How to Get Hand Sanitizer Out of Leather

Getting hand sanitizer out of leather can be a challenge in less than ideal situations. If you’re not careful, the alcohol in the sanitizer can dry out and damage the leather. In this article, we’ll show you how to get hand sanitizer out of leather without damaging it. We’ll also provide some tips for preventing this from happening in the first place. Let’s get started!

How to Get Hand Sanitizer Out of Leather

Many people use hand sanitizer because it’s effective, portable, and inexpensive. When you’re away from home or the office, there are few things more convenient than being able to clean your hands quickly with a pocket-sized product that takes up little space in your bag. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize that sanitizer is alcohol-based. Alcohol-based products can damage leather if they aren’t properly cleaned up afterward.

4 Effective Methods on How to Get Hand Sanitizer Out of Leather

Method 1: Use Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is considered one of the most effective ways of getting hand sanitizer out of a leather surface. The number one rule for using rubbing alcohol is that you have to test a small area beforehand. This method will not work for all types of leather, so if the cleaning does not occur, don’t even try further with this process.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Soft Cloth
  • Mild Dish Soap
  • Leather Conditioner
  • A Sponge
  • Water

Step 1:

At first, remove the hand sanitizer from the area with a clean cloth. If you’re uncertain how to remove it, try using some rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth and rub it gently in a circular motion.

Try using rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth

Step 2:

Once the hand sanitizer has been removed from your leather surface, soak a sponge in some warm water and add about ¼ teaspoon mild dish soap to the water. Squeeze out any excess liquid, so there isn’t too much on the sponge. Then slowly scrub at the affected areas where you applied hand sanitizer onto your leather surface for about five minutes or less.

Step 3:

After this process is done, leave your leather untreated and let it dry naturally. Once completely dry, use a soft cloth to buff or wipe your leather surface in circles until you are satisfied with the results. Lastly, apply some leather conditioner before using this area again.

Method 2: Using Olive Oil

Olive oil is another effective way how to get hand sanitizer out of leather due to its ability to break down oil stains. This method will not work for all types of leather surfaces, so be sure that it is safe for use on your particular kind of leather first. Otherwise, this process can be used on any other dry cleanable fabric instead if necessary.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Clean Cloth or Sponge
  • Water
  • Mild Dish Soap
  • Soft Cloth

Step 1:

The first thing you need to do is apply olive oil to the affected area. How much you use depends on how large an affected area you have and how long it will take for this process to be effective. Generally, about three to four teaspoons should work well enough. Then slowly rub the olive oil in a circular motion until the oil has entirely covered the hand sanitizer. Allow some time for that process to occur, and then let it sit overnight if possible.         

Step 2:

Try using a clean cloth or sponge with warm water and add about ¼ teaspoon mild dish soap into the water. Next, squeeze out any excess liquid to have a damp cloth/sponge. Then gently scrub the affected area in a circular motion for about five minutes or less.

Scrub the Affected Area in a Circular Motion

Step 3:

After this process, leave your leather untreated and let it dry naturally. Once completely dry, buff or wipe your leather surface with a soft cloth until you are satisfied with the results. If necessary, use some mild dish soap on another clean sponge to gently scrub away any residue left behind by hand sanitizer. Finally, apply some leather conditioner before using the area again.

Method 3: Using Toothpaste And Vinegar

This method is another way to remove hand sanitizer from the surface of leather. How well this process will work for you depends on how long it takes for your toothpaste and vinegar solution to take effect since different kinds of leather have other drying times.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Toothpaste (Non-gel Paste Preferred)
  • Vinegar
  • Clean Cloth or Sponge

Step 1:

Apply some non-gel toothpaste onto the affected area where you applied hand sanitizer onto your leather surface. How much toothpaste you use depends on how large an affected area you have, but generally, about ½ teaspoon should be enough for a small affected area. Then gently scrub the paste into the surface of your leather in a circular motion until the entire area is covered.

Step 2:

After this process, leave your leather untreated and let it dry naturally. How long you wait for this to occur depends on how quickly the toothpaste and vinegar solution takes effect. You can check if it’s ready by using a clean cloth or sponge with warm water and adding about ½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar into the water.

If your hand sanitizer stain has been successfully removed, you should see some bubbling occurring from where you applied hand sanitizer onto your leather surface. There are still trace amounts of oils present, so more time may be needed to altogether remove them before using a conditioner or any other product containing oils. How long this step takes will also depend on how large an affected area you have. Wait for the bubbling to stop before moving on to the next step if necessary.

Step 3:

Next, try using a clean cloth or sponge with warm water and add about ¼ teaspoon mild dish soap into the water. Then squeeze out any excess liquid to have a damp cloth/sponge. Next, gently scrub in a circular motion where you apply toothpaste and vinegar until you’ve covered all areas thoroughly.

