removing sticker residue (stain) from leather books

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I have some leather books which I had purchased somewhere between one and two years ago. They were second hand and the seller had unfortunately put a sticker on these books. I tried removing the stickers when I got them, but was not able to remove the sticker residue. I saw a video recently about how extra virgin olive oil could be used to remove stickers and sticker residues. Of  course this was not demonstrated on a leather book, but a paper hardback. I tried removing the sticker residue from my leather books using extra virgin olive oil and failed. Its not so much residue that i have on the books as a kind of stain due to removal of  the sticker. Have to say  the books started gleaming wherever I had applied the olive oil. Do you have any suggestion for me or is the sticker stain not going to come off now?

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Posted by (Questions: 3, Answers: 4)
Asked on June 10, 2020 3:04 pm
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Hi there,

So sorry for the oily mistake. Unfortunately, leather is a porous surface and will soak up whatever is put on it. I can't recommend the obvious solution which is to put olive oil all over the book to try to even it out. I am afraid the olive oil will go rancid eventually. You could try a lanolin based leather dressing. Actually I have some I could send you. I don't use it very often. Conservators have moved away from recommending oily leather dressings and now use more wax-based ones. NOT just any wax though! email me through the contact page and send me your address. You may as well try the leather dressing I have. 

For the future, to remove labels from leather, I recommend this course: https://saveyourbooks.com/course/8-book-repair-for-book-dealers-color-touch-up-for-leather-books/ 

~Sophia

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Answered on June 10, 2020 7:58 pm