Instructables

how do i get air freshener oil out of a red leather purse (it leaked all over it)?

We had one of those plug in oil room fresheners from Bath and Body works. It tipped over one day while it was on the table and leaked all over my red leather purse. The oil didn't change the color but definately smells strong. I've tried cornstarch to absorb the oil but it doesn't work - it seems that the leather has completely absorbed the oil.

Gorfram5 years ago
Looking at it from a science-ey point of view, you need the oil, at least the volatile aromatic parts of it, to diffuse out of the leather. The things that drive diffusion are time, temperature, and some un-air-fresher-oil-ey thing to diffuse into. So maybe:

  • Spread a box's worth of baking soda spread around the oil spot, pack the remaining space with paper towels or newsprint, and leave it in hottest safe spot you can find (the sun porch on a hot day, on top of the water heater, etc.). Leave for at least a couple of days, up to a month or two or more.
  • Turn the purse as far inside-out as possible, and repeat the above.
  • Get some raw, undyed, untreated leather, and place firmly up against the oil spot on both sides. Find a way to hold the untrerated leather in place, and leave it in your hot spot for a few days to a year.
  • Hang the purse up outside on every hot & sunny day you get.
Or, from the not-quite-so-science-ey department, you could try a good scubbing with Saddle Soap. At worst, you'd wind up with a supple, well-conditioned, and otherwise-clean, smelly purse. :)

(BTW, I think what Lemonie means by "white spirits" is "rubbing alcohol" - no witchcraft need be involved. ;)
White spirits would be stoddard fluid, not alchohol. It's a very low viscocity aromatic, similar to kerosene.
lemonie5 years ago
You've got these practical choices:
Abandon it and get another.
Soak the oil out (you tried that)
wash the oil out.
Bit extreme, but white spirit should do it. You'd then need a good drying, and maybe want to give the leather a buffing with clear boot polish? (no experience of doing this, pure theory)

L
seandogue5 years ago
lol... I feel for you...Alchohol or Acetone might do the trick, but they also might ruin the dye job in the leather. You might be stuck with a smelly purse for a while, until it completely (if ever) evaporates