Elegant fashion, practical functionality, and quality that stands the test of time: this is the essence of the leather bag, an accessory so timeless that it manages to find its way to everyone’s closet.
But how do you clean a leather purse to maintain it for years and years?
How do you remove stains from it and how do you protect your favorite leather bag from dust and scratches?
To ensure your leather bag retains its beauty and durability, it’s crucial to clean, care for, and protect it properly. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through step-by-step instructions and tips on how to clean a leather bag to keep it in excellent condition for years to come.
How to clean a leather bag
Cleaning your leather bag is the first step in maintaining its pristine condition, making sure it will last in time.
Follow these instructions to clean your leather bag and check out the materials needed to do so effectively:
- Soft, lint-free cloths
- Leather cleaner
- Leather conditioner
- Soft-bristle brush (optional)
- Leather protectant (optional)
How to clean a leather bag at home – step-by-step proces
Step #1: Empty the bag and dust it off
Start by removing all items from the bag’s interior to access every nook and cranny for cleaning.
Gently shake the bag upside down to remove loose dust and debris. If there’s a lot of lint remaining, use a lint roller to clean the interior, and make sure to open any pocket to remove what’s inside.
If needed, use a soft-bristle brush to gently brush off any remaining dirt and dust. Be careful not to scratch the leather.
Step #2: Spot test
Before applying any water, leather cleaner or conditioner, perform a spot test on an unnoticeable area to ensure it won’t discolor or damage the leather.
It’s best to use a white cloth to clean your leather bag and avoid any colored ones as their dyes could transfer to the bag.
Step #3: Cleaning
If you want to perform a routine cleaning to a leather handbag, the process is rather easy – it gets trickier if you want to remove a specific stain, but we’ll tackle this later on. For now, here’s how to wash a leather bag:
- Apply a small amount of leather cleaner to a soft white cloth. If you don’t have a leather cleaner at hand, use mild soap. Avoid using aggressive detergents or chemicals that can harm the leather.
- Wring away excess water from the cloth and gently wipe the bag’s surface in a circular motion, focusing on areas with stains or heavy soiling.
- Avoid oversaturating the leather; use a minimal amount of cleaner.
- For suede or nubuck leather bags, use a suede brush to clean gently. If there are any sheepskin or fur details, make sure to brush them as well.
Further reading: What’s the difference between sheepskin and shearling?
Step #4: Conditioning
After cleaning and once the leather is dry, apply a leather conditioner. Use a clean, soft cloth to apply a small amount of conditioner and rub it evenly into the leather.
Allow the conditioner to be absorbed for a few minutes, then gently buff the bag with another clean cloth to remove excess conditioner.
Step #5: Storage
When not in use, store your leather bag in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, ideally in a dust bag.
Pro tip: To help it maintain its shape, stuff the bag with tissue paper or a soft cloth.
How often should I clean my leather purse?
If you use your leather wallet or purse daily, it’s recommended to clean them once a month to keep them looking their best and help ensure that the leather stays in excellent condition.
How to remove stains from a leather bag
A normal cleaning routine taking place once a month can help you maintain and care for your leather bag in a few minutes, with significant results down the line. But what happens when there’s a tougher stain?
From persistent ink to common water marks, there is a right approach you can follow. Here are some tips on how to remove stains from a leather bag effectively:
Common leather stains and how to tackle them
- Ink stains: Dab the stained area with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or a specialized leather ink remover. Be gentle to avoid spreading the ink.
- Oil and grease stains: Apply cornstarch or baking soda to the stain to absorb excess oil. Let it sit for a few hours, then brush off. If the stain remains, consult a professional leather cleaner.
- Water stains: Gently blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth to soak up excess moisture. Allow the leather to air dry naturally, away from direct heat sources. Once dry, condition the leather to restore its texture.
- Food stains: Wipe off any excess food with a soft cloth, then gently clean the stain with a leather cleaner. Follow up with conditioning to prevent drying or discoloration.
- Mildew or mold: Although wiping the affected area with a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar might seem to do the trick, we would advise against it. The affected area might be invisible to the human eye, and it’s best to say goodbye to your leather purse to avoid risking your health.
Pro tip: As already mentioned, remember to always test any cleaning method on an inconspicuous area before applying it to the stain directly. This applies not only to bags, but to leather jackets and belts, too.
How to care for your leather purse
Besides cleaning, caring for your leather bag is an ongoing process that helps maintain its beauty and durability. From maintenance to storage and everything in between, follow these care tips to protect your leather bag:
- Avoid overloading: Prevent stretching and distortion by avoiding overloading your bag with heavy items.
- Store in a cool, dry place: When not in use, store your leather bag properly. Keep in mind that high temperatures and humidity can damage leather.
- Use a dust bag: If your bag comes with a dust bag, use it to protect the leather from dust and light exposure.
- Stuff for shape: To maintain its shape, stuff the bag with tissue paper or a soft cloth. Avoid using newspaper, as the ink can transfer onto the leather.
- Be gentle: When carrying your leather bag, be mindful of sharp objects or heavy items that could scratch or dent the leather.
- Use a leather protectant: Leather protectants provide an additional layer against stains and moisture, but make sure to follow product instructions!
Is it necessary to clean my leather handbag?
Cleaning, caring for, and protecting your leather bag is crucial for ensuring it remains a stylish and functional accessory for years to come.
Regular maintenance and proper storage will help you enjoy your leather bag’s beauty and durability, and will allow you to cherish your multi-functional, timeless accessory for years, regardless of fashion trends.
Remember that each leather bag may have unique care requirements, so always refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer when available. With the right care, your leather bag will continue to enhance your style and be a reliable companion in your daily life for decades!
Now that you know how to clean your leather purse, maybe it’s time to expand your collection. Check out eFurs wide selection of leather purses and get ready to meet your new accessory!