Oil, Red Wine & Co. – Remove Stains from Leather Shoes

Stain on leather shoes

Grease, ink or blood: You’ve likely been frustrated by at least one of these stubborn stains in the past. With these tips, you’ll be able to sort out the next mishap with ease. 

Before you read the following tips on how to remove various types of stains, we have a word of advice that could save you a lot of work: regularly waterproof your shoes and leather goods. Stains don’t set into waterproofed leather as easily, and in the event they do, they are much simpler to remove.

Of course, these words are likely too little, too late if you have a stained leather shoe sitting in front of you. In this case, all you can do is take a good look at what you’re dealing with. All stains are not created equal, after all. Different types of stains and different types of leather require unique approaches to stain removal.

What to do with red wine stains?

If a drop of red wine lands on your shoe, it can quickly sour the celebratory mood. SHAMPOO DIRECT is a great option for removing wine stains. This classic cleaner is the go-to solution for water-soluble stains, including juice or fruit stains.

Blot dry any excess wine or juice immediately following the spill and then apply the shampoo to the stained area. Press the foam applicator to the leather until the surface is damp with the cleaning solution. Let it sit for some time before using a wet sponge to wipe away the stain and any leftover shampoo. Your shoe will look good as new.

Grease stains

Getting rid of oil and grease stains requires something a bit stronger, namely our REINIGER special cleaning spray. This spray is easy to use and is suitable for use with all types of leather and textiles.

If you’re dealing with smooth leather, simply spray the cleaner on a cloth and wipe the stain away. When dealing with suede, nubuck or textile, lightly spray the material directly and brush the damp surface with a CLEANING BRUSH.
Grease stains don’t only come from the dinner table. Leather jackets are notorious for getting oily collar stains over time. Don’t wait to clean your jacket. As soon as you notice signs of buildup, carefully apply REINIGER spray and wipe it clean with the SOFT GUM cleaning rubber. Be sure to give suede jackets a brush afterwards.

How to Remove Blood Stains

A cut finger or bloody nose can leave stubborn stains in their wake. If you find yourself with blood on your leather shoes, boots or jacket, quickly blot as much liquid as you can with a dry towel before treating the leather with SHAMPOO DIRECT. Clean the surface with a moist cloth afterwards and brush with a CREPE BRUSH if necessary, i.e., suede or nubuck.

Older stains can be treated with citric acid or neutral soap. Apply either to a cloth, dampen the old stain with water and then rub the stain away. Be sure to test the chemicals on a less visible part of the leather before use to avoid unwanted colour changes.

Ink Stain Removal

Did your children have a moment of creative genius that overflowed onto your shoes? Or did you accidentally mark your leather jacket with your pen? Either case calls for rapid attention. If it’s a fresh ink stain on smooth leather, REINIGUNGSCREME will do the trick. Dried stains typically benefit from treatment with denatured alcohol. However, this may remove coloured finishes from leather so use it sparingly.

You may be able to remove stains from suede or nubuck without any liquid. Place a strip of adhesive tape over the ink mark. If you slowly and carefully remove the tape, the ink may be removed from the fibres. If there is still some residual left behind, try using our CLEANER. You can try your luck with sandpaper to address more stubborn stains.

Iron Away Candle Wax

Candlelight certainly sets the mood, but if wax lands on your shoes, things suddenly feel less romantic. No need to worry, however, you can remove the wax stain in a few simple steps.

First, carefully scratch away the thickest part of the wax. Once that is removed, place blotting paper over the stain and iron over it at a low heat setting. The wax will melt and be absorbed by the paper. Be aware that too much heat will damage the leather. Use Collonil’s REINIGER spray to clean up any bits or pieces left behind.

That’s all folks! Your shoes will be stain-free and good as new. Now you can kick back and relax, perhaps with a glass of red wine on the leather sofa?

Applicable Products



Special cleaner

200 ml (€4.98 / 100 ml)
Cleaner spray as a problem solution for greasy and oily stains.


For gentle cleaning and care of smooth leather and synthetics.

50 ml (€13.90 / 100 ml)
Reinigungs- und Pflegecreme für feine Glattleder

Crepe brush

Suede leather brush

Suede special brush gently cleans and thoroughly roughens up fibres - side bristles for hard-to-reach spots.

Cleaning brush

Cleaning brush for textiles

Practical cleaning brush for dry and wet cleaning of textiles, as well as for gentle cleaning of creative fashion leathers.

Shampoo direct


100 ml (€7.95 / 100 ml)
Cleans all materials thoroughly. Ready to use - no longer any laborious mixing necessary. Very effective due to the combination of highly intensive ingredients. The sponge applicator absorbs the ...
Test colourfastness before use. Simply press the sponge applicator repeatedly to create foam. Clean the material using a circling motion. Wash the dirty sponge applicator and/or repeat cleaning proce...

Carbon Pro

Extremely durable protection against dirt and wetness

300 ml (€4.98 / 100 ml)
Our latest innovation in high-performance waterproofers. A revolutionary technology which enters a new era in shoe care. There has never been a product which protects better or lasts longer Protectio...
Spray from a distance of at least 30cm onto the cleaned surface of the material. The product must be used in well ventilated rooms or outside. After spray has dried completely, other care products ca...