How to Fix Discolored Patent Leather

Discoloration on patent leather can be unsightly and ruin the appearance of your shoes, handbags, or any other item made from this material. While it is not always possible to prevent discoloration, there are ways to fix it if it does occur.

How to Fix Discolored Patent Leather

In this article, we will explore some of the most common methods for how to fix discolored patent leather. We will also discuss why patent leather may become discolored in the first place and offer some tips for avoiding this issue. Let’s get started!

Five Common Reasons That Causes Discolored Patent Leather

1. Prolonged Exposure to Sunlight:

Patent leather is made of a type of coated leather that has a high shine. The coating is typically made of polyurethane or varnish, which can break down when exposed to sun ultraviolet (UV) rays. This can cause the patent leather to become discolored, dull, and cracked.

2. Poor Quality of Leather:

If the leather used to make the patent leather item is of poor quality, it is more likely to discolor. In addition, poor-quality leather is often thinner and less durable, making it more susceptible to damage from sunlight and other environmental factors.

3. Lack of Maintenance:

Discolored patent leather can also be the result of a lack of maintenance. If you don’t regularly clean and condition your patent leather, it will look dull and discolored. Be sure to clean your patent leather with a soft, damp cloth and a mild soap or leather cleaner. You should also condition your patent leather regularly with a quality leather conditioner to look its best.

4. Improper Storage:

If you store your patent leather in an area that is too hot or too cold, it can cause the leather to discolor. Patent leather should be stored in a cool, dry place. If you must store it in a warmer environment, keep it in a bag or container that will protect it from the heat.

Stored in a Cool Dry Place

5. Environmental Factors:

Several environmental factors can cause patent leather to discolor. These include but are not limited to sunlight, heat, humidity, and contact with oily substances. It is important to store patent leather products in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources to prevent discoloration.

If patent leather comes into contact with an oily substance, it is important to wipe it off immediately with a clean, dry cloth.

10 Ways on How to Fix Discolored Patent Leather

1. Use a Leather Conditioner:

A leather conditioner can help restore the natural oils in the leather and protect it from future damage. Be sure to test the conditioner on a small area first to make sure it does not darken the leather.

2. Use a White Vinegar Solution:

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and gently rub it into the affected areas of the leather. Allow the mixture to dry on the leather for about 30 minutes before wiping it off with a dry cloth.

3. Use a Lemon Juice Solution:

Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent that can be used to lighten darkened patent leather. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water, then apply the solution to the affected area with a clean cloth. Allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth. Repeat as necessary until the discoloration has lightened.

4. Try a Baking Soda Paste:

If the lemon juice isn’t doing the trick, you can try a baking soda paste. Just mix equal parts baking soda and water to form a thick paste, then apply it to the discolored area. Allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth.

Mix Baking Soda and Water

5. Use Rubbing Alcohol:

Rubbing alcohol can also be used to lighten discoloration on patent leather. Simply apply it to the affected area with a clean cloth and rub it in gently. Allow it to dry for several minutes before wiping it away with a dry cloth. You may need to repeat this process several times to lighten the discoloration completely.

6. Use a Glycerin Solution:

Glycerin is often used as a moisturizer in leather products and can be effective in restoring luster to dull, dry patent leather. To use, mix one-part glycerin with two parts water in a bowl. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and rub it over the entire surface of the patent leather. Allow the glycerin to soak in for at least 20 minutes, then buff the leather with a soft cloth to bring back its shine.

7. Apply a Patent Leather Dressing:

There are many commercially available dressings specifically designed for patent leather. These products can help to achieve a high-gloss finish and can also be used to protect the leather from future damage. Test the dressing on a small area first to ensure it does not darken the leather.

8. Use Shoe Polish:

Shoe polish can also restore shine and luster to patent leather. Apply a small amount of polish to a clean cloth and rub it into the leather in a circular motion. Allow the polish to dry for several minutes before buffing it off with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary until the desired results are achieved.

9. Use Saddle Soap:

Saddle soap is a mild cleansing agent that can clean and condition patent leather. Wet a clean cloth with warm water and add a small amount of saddle soap. Rub the cloth over the surface of the leather in a circular motion, then rinse it off with clean water. Buff the leather dry with a soft cloth.

10. Hire a Professional:

If you have tried all of the above methods and still can’t get the results you want, you may need to hire a professional leather cleaner. These experts have the knowledge and experience necessary to clean and restore even the most badly stained patent leather.

Hire a Professional Leather Cleaner

When choosing a professional leather cleaner, ask about their experience with cleaning and restoring patent leather. You should also get an estimate of the cost before making a final decision.


The reason patent leather becomes discolored over time is that the surface layer of the material, which is made up of a plastic polymer, begins to wear away. This leaves the colored dyes beneath the surface exposed and these can start to fade or run. You can try to restore your patent leather shoes, including using commercial products or home remedies. 

The best way to prevent your patent leather shoes from becoming discolored in the first place is by taking proper care of them. If you have any questions about how to fix discolored patent leather, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

DIY Quickly