Best Way To Clean a Leather Handbag|Easy at Home Guide|; Dirt, Stains

Lets take a moment of silence and give thought to that favorite purse that’s stored away. That one handbag that you’ll never forget, but it was tucked away to remain unseen. What happened that put it there? Well, a lot of times, it’s dirty, stained and just… not that appealing to the human eye anymore. What’s stopping you from pulling it out and showing off it’s glory again? There’s no need for that dirt, dust, and maybe a few stains to intimidate you. Here is the best way to clean your leather handbag.

A soap and water solution is the most popular and convenient way to clean your leather handbag and works best for dirt and grease and oil smudges on the surface of the bag. If the dirt and oil has been sitting on the leather for awhile, you might want to think about taking an extra step. After wiping your bag down with the soap and water solution, clean the leather with a leather care kit. You can find multiple brands of leather cleaner kits on Amazon.com in a variety of prices such as the Apple Brand Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Kit for $12.99 or the Furniture Clinic Brand Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Kit for $29.95.

First things first, remove everything from the bag, making sure it’s completely empty. Then take the bag outside and shake upside down to remove any loose dirt and dust. If possible, turn the bag liner inside out and use a lint roller to remove the dust. If not, use a vacuum hose to suck up all the dirt.

In a large bowl, squeeze a drop of dish soap or hand soap at the bottom about the size of a golf ball (Make sure not to use saddle soap because it is known to leave stains). Before filling the bowl with water, make sure the temperature isn’t too hot; just warm. Fill the bowl half way and mix the soap in the water.

With a clean, soft cloth, soak up the soap and water solution and ring out until it’s damp. Make sure not the use too much water on the bag, it will leave stains in the leather. With a damp cloth, lightly wipe along the grain of the bag along the whole bag as needed until you are satisfied then dry the bag with a clean microfiber cloth.

When finished, apply leather conditioner all over the outside of the bag with a microfiber cloth to protect the leather and help it last longer against dirt and oils. Amazon has a great selection of leather conditioners as well such as the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner for $18.95.

Ink Stains

There might even be a few stains that stand in your way, but no fear! Here is a simple way to remove those stains.

First, I must say that the older the stains, the more complicated they will be to remove. It is best to rid of ink stains as soon as they appear. If the stains are older, consider taking the bag to a professional to help you out. You wouldn’t want to make your bag any worse.

Take a cotton swab and soak the end in some rubbing alcohol. Lightly dab the cotton swab on the stain until it disappears. DO NOT rub the ink stain. It will just spread and make it worse and harder to remove. Once the stain has been washed away, use a damp cloth and wipe off all the rubbing alcohol then dry with a clean towel.

Maybe you don’t want to take it to a professional? No worries! Use some nail polish that matches your bag and paint over the stain. I highly recommend doing a test run before painting your bag. Make sure the color matches by painting a small spot on the inside of the bag where nobody ever really looks. If it’s a match, then that means go! Time to use your art skills.

Proper Care

Now that your handbag is bright and shining again, it’s time to focus on the proper care of your bag in order to keep it clean and last for even more glorious years.

Regular cleaning of your bag every 2-3 weeks will ensure the life and looks of your purse. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth using the soap and water solution will do the trick.

Leather needs to be conditioned and moisturized regularly to keep from cracking and becoming brittle and dull. Applying some leather conditioner every 2-3 months will definitely improve the life and appearance of your handbag.

Before storing your handbag away, make sure you stash it away right. NEVER store your handbag where sunlight is exposed. Stash your purse in a cool shaded area and always make sure the bag is packed with newspaper or bubble wrap or anything else around the house to make sure the bag keeps it’s shape. It is also recommended to keep your bag covered with a dust bag or pillow protector to keep the dust out. If the bag has odors, I advice placing a can of Ozium slightly cracked open inside the bag and stored away in the dust bag or pillow protector for 24-48 hours. Ozium absorbs and completely rids of all odors in the bag, making it smell brand new again. The great marketplace of Amazon.com provides Ozium for only $8.40 for a pack of 2.

With proper care and a few household items, you can keep your favorite handbag around for years to come and still have heads turning and mouths dropping when looking at it. The better you take care and maintain your leather handbag, the longer it will last and better it will look.


Thank you for reading! I hope this helped you out and your bag is saved! We love the feedback. Leave a comment or review about how well this post worked for you. Follow us on Pinterest and Instagram for more! And don’t forget to check out our large selection of women handbags and purses at TheWomenHandbags.com. Subscribe to our newsletter today and receive 20% OFF your next purchase.

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