How Can I Get Red Wine Off of a Leather Jacket?

Naked or aniline leather jackets are unfinished and stain deeply.
... Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images

Unsurpassed in style stamina, a sleek leather jacket makes a long-lasting addition to any on-the-town outfit -- but despite its durability, stain resistance remains just out of reach. Amongst an imbibing crowd, red wine spills are bound to crop up, leaving your leathers less-than-perfect and not as easily laundered as your everyday apparel. Don't dash for the cleaner's just yet, however -- remove red wine stains yourself to keep your leather jacket looking luxurious.

Place a drop of water onto the jacket to determine the leather type. If the drop soaks into the leather instantly, the jacket is made from naked or aniline leather, which has no protective surface treatment and requires professional cleaning only. If the drop beads up on the surface of the jacket, the leather is semi-aniline and can withstand home treatment.

Blot the wet stain on a semi-aniline jacket with a white paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible. Do not press hard against the jacket.

Dip a clean, white paper towel in hydrogen peroxide and place the towel over the red wine stain. Place a glass or other heavy object on top of the towel to help press the peroxide into the leather.

Remove the towel after 30 minutes. If the stain remains, apply a new towel and leave it for another 30 minutes.

Mix enough baking soda into 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to make a paste, if the stain has not disappeared. Gently work the paste into the leather with a folded paper towel, then wipe it away.

Rub a small amount of white, foaming shaving cream into the leather, if the stain remains. Wipe away the shaving cream with a paper towel.

Dip the corner of a paper towel into distilled white vinegar, if the stain remains. Blot the towel against the stain to pick up any remaining color.

Rub a small amount of leather conditioner into the cleaned jacket with a soft cloth to restore its texture. Let the jacket dry for 24 hours before wearing.

  • Always test any cleaner on a small inside corner of the leather to determine whether it will remove the original color. Any color loss requires professional repair.

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.