How to Stop Leather From Bleeding

If you’ve ever tried to dye or paint leather, it can be a bit tricky. Leather is known for bleeding, and if not done correctly, the paint or dye can look splotchy. In this article, we’ll show you how to stop leather from bleeding so that your project turns out looking great!

How to Stop Leather From Bleeding

Leather is made of animal skin and, like human skin, is made up of several layers. The top layer is called the grain side, and it’s what we usually see on leather. When you’re working with paint or dye on leather, this is the surface that soaks in the colors or dyes. So, if you want an even color throughout your project, know where to apply the dye/paint on the leather to achieve this result.

Things You’ll Need

  • Clean, dry cloths
  • Paper towels
  • Leather sealer
  • Soft brush
  • Sponge

How to Stop Leather From Bleeding Color Stepwise Guide

Step 1: Before Start to Clean the Leather

Before starting to clean the leather, it is essential to know that leather can get wet or stained by water and several other things. Hence, it would help if you bought a sealer for your leather piece, which you want to take care of from now on. After this procedure, make sure that all the stains are completely dry and the surface of your leather is smooth. If any scratches or cracks are caused due to humidity or other environmental factors, apply some moisturizer over it. This will bring back the old look and feel of your product.

Step 2: Prepare Yourself For The Task At Hand!

In this step, before starting cleaning the leather, ensure that you have prepared yourself for the task. Be sure that you have turned off any electrical devices or switches nearby to prevent any shock. After this, move all your furniture around and clean the area where you’ll work over a non-abrasive surface. This will make it easier for you to finish faster and help prevent your leather from getting destroyed.

Move all furniture around and clean the area

Step 3: Clean The Leather

After carefully choosing your product’s type of cleaner, apply it on a dry cloth and start polishing the stained/dirty area of the leather piece cautiously with circular motions till it starts shining again. If there is a deep wound, try to heal it by using some moisturizer or leather balm. If the damage is too severe, then only apply the cleaner over it and leave it for about 15-20 minutes till you can see that the area has dried up. Now, take a dry cloth and gently rub off this part of the product’s surface to remove any mark or scratch that might have been caused while cleaning its surface.

Step 4: Applying Leather Sealer To Protect It

After cleaning the leather, you need to apply some leather sealer over it in this step. This will protect your product from all kinds of external stains or damage. Leather sealers are available in several forms, such as sprays, creams, waxes, etc. When applying any leather conditioner, always remember that a little goes a long way, so dab a small amount on your sponge and wipe it gently over the entire surface of your product. Keep rubbing till the cleaner starts drying up. This is a crucial step in how to stop leather from bleeding.

Dab a small amount and wipe

Different Types Of Sealers For Your Product:

Wax: One of the most commonly used products to protect the leather from stains and water. It is also the cheapest sealer compared to other forms of leather protectors.

Oil: Oil-based leather sealers are great for providing all the benefits of a wax-based product over a more extended period without any side effects or damage to your valuable product. These products also offer water resistance with exceptional results, making them perfect for large pieces such as sofas, armchairs, etc.

Clay Based Leather Sealer: Its properties make it one of the best options for sealing your expensive piece of furniture or car seats. One can even add up different types of clay to shine up the entire surface while giving it a good look and feel, which will make you fall in love with your product all over again.

Cream: Cream-based leather conditioners are designed to moisturize your product’s surface while giving it a look and feel of genuine leather, making you want to sit on it or use it very often.

Ensure that when applying any leather sealer, you always check its compatibility before using it on your valuable product to avoid any damage or stains in the future.

Step 5: Dry It

After applying the sealer or moisturizer, leave it for about 5-10 minutes, and then use a dry cloth to clean off the leather surface. You should start cleaning from one end of your product to avoid any damage or extra time involved due to bringing all the furniture back into its original position.

Use a dry cloth to clean leather surface

If there are any water stains left on your leather product even after using some wax or leather balm over it, then do not worry because all you need to do is spread some talcum powder over its surface and dab an old toothbrush or sponge in some strong bleach. After this, scrub gently at the stain with circular motions until it starts disappearing from your product’s surface. Next, clean off the product’s surface with a dry cloth and thoroughly apply the leather sealer.

Step 6: Maintain and Store

After using your product for a long time, most leather surfaces tend to lose their original shine and start looking very dull. This is where you need to apply some leather polish over the surface of your valuable product to restore its shine and provide an extra layer of protection against any stains or water damage.

