Leather looks fantastic, and dyeing leather can transform any leather item, from a couch or sofa to a jacket, bag or shoes. However, leather dye running or transferring means your much-loved item loses some lustre and great looks.
Knowing how to stop the leather dye from transferring is helpful, and there are several ways you can prevent dye transfer on leather furniture, a leather jacket and all leather items.
Stopping leather dye from transferring
If you are worried about leather dye transferring, there’s a few different methods to care for leather properly and to prevent leather dye rub.
Use a sealant as a leather protectant
A highly effective way to prevent dye running or rubbing off is to use a sealant. This product might be called a protector or a water proofer, but they all do the same job.
By creating a barrier between your leather and whatever comes into contact with it, your leather is protected from water, dirt and all loose debris. These items play a role in staining or leather dye running, so a reliable sealant minimises the chances of this occurring.
Using a leather conditioner maintains its condition
Much like a sealant, a leather conditioner adds a layer of protection to your leather, minimising damage and the likelihood of dye transferring. Please choose a conditioner designed for your type of leather, as this will provide more protection.
As with all conditioners, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions before applying them to maintain the condition of your leather for longer.
Clean your leather regularly
As stated, dirt, debris and much lead to leather dye rubbing or running, so the cleaner your leather is, the better. Pay attention to your leather sofa, clothing, or accessories when you dust or vacuum around the house.
You can buy a leather cleaner
Be on the lookout for spillages or stains, and try to clean and remove them as quickly as possible. You can invest in leather cleaning and conditioner products to help maintain the condition of your leather, but a regular cleaning schedule is a fantastic starting point.
You can also use white vinegar to clean leather furniture with a damp cloth.
Remove stains quickly with a damp cloth
A fresh stain is much easier to remove than one which has settled in, so be on the lookout for new marks, and act accordingly.
A simple way to attack a stain is by using a damp cloth to blot out the area, but commercially available leather cleaners and conditioners are available. With a stubborn stain, consider using saddle soap.
You can also buy leather cleaning kits which contain a range of products, including sanding paper, which is sometimes required if there is a particularly stubborn stain.
Keep your leather dry as best as you can
Now, while it is essential to clean your leather materials regularly, you also want to keep them dry. Wet leather is far more prone to transferring dye, so it makes sense to keep your leather belongings as dry as you can.
When you clean leather, use a mild soap, try not to scrub or rub too hard, and dry the leather as best you can with soft parts with a clean towel or cloth.
Store the leather appropriately, especially leather shoes and handbags
For smaller leather items, such as shoes or handbags, it is advisable to store them in a cool and dry place. For additional protection, wrap leather items in a towel or cotton sheet.
Avoid placing leather in direct sunlight
It is best to avoid placing any leather in direct sunlight or sources of heat. For leather sofas or couches, avoid placing them by the window or where the sun floods into your living area.
Not every cleaning product is suitable for dyed leather
When cleaning leather, it is best to avoid ammonia-based cleaning products, which typically include window cleaners, floor polishing waxes, furniture polish, drain cleaners, bathroom cleaners, multi-surface cleaners, glass cleaners, mirror cleaners, oven cleaners and stainless steel cleaners.
The title of many of these products should ensure you don’t apply them to leather goods and sensitive surfaces, but when you’re looking for a quick cleaner, you might grab whatever is at hand.
Why is leather dye transferring a problem?
When leather dye transfers, your leather item loses some of its aesthetic charms, and the dye stains another item.
What causes leather dye transference?
Many factors cause leather dye transfer, including body oils, pollution, sunlight and water. Water is the most likely cause, as when water touches leather, dye molecules are impacted, breaking down and washing away.
Also, some dyes are more likely to suffer from water damage than others. Aniline leather, a dye made from a single colourant, is far more likely to fade and run than corrected-grain leather. This is because corrected-grain leather contains a coating which helps seal the dye in place.
Stop leather dye transfer from ruining leather furniture
Given the most common causes of leather dye transferring, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of staining.
On top of all the solutions above to stop dye transference, being more careful with food and liquids on a leather couch or sofa is particularly helpful. Many people find avoiding eating or drinking on or around leather reduces the likelihood of leather running.
Similarly, avoid prolonged exposure between skin and leather to minimise body oils impacting leather dyes.
Bleeding dye will happen, as will dye rubbing off
Of course, accidents happen, and at times, you cannot help but bring your leather clothing or sofa into contact with your skin.
When you cannot prevent the factors which lead to leather dye running, follow the tips to stop the transfer process, and you’ll enjoy a great-looking leather sofa, clothing or accessory for many years to come.
Also, remove excess dye after you dye leather furniture, and there is less chance of dye transfer later. If you follow these simple tips, your leather dyes should remain where they are.