Leather Handbag Cleaning - How To Clean Leather Handbags

How To Clean Leather Handbags

November 15, 2023

Jane Smith, Managing Director

Cleaning and maintaining a leather handbag requires careful attention to preserve its beauty and longevity. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to clean and remove dirt from a leather handbag:

Materials Needed:

  1. Mild leather cleaner
  2. Soft cloths or sponges
  3. Bamboo pads
  4. Soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
  5. Leather conditioner

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Check the Care Label:
  • Before starting, check if the handbag has a care label with specific cleaning instructions. Follow any manufacturer-recommended methods.
  1. Test in an Inconspicuous Area:
  • Test the cleaning solution in a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn't cause discoloration or damage.
  1. Remove Excess Dirt:
  • Gently shake off or brush away any loose dirt or debris on the surface of the handbag. Make sure the inside of the handbag is free from dirt and grime, vacuum the interior of the handbag to remove all dust and debris.
  1. Clean the Surface:
  • Dampen a soft cloth or sponge in the cleaning solution.
  • Gently wipe the surface of the handbag, paying attention to areas with stains or dirt.
  • Avoid excessive rubbing, as it may damage the leather.
  • Cleaning of handbags can be carried out with many different products, bamboo pads are a great tool as they are anti-microbial, soft horsehair brushes are great as they are able to get deep into the grin of the leather lifting dirt away.
  • Once the above has been carried out you can then continue to use a soft horsehair brush to get into the grain of the leather to lift away any dirt stuck in the grain, simple spray the leather cleaning solution into the brush and agitate into the surface creating a nice foam as you proceed to lift dirt away effortlessly.
  • When cleaning a leather handbag, you can’t clean just one section or an area in the middle, of a panel, you will have to clean the full panel edge to edge to ensure its evenly cleaned and or wet or you will create a tide mark stain on the surface.
  1. Treat Stains:
  • For stubborn stains, these can be treated with a dedicated leather stain remover or dampen a soft cloth with a mixture of water and a small amount of white vinegar. Gently rub the stained area but be cautious not to oversaturate. Do not rub hard at all with either method as this can create damage.
  1. Clean Zippers and Hardware:
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to clean zippers and any metal or hardware. This helps remove dirt from crevices.
  1. Dry Thoroughly:
  • Allow the handbag to air-dry naturally. Do not use heat sources like hairdryers, as they can cause the leather to dry with stains, do not place near heat, left to dry naturally is the best and safest method.
  1. Condition the Leather:
  • Once the handbag is dry, apply a small amount of leather sealant, that not only feeds the leather, it conditions the leather and provides a long term protective barrier against stains and dirt build up in the future. This can be applied using a soft application pad and left to dry naturally and if required polished after not create a great semi matt sheen or left as a matt finish.
  • Gently massage the conditioner into the leather to restore its natural oils and prevent drying.
  1. Buff the Surface:
  • Use a clean, dry cloth to buff the leather gently, giving it a polished appearance. You don’t have to buff the surface this can be left natural with a nice subtle matt finish.
  1. Store Properly:
  • Do not place the handbag into storage at once as this could still be damp in areas which will cause mould growth, make sure the handbag has been air dried for at least five days before being put in storage.
  • Store the handbag in a cool, dry place when not in use. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and humidity.
  1. Regular Maintenance:
  • Clean and condition your leather handbag regularly, especially if you use it frequently. This helps prevent dirt buildup and maintains the leather's integrity.

Additional Tips:

  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Stay away from harsh chemicals, alcohol-based cleaners, or baby wipes, APC’s Spray can cleaners, as they can damage the leather.
  • Protect from Elements: Protect your handbag from rain and extreme weather conditions to prevent water damage.
  • Professional Cleaning: If your handbag has special finishes or delicate leather, consider professional cleaning services.

Remember, each leather type may require slightly different care, so adjust these steps accordingly. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations when available. If you are unsure you can always reach out to us, we are here to help solve your problems and keep your leather in great shape for longer email help@leatherrepaircompany.com

Why Not Contact Us?

Call on: 01482 606864
Email us at: help@leatherrepaircompany.com