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Why Does Leather Turn White?

why does leather turn white

Ever wondered ‘Why does leather turn white'? Through our practical knowledge, salt from sweat or water, humidity, fatty blooms from oils and waxes, and prolonged sun exposure can all cause white spots on your cherished leather items.

In this article, we at Andar will delve into the common causes behind leather turning white and share effective preventative measures to keep your leather looking pristine.

Let us help you preserve the beauty and longevity of your leather cases and beyond!

What this article covers:

Reasons Why Leather Becomes White

At Andar, we've identified several common reasons why leather may develop white spots - ranging from harmless salt stains to more insidious causes such as bacteria and mold, which can be detrimental to your health.

Salt Stain

Based on our first-hand experience, salt from sweat or water can seep into the leather, leaving unsightly white marks once it dries.

This is especially common in leather used for shoes and outdoor gear. When leather absorbs moisture, the salts within the water crystallize on the surface as it dries, causing those white streaks.

Bacteria Or Fungus

Humidity and moisture can create an environment where bacteria and fungi thrive, leading to white, powdery residues on leather. Additionally, improper storage often results in these microbial growths.

Fatty Bloom

Fatty bloom, also known as ‘fatty spew', occurs when oils and waxes within the leather migrate to the surface, forming a whitish, cloudy film.

Our findings show that this phenomenon is common in high-fat content leathers. Although it doesn't damage the leather, it can still affect its appearance significantly.

Sun Damage

If you're wondering ‘what happens to leather in heat?' Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause significant damage to leather, including bleaching and drying it out. UV rays break down the leather's natural fibers, causing it to lose color and develop white spots.

At Andar, our expertise in full-grain leather products ensures that we provide solutions to keep your modern leather goods looking their best.

How to Fix White Spots on Leather

Here's how you can fix white spots on your leather items with our assistance at Andar:

1. Use A Soft Brush On White Spots

Drawing from our experience, using a soft-bristled brush which is specifically designed to be gentle on leather surfaces can help dislodge any surface residue without damaging the leather.

Simply brush the affected areas lightly, following the grain of the leather to avoid any scratches, which is particularly useful for salt stains and light buildup.

why is my leather turning white

2. Remove White Residue With Dry, Microfiber Cloth

Utilizing a dry, microfiber cloth can effectively remove white residue from leather. Microfiber is non-abrasive and highly absorbent, making it perfect for this task. You can find a microfiber cloth in Andar's The Leather Care Kit.

Gently wipe the leather surface with the cloth, focusing on the areas with white spots. Regular wiping with a microfiber cloth can help maintain the leather's appearance and pre-empt future buildup.

3. Apply Leather Cream All Over Surface And Wipe Off After Several Minutes

After conducting experiments with it, we found that applying Andar's The Leather Cream can deeply nourish and restore leather, efficiently addressing white spots caused by fatty bloom.

Start by applying it evenly over the entire surface of the leather item. Allow the cream to sit for several minutes, letting it penetrate and condition the leather.

Afterward, wipe off any excess cream with a clean cloth made of microfiber. This process not only removes white spots but also revitalizes the leather, keeping it supple and healthy.

4. Apply Leather Conditioner All Over Surface And Wipe Off After Several Minutes

Regularly wiping down your leather products and using our Andar leather conditioner in The Leather Care Kit can help mitigate this issue as well as others, such as how to fix leather creases.

Spray a light mist of our leather conditioner over the entire surface, ensuring even coverage. Let the conditioner be absorbed into the leather for several minutes before wiping off any excess with a clean, microfiber cloth.

modern leather goods

5. Store Leather Product In Cool And Dry Place

We suggest storing your leather products in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and humidity to pre-empt white spots on leather. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight for extended periods.

Applying a leather protector with UV shielding properties like our specialized leather conditioner can also help preserve their color and integrity.

Use breathable storage options, such as dust bags or cloth covers, to allow air circulation while protecting the leather from dust and dirt. We don't recommend using plastic bags, which can trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew growth.

Additionally, using antifungal sprays specifically designed for leather can be an excellent measure which shows you how to prevent mold on leather and the like.


By understanding ‘Why does leather turn white?' and taking preventive measures, you can keep your leather products looking their best.

We believe in carrying what matters, and our full grain full grain leather bags and more are designed to offer both style and robustness for the discerning customer.

Whether it's a wallet, bag, or accessory, our handcrafted leather goods are made to last and serve you well.

Discover the quality of our Andar products and elevate your leather game now!

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