Removing Milk Stains from Leather Shoes

How do I get milk stain out of my favorite leather shoes?

Sven from Snowmass, CO

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December 20, 20070 found this helpful

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE removes pretty much any ORGANIC stain. That means any stain that comes from a natural substance. Thus, It'll remove blood, red wine, hot cocoa, coffee or latte & grape "juice", but NOT grape "kool-aid" & won''t remove artificial colors or dyes.

The hydrogen peroxide works with oxygen fizzing out & eating up the milk. It leaves no residue, so no need to rinse it out. Just pour it on, let it fizz & do it's thing, repeat if necessary & blot with a clean white rag. On some things (like large wall to wall carpets with many stains) it's best to put the peroxide in a well marked small spray bottle & just spray it on the stains. Always test peroxide or ANY stain fighter in an inconspicuous area first!

---> The problem you'll have, is that you'll have a "water mark"... which you might already have from the milk. The peroxide could amplify that. Test the peroxide in an underneath or inside area first & let it dry to see how the leather (& it's dye) reacts. If it was me I'd think about using mink oil (or another product that soaks INTO the leather) to darken the WHOLE leather piece after removing the milk stain. This way you'll get rid of any "water marks" (or "milk marks" as the case may be...) Mink oil is NOT bad for leather as you may have heard... mink oil is very bad for the cotton or other fiber of the STITCHING...because it actually breaks down the stitching material faster. So be sure to NOT get any mink oil on the stitching.

*** If the piece of leather is expensive, & you're unsure, then first either buy a piece of leather scrap or go to a thrift store & buy an old leather coat, a leather belt or a purse & spot that with milk, let dry & then remove it with the peroxide... & see what happens. This way you'll make any mistakes of the sample piece first!

---> An old boyfriend of my had a VERY old & beat up leather coat... It looked like it was beyond repair... It was Totally trashed!... Anyway, I got it to looking like new with the same color of shoe polish (use black shoe polish for black leather or brown for brown leather, etc.) I first removed any organic grime with peroxide & any non-organic grime with cheap shaving cream. Then, I let the coat dry overnight & polished the whole thing just like it was a large shoe (with shoe polish). I then let the shoe polish dry & buffed it to a shine like you would a pair of shoes... This coat was so messed up I had to "shoe polish" it again, then re-buff it. But, this I'll tell you... When I was finished, he REALLY thought it was a new coat!... And since we rode the Harley all the time in the rain (Seattle weather) Each & every Autumn, I'd take our leather coats & chaps outside on the porch & hang them on a hanger & totally drench them with may coats of silicone. Yes, these days they'll tell you not to use silicone, (It can darken the leather) but I've been using silicone on my leather coats & shoes each fall for over 15 years, & the silicone works wonderfully to resist even the heaviest downpour if you put on enough coats of it. But NEVER use silicone on suede or micro fibers.

If you have any questions, go to a shoe repair shop & show them your leather piece & ask them what you should do... Shoe repair guys know their stuff!

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December 21, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Sven - the milk had a tiny bit of fat in it, so use something detergent, like a mild dish soap solution.

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March 6, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you so much. I spilled cranberry and grey goose on my red boots. There were water mark stains :(. I used hydrogen peroxide and it worked. I cannot thank you enough.

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