How to Remove Water Stains from Leather Shoes

You love your leather shoes. They look great and are very comfortable to wear. And they always seem to be in fashion. So anytime you want to look good, you simply wear your favorite leather shoes. But you run into problems from time to time. One of those is water stains. It does not have to be the rainy season for you to worry about them. Someone could spill a glass of water on your shoes and cause stains. Fortunately, you have options with removing them and some can be found at home. To learn the details, please read on.

Steps to Remove Water Stains from Leather Shoes

Several options are actually open to you in removing water stains from your leather shoes. The first is using leather protecting products. These would cost you a little so it is only open to those who have a budget for it.

The second is using things that are readily found at home. This is the more economical and practical choice and what we are going to go into detail about.

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These are the steps that you could take to remove water stains from your beloved leather shoes using things that you can find at home. What’s great about using these is that they are both effective and free from any adverse side-effects:

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You are going to need:

  • Clean Cloth (Several Pieces)
  • Cotton
  • Soft Brush
  • Alcohol
  • Lemon Juice
  • Liquid Soap
  • Vinegar

How to Remove Water Stains Using Soap Water:

  • You will need a bowl that contains lukewarm water.
  • Put a few drops of liquid soap in it.
  • Mix it well.
  • Get a piece of cloth and dip it in the solution.
  • Rub the cloth on the stain with a little force.

How to Remove Water Stains Using Vinegar:

  • Take a small bowl and fill it with vinegar.
  • Get a piece of cloth and dip it in the bowl.
  • Use the cloth to gently rub the water stains off your leather shoes.
  • Dry the stained part using another piece of cloth.
  • Place the shoes in an area that is well ventilated to dry it faster.
  • Avoid placing it under direct sunlight as it will fade the color of the shoes.

How to Remove Water Stains Using Lemon Juice:

  • Take one or two lemons and squeeze its juice in a small bowl.
  • Get a small piece of cloth or cotton and dip it in the juice. You can also use a soft brush.
  • Wipe off the stain using the cloth or cotton.
  • Dry it off using a dry piece of cloth.
  • Allow the shoes to dry.

How to Remove Water Stains Using Alcohol:

  • Use surgical alcohol if you have it in your home.
  • Wipe off the stain and do not let any liquid to drop on the shoes.
  • Keep the shoes near a window or under a fan to dry it.


Common Questions About Water Stains on Leather

Does Water Stain Leather?

Yes, water does stain leather. And that includes your leather shoes. Since you wear your shoes out on different occasions, they are very susceptible to getting stained by water. Especially if you have to wear them during the rainy season. Getting water stains on your leather shoes becomes almost unavoidable. Do take note that time is an important element in the removal of water stains. The longer you let them stay on your leather shoes the more difficult it would be to remove them. So time is of the essence in this case. Remember to try to remove the water stains as soon as you see them on your leather shoes.

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How do You Fix Water Stained Leather Shoes?

You need to know what to do when you find that your leather shoes have water stains. The important thing is to not panic when you do so. Make sure that you choose to use strong cleaning products to remove the water stains. There are stains that will need stronger cleaning products. Check out the labels first to make sure that you are not going to make things worse for your shoes. 

Here’s what you need to do to fix the water stains:

  • First, get a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Put some water into a bowl.
  • Wet the cloth or sponge.
  • You want it damp but not too wet so wring it out.
  • Rub the stained area gently using the cloth or sponge.
  • Work with less water as you rub away from the water stain.

Once the water stain is removed, treat your shoes using protective solutions like shoe creams. 

What Happens to Leather When Wet?

Leather has a bit of natural resistance to water. But a little too much water will certainly cause it to get wet. It is permeable, after all. But the problem is that as the water dries the leather itself is going to become stiff and hard. 

The supple nature of the leather is definitely going to be affected if not totally vanish. And worse, the leather might even start to rot if it is not dried immediately enough. 

One thing to keep in mind about leather is that it is never going to be fully waterproof. This is because of its permeable nature. As the leather ages more or is left untreated, the chances of becoming waterproof becomes even smaller. 

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Does water ruin leather shoes?

Water can ruin your leather shoes if you don’t treat them the right way after getting them wet. What happens is that oils in the leather get stripped, and that will stiffen the leather and make it crack. The leather needs to dry naturally in a warm environment, but not hot.


Having water stains on your leather shoes is indeed a cause for concern. But it does not mean that you already have to push the panic button. Far from it. There are a lot of options for you to deal with it and make sure that you remove those unwanted and sometimes unsightly water stains. All you have to do is arm yourself with the proper knowledge about dealing with the problem. Soon you will get your leather shoes looking just as cool and awesome as they did before getting stained.

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