How do I get dish soap out of leather?
February 4, 2012 11:14 AM   Subscribe

how to get dish soap out of a leather backpack. also, :(

I bought a jar of dish soap in bulk, and was so excited. I brought it home and of course it smashed (all over two brand new books, books with school notes, wallet, 3 old national geographics...).
Anyway, the dish soap has done surprisingly little to everything else, but my backpack is now soaked with dish soap. It's a brown leather backpack (roots, if that detail makes any difference). I know it seems kind of dumb to worry about soap staining something, but it seems like it might damage the leather...

Anything I can do to get it out without just causing the entier thing to foam up? Should I even wet it or just let the whole thing dry out?

Thanks, hive mind!
posted by ameliaaah to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Throw your backpack in a bathtub full of cold water. Agitate until you've got all the dish soap out (you may have to drain and refill the tub more than once because I don't know how much soap we're talking about). Hang your pack up and let it air dry at room temperature; this may take a couple of days.

When it's dry, you need to moisturize the leather because you just washed all the oils out of it. You have a couple of options here. You can rub your pack down with a heavy coating of mink oil. One leather expert I know recommends rehydrating washed leather with cheap hand lotion. I have also used Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam for this purpose with good results. Whatever you use, keep applying until it takes a long time to be absorbed by the leather. The leather may be stiff for a little while (especially if you don't get all the soap out) but it should return to its normal state with enough moisturizing treatment and use.

I'm not a leather fetishist. I'm a track day rider and recovering roadracer, so I've stunk up and washed a lot of leathers.
posted by workerant at 1:38 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

After you get it rinsed out, use some saddle soap. It cleans and restores leather and softens it.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 2:43 PM on February 4, 2012

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