How to Get an Oily Stain Off a Leather Purse

by Kimbry Parker
Treat oil stains on leather at first sight for best results.

Treat oil stains on leather at first sight for best results.

You sat your favorite leather purse down right on top of a grease splatter, and now your once hip and chic purse looks a little less classy. There’s no need to toss it into the "donate" pile or give it to your daughter to play dress-up with, though. You can salvage your beloved bag if you attack the stain with the right products.

Blot the excess oil from the leather with a soft cloth. Don’t rub the cloth over the leather, instead, pat it onto the stain to avoid spreading the oil. Use a clean part of the rag after each blot, and continue blotting until no more oil soaks onto the cloth.

Cover the oily spot with talcum powder or cornstarch. Use a generous amount so it’s heaped on top of the stain. Rub the powder in lightly with your fingers.

Leave the powder on the purse for at least four hours, and preferably overnight. Shake off the excess powder, and then brush off the remaining powder with a soft cloth.

Wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove the powdery residue.

Mix warm water and few drops of grease-cutting dish detergent in a bowl.

Dampen a soft cloth with the soapy water solution and wipe down the stained area of the purse to remove any remaining oil that was drawn out of the leather by the powder. Rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth and dry it thoroughly.

Items you will need

  • Soft cloths
  • Talcum powder or cornstarch
  • Grease-cutting dish detergent
  • Bowl


  • Apply a leather conditioner to the purse after cleaning to restore moisture lost during the stain removal process. Follow the instructions on the bottle for using leather cleaner, as these will vary.

About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images