This happened because I said Thinx were stupid
September 9, 2017 8:52 AM   Subscribe

I have a (now dried) blood stain on the back of a beautiful beige leather skirt. The suggestions on Google didn't work. Now what? I love this skirt!

I dashed home as soon as I realized what happened and the stain was still wet. I tried hydrogen peroxide and then milk, but neither did very much. I didn't try the soap suds suggestion, which is the other thing that came up on Google. At this point it's dry.

The skirt has a liner that I also bled on. I'm not as worried about that, though it would be ideal to clean that as well.

I'm going to the store later to get some leather cleaner, but what else? I'll take it to a leather cleaner instead, if that would be better. (I'm in NYC, if you have any suggestions.)

As an alternative, I was wondering how hard it might be for a tailor to take in the skirt to cover the stain. It's right along the back vertical seam coming down below the zipper. Thanks.
posted by unannihilated to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can try spitting on it. Sounds weird but your saliva can help remove stains from your own blood. It doesn't always work with menstrual blood (assuming that's what this is because your title mentions Thinx) but it might help. I've never tried it on leather though.

Source: worked in a tailorshop (where we spent a lot of time around fabric and sharp objects) and learned this trick :-)
posted by Shadow Boxer at 8:59 AM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Before you do anything else, take it to a professional cleaner and tell them exactly what you've done so far. Let them try before you irreversibly set the stain.
posted by quince at 9:05 AM on September 9, 2017 [9 favorites]

Saliva has components that break down proteins. More is better. You could also try meat tenderizer - same deal. But I think it's not going to come out meaningfully. Can it be dyed black? I did that with a raw silk dress that suffered the same fate. I liked it better blue, but it was better than a total loss.
posted by theora55 at 9:25 AM on September 9, 2017

If nothing else works, you might try dyeing the rest of the skirt with the same material and just enjoy the new color.
posted by amtho at 9:48 AM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I agree with taking it to a cleaner. But if you don't want to do that, try using an enzymatic cleaner normally used for pet stains like Nature's Miracle. I have successfully removed period stains with these cleansers. Though you have to leave it on for a while, which you may not want to do with suede.
posted by lunasol at 10:01 AM on September 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

(Oh never mind the last part, seeing it's regular leather, not suede)
posted by lunasol at 10:02 AM on September 9, 2017

Are you sure the hydrogen peroxide didn't work? Did it bubble up at all?

I only ask because if it did not bubble, get a fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide. If it did bubble, leave it on for 30 min, blot, reapply, leave for another 30 to an hour. I find leaving the peroxide to sit usually works and is colorsafe. You can put a small piece of paper towel over the stain to keep the peroxide where you want it.

It's like magic, sometimes I think the peroxide hasn't worked, then I check it 3 or 4 hrs later and the stain is gone or extremely faded such that one last small application finishes the job.
posted by jbenben at 10:34 AM on September 9, 2017

jbenben, have you done this specifically on leather?

To everyone: Perfectly willing to take it to a cleaner, if that's really what it takes. I'll take any NYC recommendations you have.
posted by unannihilated at 10:44 AM on September 9, 2017

Don't mess with it. You'll make it worse. Take it to a pro.
posted by windykites at 11:41 AM on September 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I had a really nice beige Italian leather couch that one of my cats peed on repeatedly, in short, yes.

But if you are unsure, take it to a professional. The period blood I have removed countless times from fancy sheets. Hydrogen peroxide did not harm the sheets or the leather. Couch leather and skirt leather may not be the same! YMMV! In general, hydrogen peroxide always works on blood. Sometimes it just take longer to remove the stain.
posted by jbenben at 12:18 PM on September 9, 2017

If you're feeling experimental, the only thing I'd try before taking it to a cleaner is saliva. I learned this on the job like Shadow Boxer, in a costume shop. Big caveat, I've never tried it on leather and wouldn't expect miracles, but if tested carefully it seems unlikely to do further harm. I'd wager it's more likely to come out of the lining, so you could test it there first. Usually I just spit right on the stain, but this calls for a little more care. Gross, but maybe spit a few times in a shot glass and apply small but increasing amounts with a q-tip, working it around a bit and wiping off. You can saturate the lining but don't leave it on the leather too long.

Otherwise leave it to the pros all the way. If it's right on the seam, alteration could be pretty simple or more complex, depending on the size of the stain, fit of the skirt, and proximity to the zipper. Messing with a zipper can be tricky.

I have been told by colleagues with relevant experience that dyeing finished leather rarely works well.
posted by doift at 4:02 PM on September 9, 2017

Meat tenderizer really doesn't sound like something that would be safe to use on leather. What I'm reading on The Internets is that dried blood on leather is difficult, best left to professionals, and not guaranteed to come out. Probably best to go straight to a pro at this point.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 10:00 PM on September 9, 2017

Kaufman Furs may be able to help you.
posted by JimN2TAW at 7:02 AM on September 11, 2017

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