How to Remove Soda Stains from Leather


If you've got a favorite leather couch, jacket or a leather-lined desk, chances are that you've spilled a soft drink on it at some point. Often, the soda will dry and leave a stain behind. In most cases the stain is easy to remove, especially if you've spilled a clear soda on finished leather. If you've spilled a dark soda on a light surface or if the leather was unfinished, you can still remove the stain, but more preparation and care are needed to produce positive results.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Mild liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Cloths
  • Pencil eraser
  • Very-fine sandpaper
  • Suede brush
  • Suede conditioner

Finished Leather

  • Use a paper towel to soak up as much of the soda as possible.

  • Mix one cup of water with one drop of mild liquid dishwashing detergent.

  • Dampen a clean cloth with the mixture and wipe the surface of the soda-stained leather. Do not wet the leather too much as this will cause watermarks to develop.

  • Dampen a clean cloth in clear water and rub it over the surface of the affected area. This will rinse the soap residue off of the leather.

  • Dry the area with a clean cloth immediately. This will help prevent watermarks from forming on the leather.

Unfinished Leather

  • Use a clean cloth to pick up as much of the soda as possible. If the stain is removed skip to step four.

  • Rub a pencil eraser gently over the stain to remove it. If the stain is removed, skip to step four.

  • Rub a piece of very fine sandpaper carefully over the stain if it is still there. This will remove the top layer of the unfinished leather along with the stain. This should be done carefully.

  • Brush the unfinished leather with a suede brush to restore the nap of the leather. If the leather feels stiff, apply a suede conditioner to the surface of the leather and brush it in with the suede brush.

Tips & Warnings

  • Run your hand over the surface of the leather to tell if it is finished or unfinished. Finished leather will have the same appearance while unfinished leather will change its appearance when you touch it. Generally, shiny leathers are finished. All suede leathers are unfinished.
  • Attack the stain as soon as possible. The longer the stain is allowed to sit, the harder it will be to remove.
  • Many couches or shirts are made of faux suede that can be machine-washed. Read the tag or care instructions to determine if it is real leather.
  • Use care when using an eraser or sandpaper on your leather as it can make a hole if used too vigorously.

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  • Photo Credit glass of soda image by Kalani from
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