Removing lotion or oil stains from faux leather

So… I just bought these tan, faux leather flats from target yesterday and went to put them on for the first time after a shower and looked down to see stains on one of them!! I haven’t even worn them yet and I ruined them.


I googled all sorts of different questions and couldn’t find a good answer. I began just blotting it to see if I could absorb any of the lotion but that didn’t do anything. I wiped them off with a wet washcloth, nothing. I began soaping both of them (my moms advice to do the other so they would inevitable match if I couldn’t get them back to normal) and still- nothing.  I used some of my facial toner because there’s alcohol in there, and alcohol absorbs oil but nothing happened except that I removed some of the shoe color. Whoops.
So I glanced over to my jar of baking soda that I keep on my bathroom counter for exfoliation. Hmm.. Salt absorbs oils and baking soda is sodium based so…let’s see what that does. I moistened my finger and rubbed the spots with my wet finger, then dipped my finger in baking soda and lathered up the spots. I let it sit for a minute or so and ‘rinsed’ with a damp wash cloth. The stain was still there but faded.
I repeated this a couple times, each time fading it a tad. Then I went downstairs and had an epiphany. Dish soap. Dish soap cuts grease! Maybe it will cut lotion too..? So I soaked a paper towel in water and doused it with dish soap. I scrubbed the stains (and the other shoe-per moms advice) and let that sit for a minute or so. Then I used a wet paper towel and scrubbed again, removing the soap.
The stain was gone. Haha! Take that cheap shoe!!
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  • Reply Adaeze G. June 1, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Hi, love your blog! I was wondering did the stain come back or did this work? I just got something(I believe oil) on my boots and am going crazy to get it off. I seen another post of you wearing these flats and the stain was on the shoes.. ???

  • Reply Everyday Champagne June 1, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Hi Adaeze! No, the stain stayed away for good! It worked great- hope it does for you too. My specific stain was lotion…try this and let me know if it worked for whatever stain you had. Good luck!!

  • Reply Everyday Champagne June 1, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Oh, and thank you!! 😉

  • Reply Melanie July 3, 2015 at 3:33 am

    Thank you so much! Worked a treat 🙂

  • Reply Sarah January 11, 2016 at 10:54 am

    You saved my boots! I wore brand new boots (from Target) to work while we were redoing and cleaning the office, and I got wood polishing oil on them! I was devastated because they were brand new, but I just found this post when googling solutions, and the dish soap worked! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Reply Everyday Champagne January 11, 2016 at 10:55 am

      Oh wow!!! This makes my day! I’m so happy you found this and fixed your awesome boots ;-). Thanks so much for sharing. XO

  • Reply Katie G February 24, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you so much!! Just fixed my cheap boots this way, was freaking out but you saved me, they are back to normal. So glad I found your blog. 🙂

    • Reply Everyday Champagne February 24, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      Oh my goodness!! This makes me so happy to hear!! Thank you for sharing!! So sweet. Hooray for cheap boots!!!! 😉

  • Reply Saine February 23, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you so much! I was devastated when I found stains on my new boots (I just got them two days ago for a steal!), but this saved them. You can’t tell they were ever stained unless you look very closely! You rock!

    • Reply Everyday Champagne February 24, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Oh, I’m so glad!!! This makes me so happy. We can’t waste a good boot find 😉 Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply Christy April 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Wow!!! So excited to have found your blog. Your method worked on my shoes too.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Debi Denney April 16, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Do you think this will work on cooking oil? My son spilled cooking oil on my faux suede couch.

    • Reply Everyday Champagne April 17, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Oh no! I can’t say that I know for sure if it would work… I always recommend starting on a small portion of the stain to test. Let me know how it turns out! Good luck

    • Reply Lizzie July 23, 2017 at 10:36 am

      l too have oil on my couch…did you get it out? if so how! otherwise its a whole new couch!

      • Reply Everyday Champagne July 24, 2017 at 7:49 pm

        Hi Lizzie! When dealing with upholstery, or any fabric for that matter, it’s always best to test a small amount of the cleaning solution first. Oil is a tough stain to get out, so it’s hard to say if this would work perfectly because I’m not sure of your couch material… if you try it and it helps, let me know!

  • Reply Happy I found this post April 16, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for the advise!!! I used dish soap to get out coconut oil in my brand new flats. It was a huge stain, it worked but now the shoe is discolored. Just glad the stain is gone.

    • Reply Everyday Champagne April 17, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      Happy to have offered some help 😉 Thanks for your feedback!

  • Reply Debbie February 2, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Omg I tried your advice and it worked can not thank you enough

    • Reply Everyday Champagne February 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      Oh, that’s so wonderful!! Thank you so much for sharing. I love hearing it 🙂

  • Reply Haley May 1, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    I cannot thank you enough!! I am out of town and bought my boyfriend a pair of “vegan leather” Van’s as a surprise. On my way back to the hotel, I bought some snacks and (stupidly) put them in the same bag as the shoes.. well something (I have truly no idea what) stained them in the bag! I’m leaving, so I can’t go back to the store, nor would they let me exchange a pair of stained shoes anyway.. After shedding a frustrated tear, I turned to the internet and found your post! Since I’m in a hotel, there’s no baking soda..but I did get my hands on clear dish soap, and they look as good as new!! Now I am sealing these shoes up and not touching them again for fear of some other accident. Thank you!

  • Reply Cynthia December 19, 2018 at 10:31 am

    I also have tan flats that I bought from Target! I managed to stain them somehow while walking around on the first day I had them. It looks exactly like in your picture, but I’m not sure what it is exactly. I’m going to try your solution. Wish me luck haha ! 🙂

    • Reply Everyday Champagne January 16, 2019 at 7:30 pm

      Ahh!!! What is it with these flats??! ha. I hope it worked!! Let me know!! Thanks so much for sharing

  • Reply Margo May 13, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    I just got a pair of the same tan shoes at Target! And today I got a spot of dog slobber on one of them on the way to work…I googled it the moment I got home and how serendipitous is it that the first site that comes up on google is your’s!!! Life works in magical ways and one other comment was from someone else with the same pair of shoes! I used dish soap and it worked…but after one day of wearing them I had little stains on the sides of both shoes so I dish soaped the whole shoes. Now they have a patina that looks like the normal wear and tear of shoes. On another note, I had already bought them in black and went back to get a second pair because when you find cheap shoes that fit and you love, a 2nd pair will guarantee you’ll get more years out of them. That’s when I got the tan ones. There’s also a pale pink and leopard pair that I’m thinking about..these really are great flats even with the tan ones getting stains. Thanks for having the same pair and the best advise!

    • Reply Everyday Champagne May 31, 2019 at 5:13 pm

      Oh yay!!! This is so great!! Thank you so much for sharing and couldn’t agree more about the 2nd pair of shoes 😉

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