How to Remove Grease Stains from Leather


Kelli asked: How do I clean butter from leather boots? I dripped melted butter onto my leather boots and can’t get it off. Can you help?

Grease and oil stains can be tricky to remove from leather. The residue left behind seems to leave a permanent mark. Use the method below to draw the grease out of the leather and remove the stain for good.

You Will Need:

  • Talcum powder
  • Lint free soft cloths (microfiber cloths work well)

Steps to Remove the Stains:

  1. Try to treat the stain immediately.
  2. Blot the stain with a microfiber cloth. Remove as much of the grease as possible.
  3. Cover the stain liberally with talcum powder.
  4. Allow the powder to sit on the stain overnight. The powder will draw the grease and moisture out of the leather.
  5. In the morning, brush off the powder and the stain will be gone.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Similar to the grain of wood, leather has a “lie” or a line of texture to it. If possible, apply any cleaning products following the lie. If you can’t see the direction of the texture, work from the outside of the stain towards the center.
  • If the leather is not protected, the grease will soak in and will be nearly impossible to remove completely. Treating the stain immediately is your best bet for any chance of removing the stain. Once set, you may be able to lighten it with the method above.
  • If the leather has a protective finish on it, a water-based leather cleaner should remove the stains. Apply the cleaner following the package guidelines.
  • Once clean, apply a stain guard to the leather surface. This will allow for easier clean up and stain removal for future spills.


  1. Absolute crock…waste of time.

  2. Preparation H. Didn’t realize it until the next day. Is this stain ever going to come out? A REAL pain in the butt.

  3. Didn’t work. It’s a bad hot butter stain. Looks like I’ll be staining the boots with butter so at least the color matches. Thank goodness I don’t have a dog.

  4. This almost removed the dark stain completely on my leather bag, which I treated about after two days. I also covered the talcum with plastic to keep it dry from the humidity.

  5. I used a really fine face powder on my synthetic leather and it worked like a charm! I worked the powder in with my fingers in small circular motions. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. I spilled fat on leather shoes two weeks ago and just left them -is it to late to try and remove it

  7. I got a realy bad butter stain on my boots of Spanish leather. I tried using talc to no avail (it was a lot of butter – about half a pound). In the end I used a blow torch to burn the butter off. Worked a treat, now you can’t see the butter stain for the big burn hole.

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