Cleaning hand sanitizer from leather: Does it stain leather?

2020 was the year everyone got to know the real importance of hand sanitizers. A time when it became more important to keep hand sanitizers in your bag than your wallet. Even now, hand sanitizer is a must while going out. While this item is great for giving you a sense of security and protecting your hands, it can cause as much damage to your bag. Especially if it is a leather bag.

Is hand sanitizer bad for leather?

Hand sanitizer has alcohol in it. While this may kill all the germs, it can also harm your bag if they come in contact. Alcohol present in the hand sanitizer has certain components that can damage the leather. It damages the color of the leather by harming the coating that covers it. This might become troublesome when we throw things inside our bags without a second thought. What can seem like just another day might become a nightmare if the hand sanitizer gets leaked onto the leather. If this does happen, there is potential for a stain to appear on your leather.

Alcohol is an organic chemical that can mix easily and evenly with oils. It is also miscible with other organic compounds. This allows hand sanitizers to damage leather due to the decomposing abilities of alcohol. It also results in the desiccation of the leather. Desiccation can occur due to the hydrating abilities of alcohol. Desiccating is removing moisture from something, which results in it becoming completely dry.

Depending on your leather type, the hand sanitizer’s effect is also different. The stains and the sanitizer leaves can be of different colors on different types of leather. These stains will look completely different on brown leather compared to white leather. Another problem can arise from leaving the hand sanitizer on the leather for a long period. The sanitizer will damage your leather if not removed as soon as possible. This can not only discolor the leather but also result in its cracking. So the best thing to do when hit with a situation like this is to act as fast as possible.

Fret not, however. If you are in that situation currently or fear that might be the case someday, then you have reached the right place, as we have some tips that help you save your leather from hand sanitizers!

Cleaning hand sanitizer from leather

If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where hand sanitizer has resulted in the demise of a part of your leather, here are some tips just for you.  

Leather Cleaner

This product is a blessing for your leather products. Any stains, hand sanitizer or not, will be wiped away with your leather clean and conditioner. It acts as a cleaning agent and removes all stains from your leather. It not only helps in clearing away hand sanitizer stains but also works to eliminate other stains. As a cleaning agent, it will also remove all signs of dust and grime from your leather. Another benefit of this product is that it can be used from time to time. It can be used to clean leather and make it look fine again anytime you find it needs a bit of cleaning.

Leather conditioner

This beauty gives the best results when used with leather cleaner. This will give your leather the original shine that it once had and make it as good as new. The conditioner’s main purpose is to bring the natural oils of the leather back. This will also help in preventing any future damage to your leather. This further means that the leather cracking will be prevented by applying this conditioner.

Dish Soap

This common household product can also be a lifesaver in our unfortunate situation. This is also a cleaning agent. The application method requires you to put some on your hand and make foam. Apply this foam on the sanitizer on the leather.

Coconut Oil

Another household item that can help you out is coconut oil. This is a natural protector of leather. It prevents any damage to the leather and helps bring back the shine that got lost along the way. It almost works the same as the leather conditioner.

Tooth Paste and White Vinegar

This is another easy method to clean sanitizer stains from the comfort of your home. This method is rather easy. All you have to do is use both toothpaste and white vinegar simultaneously. Mix and apply them to the stain. These two are also cleaning agents, removing your stains, dirt, and grime left behind.

Soap and Mink oil

Apply the soap lather to the stain first. After rubbing a bit, rinse it and dry it with a soft cloth to not damage or crack the leather. After that, apply the mink oil to the affected area. Mink oil is a rehydrating agent that can bring back your leather’s oils.

Rubbing Alcohol

This might come as contradictory, but this can also be a solution. Suppose the rubbing alcohol in the hand sanitizer has damaged some specific leather portion, whether it be your bag or sofa. In that case, you can use rubbing alcohol to mitigate the effect. This should only be tried if all else fails and should be your last resort.

If all the solutions mentioned above fail, apply this rubbing alcohol to the areas not affected by the hand sanitizer. This will discolor the rest of the leather as well. The purpose of applying the rubbing alcohol on the entire leather surface is to make the color on the surface even so that the stain is no longer visible and the entire surface will be the same color.

With these tips, you will not be afraid to bring your sanitizer close to your leather, as the problem can be solved quickly in no time! 

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