How long this process should take again depends on how quickly your solution takes effect and how large of an area you’re cleaning. Also, different kinds of leather may require more time to dry entirely naturally after this process is complete.

Step 4:

Finally, apply some leather conditioner to the affected area. How long you need to wait before doing this process again depends on how quickly your solution takes effect and the drying time of your leather. Generally, about 24 hours should be enough for most kinds of leather, but feel free to check if any color changes or damage occur after an hour or two since that means that the surface isn’t fully dry yet.

How often you’ll need to use this method depends on how frequently you use hand sanitizer around your leather surface. If you’re content with spot cleaning it every 12 hours or so, then once should be fine in most cases but if not, try using conditioner more often until all signs of the hand sanitizer are gone for good.

Method 4: Using Leather Cleaner

This method is a more advanced version of the previous three since it’s an effective way to clean up hand sanitizer from leather if those methods don’t work. How well it will work again depends on how long the hand sanitizer residue has been present on your leather, so if you’ve tried any of the first three steps and didn’t seem to do the trick, then this solution can be a last resort for you.

Things You’ll Need: 

  • Leather Cleaner
  • Bucket or Spray Bottle (Optional)
  • Sponge/Cloth
  • Leather Conditioner (Optional)
  • Brush (Optional)
  • Water (To Rinse)

Step 1:

Before applying any leather cleaner to your affected area, clean it first with a damp cloth and some dish soap. This will remove the dirty layer of dirt and grime, which is trapping the hand sanitizer inside the material so that when you use leather cleaner, it can break apart this barrier and clean up whatever hand sanitizer remains within your leather.

First Clean With a Damp Cloth and Some Dish Soap

Step 2:

Using a sponge or cloth (a toothbrush or bottle spray comes in handy for this method), apply a small amount of leather cleaner directly to your leather piece, then let it sit on the surface for about thirty minutes. Of course, how long you need to leave depends on how badly hand sanitizer has been absorbed into your piece, so use your discretion. You’ll know it’s ready when you wipe the cleaner away and the dark blotches have vanished – if not, wait a few more minutes.

Step 3:

After letting the leather cleaner sit long enough to do its job, be sure to remove all of it by wiping it with a damp sponge or cloth since once it dries, you won’t be able to do anything about it later. How much water you need will depend on how much is used in step two, so don’t hesitate to slowly pour water onto your dirty area or dip your sponge into some, then squeeze out any excess liquid before applying to leather again. Afterward, leave your leather to dry.

Step 4:

If your leather didn’t seem to have any stains left behind after using the leather cleaner, you don’t need to worry about conditioning it with a different product. However, if there’s still some hand sanitizer staining present, then be sure to apply a layer of leather conditioner to complete this process and allow it to sit for thirty minutes before wiping clean. How much water you use again depends on how much conditioner you include, so use discretion when doing this. Leave your piece alone until completely dry afterward, then enjoy!

Apply a Layer of
Leather Conditioner

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Hand Sanitizer Come Out of Leather?

Leather goods are often treated with a special type of hand sanitizer that is designed to protect the material from water, dirt, and other contaminants. However, some people have reported that this hand sanitizer can also damage leather goods. If you notice any damage to your leather goods after using the hand sanitizer, it may be best to avoid using it in the future.

Can Hand Sanitizer Ruin Leather Seats?

Unfortunately, many people believe that hand sanitizer can ruin leather seats. This is not true, and there are a few reasons why. First of all, hand sanitizers do not contain any harsh chemicals or Detergents that could damage the finish on your seat. Second of all, most hand sanitizers are primarily composed of ethanol and ethyl alcohol which evaporates rapidly when exposed to air. As a result, it’s unlikely that you would be able to smell or see the effects of hand Sanitizing your seat with this type of product for an extended period of time.

Does Hand Sanitizer Leave a Stain?

While hand sanitizer does contain ingredients that can be harmful if ingested, it is unlikely to leave a stain. The most common ingredient in hand sanitizers is alcohol, which evaporates rapidly and would not be able to penetrate the surface of the skin long enough for there to be any residue.

Does Hand Sanitizer Bleach Clothes?

There is some debate surrounding this topic, but generally speaking hand sanitizer does not bleach clothes. The active ingredient in most hand sanitizers is chlorhexidine digluconate, which is a sulfonamide and antimicrobial agent. While it can kill bacteria on the skin surface, it will not damage fabric or remove stains.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. Four methods on how to get hand sanitizer out of leather. If one of these doesn’t work for you, keep trying until you find the solution that does. And remember to be gentle when cleaning your leather – you don’t want to damage it!

You may also like – How to remove sticky residue from leather.

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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