How to Remove Grease From Shoe Leather

Have you ever been in that frustrating situation where you’ve just polished your favorite leather shoes to a perfect shine, only to step in a grease puddle accidentally? Grease and leather are not friends; if left untreated, grease stains will set in and be a pain to remove. So let’s figure out how to remove grease from shoe leather.

With a few simple supplies, you can remove that grease stain and have your leather shoes look new again. The key is treating the stain as soon as possible before it fully penetrates the leather.

How to Remove Grease Stains From Shoe Leather at Home

The grease stain on your favorite shoe leather doesn’t have to be permanent. With a few household ingredients, you can get your shoes looking as good as new.

Baby powder and Cornstarch

First, absorb as much of the grease as possible.

Apply baby powder, cornstarch, or talcum powder directly to the stain. The powder will soak up the grease. It might also be a good time to find out if corn-starch soaks up odors.

Then, brush away the powder with a soft-bristled brush. You may need to repeat this step a few times to absorb stubborn grease stains fully.

Dish soap and water solution

Next, create a cleaning solution of dish soap and warm water.

Gently scrub the stain with an old toothbrush to lift any remaining grease from the surface of the leather. Rinse with water and pat dry with a clean cloth.

Use some Baking soda

It’s time to break out the big guns if the stain remains. Add a paste of baking soda and water to the grease stain. Let the paste sit for several hours or overnight.

The baking soda is a natural degreaser and will help lift the stain from the leather. Wipe away the paste and wash the area with dish soap and water.

Commercial shoe leather cleaners to remove grease stains

For tough grease stains on white leather shoes, use a commercial leather cleaner or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, and dish soap. Apply with a toothbrush and rinse well with water.

With some patience and persistence, you can get your leather shoes sparkling clean and grease-free using simple products found in your home.

Your freshly cleaned shoes will look so good that no one will ever know there was a grease stain!

Professional Cleaning and Conditioning for Grease Stains

If you want those grease stains out of your leather shoes for good, it’s time for the pros.

Take your shoes to a reputable shoe repair shop or leather specialist and have them deep-cleaned and reconditioned.

First, they’ll thoroughly clean the entire shoe using strong leather cleaners and degreasers to lift the grease and grime from the surface.

They’ll pay extra attention to the problem areas, scrubbing away caked-on grease and built-up stains.

Next, they’ll condition and rehydrate the leather.

Grease can strip the leather of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. A quality leather conditioner will restore suppleness and protect the leather.

They may also re-dye and re-finish the leather to restore color and provide a protective topcoat. For stubborn stains, they can spot-dye just the affected areas.

With the right techniques and products, they can match the color perfectly.

Professional cleaning and conditioning is the best way to thoroughly remove grease stains without damaging the leather.

Your shoes will come back looking new and feel soft and supple again. It may cost a bit, but saving your favorite leather shoes and keeping them looking their best is worth it.

Your leather shoes can provide years of lasting wear with regular at-home care and occasional professional cleanings.

Keeping them grease-free and properly maintained will ensure they stand the test of time.

FAQs: Removing Grease Stains From Leather Shoes

One of the most frequently asked questions is how to remove grease stains from leather shoes.

Here are some tips to help lift those pesky grease and oil spots from your leather kicks:

Act quickly

To start, act quickly. The faster you treat the grease stain, the more likely you’ll be able to remove it. Gently blot at the stain with a clean, soft cloth to absorb as much grease as possible. Do not rub the stain, as this can spread it and push it deeper into the leather.

Use a grease-fighting dish soap

Next, apply a grease-fighting dish soap, like Dawn, directly to the stain and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

The soap will help break down the grease and oils. Wipe away the soap with a damp cloth and check if the stain has lifted.

Some baking soda for the tough stains

Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the grease spot for tough stains.

The baking soda is highly absorbent and helps lift stains from leather. Let the paste sit until dry, then wipe it off. You can also try using cornstarch, talcum powder, or blotting paper.

Commercial leather stain remover can also do the trick

If the grease stain remains, try a commercial leather stain remover product available at most shoe repair stores.

Follow the directions carefully and test in an inconspicuous area first to check for colorfastness.

As a last resort for persistent grease stains, you may need to have the shoes professionally treated by a leather expert or dry cleaner specializing in leather goods.

They have industrial cleaners and techniques to remove even the most stubborn stains without damaging the leather.

With patience and persistence, you can return your leather shoes to look like new. But remember, always treat grease stains promptly for the best results.

Your leather shoes will thank you!


These simple steps are to banish those pesky grease stains from your favorite leather shoes and make them look as good as new.

With some dish soap, water, cornstarch, or talcum powder, you’ll be stepping out in style again.

Leather shoes can be an investment, so it’s worth caring for them properly. Now you’ve got the knowledge and confidence to tackle any grease or oil spills that come your way.

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