I have a valuable soccer ball. It is not real leather, but a synthetic leather.

I used this cleaning agent to remove a few marks:


However, I stupidly forgot to wait for the ball to dry and then placed it within an orange plastic carrier bag. Now the cleaning agent has reacted with the dye and there's a yellow-tint stain.

I have tried using acetone and these:


but I cannot remove the stain.

Does anyone with chemistry knowledge know what else I could try?


Got it out in the end. I used Dr Beckmann Stain Devils tea & wine, cut some cloth in to the shape of the area I wanted to clean, poured water, then the powder, then water on top and left for hours. Took multiple attempts.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That original cleaner did most likely not "react" with the orange dye, but simply dissolve it partially. Is it water based? Then I would wrap the ball in a wet (white ;)) cloth for a night, and see if the dye starts coming off. I dont want to write an answer, because frankly it is impossible to tell without knowing what exactly the dye and cleaners are. $\endgroup$ – Karl Dec 4 '19 at 20:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Start with plain water for the first night. I dont want to be resposible for damaging your valuable ball. ;) Next try adding ten percent isopropanol or acetone, if that doesnt help try the motsenbocker (what a name ;)))) $\endgroup$ – Karl Dec 4 '19 at 20:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It wont hurt. The (my) idea is to see when the dye starts to get off, i.e. stain a white cloth. If it rubs off with water already, or dilute alcohol, all the better for your ball. Pure acetone for a night might well damage it. Might. I am, like you, stabbing in the dark here. $\endgroup$ – Karl Dec 4 '19 at 20:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Last idea: Try with a bit of hair bleach, 1% peroxide, 3% perhaps. Again: I dont know what that does to your ball, and the color it originally had. ;) Wash it off after 5 min, let the ball dry, if it looks OK, increase to 15 min, and so on. Good luck! $\endgroup$ – Karl Dec 4 '19 at 20:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Soda would be one of my later resorts. Tooth paste I would indeed file under "urban myth". $\endgroup$ – Karl Dec 4 '19 at 20:56

The dye has probably migrated a bit into your ball`s surface, so whatever (solvent) you try to get it out with again, it might take a while.

Remember the classic school (chromatography) experiment: You draw a line with a felt pen on a piece of paper, 2 cm from the edge, and stick the paper into a glass filled only 1cm high with acetone.

You can try to transport the dye so far into the ball you dont see it any more, or try to "fill the glass up to 3cm with acetone". ;)

And remember: Its hard to tell how resistant your ball and its original painting is to acetone or hair bleach or soda.

  • $\begingroup$ Got it out in the end. One of the products I tried initially worked when left for hours. It was the fact you emphasised leaving it overnight which really helped. Also I cut the cloth to the shape of the printed shapes on the ball, so as to not affect any of the intended design. The product which worked was Dr Beckmann Stain Devils tea & wine $\endgroup$ – user997112 Dec 9 '19 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ Hi there (again). Got a small problem which occurred during cleaning. Given how knowledgeable you were before, could I see your help again? chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/134990/… $\endgroup$ – user997112 Jun 8 '20 at 18:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.