Although a leather bag or leather purse should be cleaned by a specialist once a year, there are some simple tricks to help you do this from home if you don't have the immediate opportunity or if you want to clean your leather purse personally.
Let's make a small list of the things you will need for this operation of cleaning and maintenance of your leather purse:
- Soft cloth or damp cloth
- Detergent for leather goods
- Leather conditioner/cream
Start by cleaning the bag externally by creating a layer of foam with the leather cleaner while gently massaging the product in.
Allow drying for a few minutes before applying the leather conditioner. Make sure you pass it on, especially in the areas that are touched the most, such as the handles and corners.
Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, the bag will absorb the leather conditioner and then you can remove excess product.
If you have a light-coloured bag or a type of leather that absorbs a lot, repeat the process a second time for visible results right away.
The whole process of cleaning leather handbags should takes about 20 minutes per each entire bag. If you don't have enough time, at least remember to do it in the more delicate areas of the bag, such as the corners and handles.
This ordinary external cleaning/maintenance process should be carried out at least once every 3-4 months if the bag is used every day and not kept in a dust bag for protection; every 6-9 months if it is used for weekends and special occasions (it also depends on the stress it is subjected to on a daily basis or not in terms of the weight it carries).
For a complete cleaning, we must not forget the interior (see the paragraph entitled "How to thoroughly clean the interior of your leather bag" for more specific advice). Empty the bag of all its contents at least once a month and shake it upside down so that the lining is free of dust and small residues of objects it contains (if the interior is light-coloured, increase the frequency or intervene as soon as you notice traces of dirt). By keeping the inside of your bag clean, you'll feel completely clean and more comfortable to use.
With these tips on how to clean your leather bag, even an old bag will become a new item of clothing to wear on various occasions and will shine again in your wardrobe to complete your favourite looks.
but what if you don't have leather cleaners at hand?
- Soft cotton white cloth
- Cow's milk
The first consideration is never to use water (it can create a dark stain on the bag or around any stains) but a natural cleanser such as cow's milk, the one obtained from milking cows and commonly used as food.
It is necessary to get a soft cloth (better if the soft cloth is in cotton) soaked in milk and then wipe over the entire surface of the bag, lingering on handles, corners, and the bottom of the leather handbag. This operation is useful as a general cleaning to eliminate dullness due to dust and remove small stains.
What to do in the case of light stains on my leather purse?
The following items are needed:
- Cotton pads or a light-coloured or white cloth
- Neutral cleansing milk or cow's milk
Lightly rub the cloth or cotton wool soaked in milk onto the stained surface until it is clean. Let the bag air dry (do not use a hairdryer or place it in the sun to speed up the drying process) for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, wipe the bag with a dry cloth.
To finish, you can possibly apply a reasonably solid body moisturiser to your genuine leather bag. You can use an old pair of nylon stockings to polish it, and your leather purse will shine like new.
How to clean and/or get rid of a stain on a light-coloured leather purse more thoroughly?
Light-coloured leather purses are super stylish but delicate as they get dirty more easily. In fact, when buying a leather handbag in light shades such as beige, antique pink, light blue, or mint green, we must bear in mind that there are more significant risks and therefore pay more attention.
- Clean light-coloured cloth (cotton if possible)
- Egg white
- Light-coloured woollen or damp cloth
The answer to the question "how to clean light-coloured leather handbag" leaves you rather stunned. It sounds more like a recipe book answer than a leather cleaning tip. In fact, the key ingredient for cleaning a stain on a light-coloured leather handbag is egg white. It needs to be carefully separated from the yolk and then whipped to stiff peaks as if you were making a cake.
Once the egg white has taken on its typical frothy consistency, you need to get a clean damp cloth, dip it in the egg white and use it to wipe the entire surface of the bag gently. Once this is done, the bag should be left to air dry at room temperature without the aid of a hairdryer. When the egg white has dried, it can be removed with a dry cloth. The end result is that your leather purse bag is back to its original shine.
how to thoroughly clean the interior of your leather bag
- Brush/coil remover or tape
- Clean, clear cloth
- Warm water and white vinegar
- Baking soda
Empty the bag completely and set the contents aside. Use this opportunity to discard old pens and throw them away as well as make-up.
Turn the bag upside down and shake it. This will help you get rid of most dust and dirt (it is best to do this in a wastebasket).
You could clean the inside of the bag with a lint roller brush. First, lay the bag on its side, then pull out the lining. Run the lint roller brush along the inside lining. Turn the bag over and repeat on the other side. If it's big enough, you might be able to fit the whole brush inside the bag without having to pull the lining out. If you don't have a lint brush, use a piece of tape to catch dust and dirt.
If the liner is dirty, clean it with a solution of white vinegar and warm water—Mix equal parts in a bowl. Soak a clean cloth, wring it out and wipe the inside of the bag.
Deodorise the bag with bicarbonate of soda. Open a packet and, without spilling the powder, stick it vertically into the bag. Leave it overnight and remove it in the morning. It will have absorbed most of the bad smells.
The baking soda box should fit entirely into the bag without spilling. If the bag is too small, pour baking soda into a saucer or cup.
how to clean a suede leather purse.
Suede is a warm, soft, and elegant material, suitable for various occasions from a gala dinner to leisurely everyday life. But how to clean your suede leather purses without ruining them?
If the suede purse is slightly dirty, you can try cleaning it with steam. The easiest way is to hang it up in the bathroom immediately after taking a hot shower. The air will be moist enough to loosen the spots but not so much as to stain the bag.
