recommended to clean or bleach leather. Peroxide has its many great uses but working on leather is not one of them.

But peroxide by itself may be a good bleaching solution when you want to change the color of your leather furniture or outfits. It is a safe solution to use and won’t bring any toxic chemicals to your family’s clothing or your home’s seating areas.

With that said, we did not find any lists that included this solution for bleaching leather. It is safe to say that when you use this option you are using it at your own risk. Everyone’s results may be different so be careful when using it.

If you have any of that liquid lying around, you can use it to clean off the rust from your tools if you follow the instructions correctly.

How To Bleach Leather With Oxalic Acid

By now you should know that this is the preferred bleach to use on leather. This oxalic bleach is made to work on leather and not do the material any harm. It is also safe to use as it should not harm your fingers or add toxic chemicals to clothing. But wear gloves to be on the safe side.

When you mix about 30 ml or 1 fluid ounce with 2 cups of water, you should be able to bleach different leather products without worry. Make more if the leather surface you want to bleach is large.

When using this option, you can repeat it as necessary when the first application did not provide the color tone you wanted. Or you can add in more of the oxalic acid and do a better job. Trial and error will be your guide in this situation as there is no way to control the lightening process.

Can You Bleach Faux Leather?


It is not recommended that you use bleach to clean or lighten faux leather. The reason for this is that bleach will really dry the material and change the structure of the fabric. Plus, it will become more vulnerable to marks in the future.

Bleach may be good for some fabrics but it certainly does not work for them all. Also, bleach may cause the faux leather to crack as well as compromising the surface of the material allowing the damage to go deeper than it normally would have.

When looking to clean your faux leather the question would I put this cleaner on my skin is the key to finding the right solution to keep faux leather clean. If the answer is in the negative then you shouldn’t use it on the items made from faux leather.

When you are considering bleaching leather or even faux leather, it may be better if you just went out and bought a new item in a lither color. While it robs you of the joy of bleaching the fabric, it will save you a lot of headaches. Plus, if you make a mistake bleaching you will have to run out and get a new item anyways.

Does Leather Bleach in The Sun

Yes, it does and in fact, this is one method that is the cheapest and safest to use. Why is that? Because the sun takes its time and you can pull your leather items inside at any time to stop the bleaching process in its tracks.

The only drawback to this option is that it may take several months before you get to the shade of color you want. That means the leather item or piece of furniture may get dirty in the process and make you clean it before setting it outside in the sun again.

Even though it is an easy and cheap process, you may spend more time doing other expensive and time-consuming activities just to get the right tone. This is actually the last resort bleaching process when you do not have the money to use other quicker methods.

How To Get a Bleach Stain Out of Leather


This is not as easy as it sounds as bleach has removed the dye color and no cleaning solution can restore that shade. So one option would be to use a permanent marker if the stain is small. This option allows you to color in the white and make the fabric darker and almost close to the original color.

Or you can use shoe polish if the color of the polish is almost an exact match if not an exact match. Rub it on like you would when polishing your shoes but remember that the polish doesn't go deep. It may rub off sooner than expected and make a mess of the clothes the user was wearing.

The best and safest way to handle a bleach stain is to call in the pros. They have the materials and the experience to make sure the stain disappears.

Some Final Words

Leather is a hardy material but it does get stained and dirty. The go-to solution is usually using bleach to get the stains out or lighten the fabric. That would be the wrong move to make.

To make sure you get the right results, use a bleach that is specifically made for leather fabrics. That is the best way to go or call a professional to do the job for you.

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