Leather polish is available in different forms such as creams, sprays, soaps, etc., which can be easily found at any local furniture store or market near you. Before applying this cleaner, make sure that you read all the instructions mentioned on its label carefully to avoid damaging it further by using some wrong methods. These steps will help in how to stop leather from bleeding.

Additional Tips

Use a Damp Cloth to Remove Surface Stains
  • Moisture can break down dye molecules in the leather, making them unstable and causing them to leach out of the material more quickly during future cleanings or wet periods.
  • Also, remember that most modern boots have a sprayed-on finish which helps protect the material from dirt and water damage – but also serves to seal in any dye that may come loose from the inside of your boot. These sprays should not be removed without good reason – they serve as an essential protective barrier between your skin and the leather underneath.
  • To clean your leather – Use a damp cloth to remove surface stains and grime, then use a brush or scrubbing action with a soft bristle brush on stubborn dirt. Don’t soak the material; get it good and damp. Use a stain removing agent to treat particularly troublesome stains.
  • Afterward, let the product dry thoroughly in a warm, well-ventilated room. Many people recommend letting products air dry by placing them on top of sheets or blankets hung over chairs or other pieces of furniture so that airflow can reach all sides of the footwear while they dry indoors, away from direct sunlight.
  • Test a small inconspicuous spot first to ensure the color doesn’t run or bleed.

Why Is My Leather product Bleeding?

The first step to understanding why your leather is bleeding is how leather is produced. Most quality upholstery and furniture are made with natural animal hides obtained through various methods of slaughtering animals, such as beef cattle, goats, pigs, etc. Then, natural tannin is used for tanning these hides into soft, supple leathers for use in most handbags, belts, shoes, or any other finished well.

If you have ever had a pair of shoes where the color starts to rub off before wearing them even once, it could be caused by the tannins leaking from its fibers, causing color loss on anything they come into contact with.

Leather Bleeds for Two Reasons:

The first reason is the lack of finish or preservative on the hide before it is processed. This causes the fibers to become porous, meaning they are more absorbent. Good quality leathers are appropriately finished with a protective coat that stops stains from penetrating the fibers and makes it easier to clean tough marks off your furniture upholstered piece.

Good Quality Leathers
Are Appropriately Finished

The second reason is that some animal hides are more absorbent than others. So if the leather is left untreated, it will start to bleed, especially after water spills on the furniture’s surface. This happens most often with leather bar stools or any other piece where you are likely to spill liquids on it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Leather Bleed?

Every piece of leather is unique and will react differently to different types of liquids and chemicals. That being said, most leather experts would say that, in general, leather does not bleed easily. If you are concerned about staining or damage to your leather items, it is best to avoid using any liquid or chemical products on them.

Can Leather Dye Come Off?

Yes, the Leather dye can come off over time. Depending on the type of leather dye and how often it is exposed to water or other liquids, it may be difficult to remove. Some dyes are more stubborn than others, but in general, most colors will eventually wash away with soap and warm water. If you’re concerned that your leather dye might not be removable, always test a small area first before applying it to your entire piece of clothing.

Can You Remove Blood From Leather?

Yes, you can remove blood from leather by using a dry cleaner. Simply blot the area with a dry cloth and then wait until the bleeding stops before wiping it down with a fresh cloth to avoid any further staining.

Will Leather Ruin if It Gets Wet?

Leather is a durable material that can withstand a lot, but if it does get wet, be sure to treat it with care. By treating your leather properly, you can avoid damage and keep your leather looking its best. Here are four tips for caring for your leather:

1) Keep Your Leather Away From Water: If you’re going to wear or use your leather outdoors, make sure it’s not exposed to water. Instead, let the rain or sweat dry off the surface. Likewise, avoid any spills or humidity that might rise up from the ground and stain your skin-friendly material.

2) Use a Good Conditioner: After every washing cycle (or whenever there is evidence of moisture), apply an effective conditioner designed specifically for leather garments. This will help remove dirt and dust as well as protect against future water damage and fading.

3) Apply Armour Post-Wetting: If you do happen to get wet while wearing your jacket or pants made out of leather materials (even if they have been treated beforehand), be sure to place some form of armor on top – like a raincoat – in order to prevent vital organs from being hit by stones/splinters when walking through cobblestone streets! And finally…


Leather is a popular material for upholstery, clothing, and accessories because of its durability and natural beauty. However, One common problem with the leather is that it can easily bleed onto other fabrics if it’s not treated correctly, creating an unsightly mess. In this article, we outlined some steps on how to stop leather from bleeding so you can avoid any disasters in your home.

You may also like – How to finish soft leather edges.

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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