Next, let it dry, then scrub the affected area with a soft-bristled brush and then place it in its dust bag
If for any reason, you don't feel confident enough to expose your bag to the humidity of the bathroom, there are other methods to clean suede bags.
Let's look at some of them together, making some distinctions.
How to clean dry spots on your leather purse
- Clean toothbrush or manicure brush
- White "magic" sponge
Dry spots on suede can be removed in a few minutes with a soft bristle brush (ideally a brush specially made for this type of leather which can be found in specific cleaning kits), but a clean toothbrush or manicure brush can also be handy (if you choose to use a toothbrush or manicure brush, these items should only be used to clean suede in future, becoming your suede brush).
Gently use your suede brush to brush the affected area with short, gentle movements. Always follow the same direction. For now, do not go back and forth. This will help loosen the fibres and dirt.
After few minutes, you can rub the affected area with a white 'magic' sponge. You can
find this in the detergent section of the supermarket. Gently wipe the affected area, moving it back and forth until the dirt is removed.
How to clean moist spots from your leather purse
Equip yourself with:
- a clean toothbrush
- Neutral soap
- Comb with rubber bristles
In the case of a damp stain, you can use a little mild soap ( no need of saddle soap or leather cleaner a normal mild liquid detergent will do), taking care never to soak the suede. After the leather has dried in the air at room temperature, you can run a comb with rubber bristles over its surface to remove the dust.
How to clean More stubborn stains from your leather purse
Equip yourself with:
- Light-coloured sponge or cloth
- Dishwashing detergent
- Isopropyl alcohol
- White vinegar
When the dirt has heavily soiled a suede bag, the leather should be rubbed gently onto the stain using a solution of water, dishwashing liquid and alcohol.
For the final finish, wipe the stain with a cloth soaked in a few drops of white vinegar. Let it dry, and then use a soft-bristled brush. Unlike water, vinegar and isopropyl alcohol do not stain suede and they are the perfect cleaning solution (don't worry that the smell will disappear).
With these tricks, your bag (and any suede item) will shine as if it just came out of the shop. If, of course, the stains are particularly stubborn and difficult like oil or grease stains, you will have to buy a specific cleaning product or contact a professional cleaning service.
How to remove mould from your leather purses
In most cases, removing mildew from a bag is quite simple and can be done with normal household products, especially with quality handbags. Let's see how to do it.
- Gentle brush or white cloth
- White cotton or microfibre clean cloth or cotton ball
- Lemon juice or disinfectant or detergent or baby wipes
- Skin nourishing cream
First, empty the bag completely and clean the surface with a soft brush or cloth. Then take the product you have at home (lemon juice, disinfectant, or leather cleaner) and dilute it in a bit of water. Soak the dry cloth in the solution and rub it gently into the area affected by mould. Don't over-water, and the cloth should be barely damp. Too much water could damage the bag.
When you have finished this process, dry the bag, and take it outdoors. Let it air dry for a few hours until there are no more traces of moisture. The sun (preferably not completely direct) works against mould, killing it. Moulds are simply fungi that proliferate in dark and damp conditions and die in sunlight.
If the mould is now gone, you can treat the bag with a leather care product, such as a nourishing cream, which will make it look as good as new.
If the mould is inside the bag, turn it inside out and use the same cleaning technique.
How to get rid of the musty smell from your leather purse
The musty smell should be gone, but if you still smell it, spray a little deodorant inside the bag and again let it air out in the sun, not too hot but not too humid. Do not leave the bag outdoors overnight! Humidity makes it worse.
And remember before you do anything, make sure of the type of leather you are treating as each type of leather demand a slightly different type of treatment. patent leather purse needs to be treat differently from soft suede bags, also note that in this article we are not considering faux leather purse or faux leather item in general.
How to prevent mildew in leather purses
To prevent this unpleasant problem of leather bag mould from recurring, you need to learn how to avoid it, i.e., how to take care of your bag with regular maintenance. It is essential to know how to store your handbags correctly in order to prevent the appearance of mould and moisture.
The simplest solution is to store them in a cupboard, either inside the bag, you were sold the bag in or a pillowcase. Inside, insert silica gel sachets that you can buy online or in specialised shops, and that serves to absorb moisture.
To avoid unpleasant odours, do not leave your leather bag indoors for too long. Occasionally, for example, a couple of times a year, open the wardrobe and air it out so that the leather gets some sun. It is also essential to brush the bag and nourish the leather with special moisturising cleansing milk.
few general last tips.
- When you're not using your purse, stuff it with tissue paper to keep it in shape and keep it straight. This will prevent it from splitting or becoming deformed.
- It is a good idea to keep leather handbags in the fabric bag they are usually placed when purchased, as this is a good ally for protecting them from dust or possible stains. If you don't have a bag, it's OK to put the bag in an old pillowcase.
- Do not carry light-coloured bags when wearing dark clothes. The dye from your clothes may transfer to your bag and stain it.
- Never leave open pens in your bag. Not only will they stain your internal fabric lining, but they can also cause a lot of mess if they break or burst causing massive ink stains or ink marks.
- Keep your make-up in a clutch bag. This will prevent the inside of the bag from getting dirty.
- If you are unsure of the product you are about to use on your genuine leather, or you are testing a new cleaning method, do a spot test first. Starting with a spot test on the stained area or on the damage leather is important to avoid further damages to your bag.
- When you start the cleaning process follow the instructions and do not use excess liquid regardless if you are using a cleaning solution, leather protector a stain removal or a nail polish remover!
It may seem like a small thing, but if you put these tips and tricks for caring for and cleaning your leather bag into practice, your little investment will last a lot longer and look as good as if you just bought it.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article finding great tips on how to clean your favourite leather bags!