How To Remove Embossing From Leather: 4 Life Hacks To Try

an image of a leather wallet showing removed foil stamping

Imperfections and creases on your leather upholstery, an error in the gold stamp on a piece of a leather label, or a blind embossing that went wrong can ruin the look of an otherwise stunning piece. Read this blog post to learn 4 easy tips on how to remove embossing from leather.

Removing hot leather stamping is easier than blind stamping. First, apply your cleaning material, slowly picking some foil in deeper parts with the blunt end of a toothpick. Next, swab off the excess cleaning material with a microfiber towel, then apply a dab of leather conditioner.

How to Remove Embossing from Leather

What You’ll Need

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Apply the Cleaning Agent

an image of a crafter applying baby lotion to a hot stamp on a leather wallet

After choosing the right cleaning agent, apply it on the silver or gold foil stamp with a Q-tip. You may use baby lotion, rubbing alcohol, makeup cleaner, or nail polish remover. However, we recommend that you start with fragrance-free baby lotion since it is the least harsh on the leather. Then, begin gently scraping the surface of the gold initials with it. 

2. Push the Leather Cleaner into Deep Impressions with a Toothpick

 an image of a crafter lightly scratching a hot stamp with a toothpick

Some of the gold or silver foil is too stubborn to remove with a single pass. Use the slightly blunt end of a toothpick to scratch the surface of the stamped image through the foil gently. This step may take the longest and may need two passes or more to delete the stamping. Add a little body lotion as you go.

3. Wipe Off with Damp Paper Towel and Let it Dry

an image of a crafter removing the excess body lotion on the leather wallet

Remove excess body lotion with a damp paper towel or as soon as the lotion becomes too dirty. If there are still any residues of the gold initials, add more body lotion and repeat the process. Clean again, then let dry. 

4. Condition the Leather

an image of a crafter adding leather moisturizer to a leather wallet

Before applying the leather moisturizer, rub the surface of the leather item with the leather cleaner. Let dry and apply leather moisturizer.  

Here is a quick video showing how to perform this process:

Different Ways to Remove Hot Stamping from Designer Leather Bags

Second-hand designer bags like Louis Vuitton sometimes come with gold foil monograms of the previous owner. Unless you have the same initials, you’ll want to remove them before using the bag.

  • Remove Hot Stamping with an Adhesive Tape an image of a crafter removing hot stamping from a luggage tag using adhesive tape

An adhesive tape is less invasive than adding rubbing alcohol or acetone. Often, it is enough to remove the gold stamp. Choose a high-tack adhesive tape, then apply directly on the gold stamp. 

Next, rub the blunt end of the toothpick over the adhesive tape, rip it off abruptly. Repeat the process until you remove all residues of the gold or silver foil stamp. 

  • Remove Hot Stamping with Makeup Remover an image of a crafter removing gold stamping from a luggage tag using makeup remover

You can also use makeup remover to remove gold stamping from designer leather bags, wallets, or luggage tags. Finally, you may use alcohol pads and nail polish remover but use it as a last resort, especially if working with designer bags.  

How to Remove Creases and Imperfections on Leather Upholstery

an image of a leather seat and a heat gun to remove the creases on the leather

Leather upholstery on your car seats and furniture gets creased, showing signs of wear over time. 

  1. To restore leather upholstery to its original glory, you’ll need a heat gun and a portable steamer
  2. Apply steam on the creased leather seat.
  3. Set your heating gun at a low temperature. 
  4. Using a circular motion, heat the creased area, careful not to stay in one place to avoid burning the leather. 
  5. Wipe the with a dry cloth as you heat it to remove any remaining moisture and aid in removing the visible imperfections. Be careful when working around the seam to avoid any damage. 

How to Correct Embossing Mistakes on Vegetable-Tanned Leather

an image of a scrap of leather showing a slight mark on it

To correct stamping mistakes on vegetable-tanned leather, follow these steps:

  1. Dampen the leather with warm water and let some moisture evaporate first before working on it. You may also soak it in water if the impression is deep or the leather is thick. This will allow the leather to expand. 
  2. Let it dry off before proceeding with the next step. 
  3. Get a piece of a damp rag and iron it to transfer some of the heat on the rag.
  4. Rub the warmed rag over the marking on the leather piece. 
  5. Repeat the process until the mark is less visible so you can stamp over it again. 

An alternative process is to iron directly over a damp cloth on top of the leather. 

  1. Iron on the grain side of the leather to avoid damage on the smooth part. The steam from the wet fabric will help remove the creases and unnecessary markings on the leather sheet. 
  2. Repeat the process, letting the leather rest for four minutes before continuing. 

Common Issues When Removing Embossing from Leather

Here are some common issues you may encounter when removing embossing from leather and how to resolve them.  

  • Some Leather Parts Turned Dark and Shiny 

If you apply too much pressure on the foil stamping while removing it, the leather may darken and turn shiny. To restore it, use a little bit of wet heat by putting a warm damp cloth over the shiny part and rubbing it gently. Then, let it air dry and apply a leather moisturizer. 

  • I Can’t Remove Embossing on Some Types of Leather

Some embossed leather has profound details, or the leather has some napped finish like suede. You cannot remove markings on it. If these embossings are small, mainly a monogram on a second-hand leather bag or an error, you can cover it with a piece of tooled leather or some metal bling. 

To cover it, measure the monogram, add ½ inch around it, and then cut a contrasting leather strip. You may add bling to the leather piece before gluing it on your leather bag. 

If working with suede or nubuck, you may embellish over the monogram with anything that strikes your imagination, such as a vintage brooch, a bow brooch, or etching plates that you can etch with saltwater and a stencil

  • I Removed the Hot Stamp, but the Mark Remains 

Based on personal experience, you can remove the gold stamp on your leather products, but the debossed image remains. 

If it is not too deep, you may use a heat gun or hair dryer. First, heat the stamped area and then knead the leather gently with your fingertips. Repeat the heating and kneading process until the debossed image becomes less visible. 

If you made an error with gold stamping, you could try erasing it with a pencil eraser as soon as it has cooled down. Erasing is a lot easier as the stamp is not yet bonded well on the leather. 


If you’ve ever tried to remove embossing from leather, then you know it can be a difficult feat. The most challenging part of the process is removing itself because few things will work on that kind of material. 

Removing blind stamping on leather is often difficult without professional help. On the other hand, hot stamping has some advantages; it's easier to do with common household cleaning substances available at any time (rubbing alcohol or lotion).

We hope you found this blog post helpful. Share with us your experience with removing leather stamps and what worked best for you.

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