How To Clean Leather Purses

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Leather purses can stand the test of time, only if they are given proper care and attention. They need to be protected from dirt and cleaned regularly. Many people would even argue that knowing the right way to clean a leather purse is a skill that you must master.

With the right knowledge on the maintenance of a leather purse, you can prolong its life and look- and luckily, we’re here to provide you with just that.

How To Clean Leather Purses

Leather purses are prone to dirt stains, scuffs, and blemishes due to everyday use. Although they fade away with time, these marks will not disappear unless thoroughly treated with the right methods and products.

Both faux leather and a branded leather purse can easily stain over time, and if you’re someone who has invested in either, then the following steps would help you maintain them.

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1. Empty The Purse And Remove The Dust

Start by cleaning your leather purse and emptying it. Doing this is also helpful in identifying which items need to be placed in a secure storage compartment. Now, use either a lint roller or a fabric brush to clean the purse’s inner lining if it has one; if not, use a damp cloth to clean it from the inside.

2. Clean The Purse Thoroughly

This is one of the most essential steps in this process. Use a clean cloth and apply a tiny amount of leather cleaner over the surface and rub in circular motions. Be mindful of two things – firstly, use a soft white cloth and not colored rags as they can discolor the purse, and secondly, ensure the leather cleaner you’re using is safe to use on all types of leather regardless of whether it’s real or faux. Finish cleaning with a soft, dry cloth and wipe away any excess product.

3. Clean The Hardware

Once your leather purse starts to shine and feel more supple, it is time to move on to the handles and metal clasps. Use a metal polish or a brass cleaner on the hardware. Use a cotton swab with the polish and rub it over the metal, and using a white cloth, gently buff away the tarnish. Keep the cleaner off of leather or any fabric trim as it might discolor them.

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4. Condition The Purse

Last but not least is the step of conditioning your leather purse. This finishes the cleaning process and leaves your purse looking just like it did when you first bought it. Conditioning leather is very easy; simply rub a small amount of leather conditioner (which you can get online or in stores) onto the surface in a circular motion until everything appears even. You can use any good oil-based moisturizer or leather conditioner for this step.

Use another gentle, dry cloth to buff the leather surface after applying the conditioner carefully. You should condition your leather handbag once or twice a year—or even more frequently if you live in a particularly dry environment.

How Often Should You Clean Your Leather Purse

The simple answer – whenever it gets dirty. However, we recommend that you clean it thoroughly every couple of months to keep your purse in pristine condition and avoid any damage. It is a fairly simple task that takes about 5 minutes. 

Storing And Aftercare

We do not recommend plastic bags when it comes to storing leather handbags because of two reasons – first, the plastic might stick to the leather and pull off the outer layer, causing damage, and second, moisture trapped in plastic bags can cause mildew and yellowing of white leather.

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The best way to store a leather purse is to use a dust bag, an old pillowcase, or a cotton bag that can prevent dust from accumulating. Fabric bags allow the leather to breathe and keep it soft and flexible. When not in use, stuff your handbags with tissue paper to maintain their form. Hanging them isn’t a good idea since the straps would be stressed if they hung straight down.

How To Remove Stains From Leather Purse

There are days when some stains just refuse to go, and we know how disheartening it can be to see your favorite leather purse lose its shine because of a food or drink spill. This is why we have a few excellent solutions on how to remove stains from leather purses.

  • Ink stains: The best option for removing ink stains from leather is rubbing isopropyl alcohol. Blot the area with a cotton swab until the stain disappears and repeat if necessary.
  • Food or Oil stains: First, sprinkle baking soda on the stain while it’s still wet to absorb it. After that, you can remove grease stains by rubbing them with a bar of soap. Afterward, use a damp cloth to wipe away any product or residue, and then dry the area thoroughly before applying the leather conditioner.
  • Wine stains: Make a paste of equal parts of cream of tartar and lemon juice. Apply the paste to the leather, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe it off. Allow it to dry thoroughly before repeating.
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Tips And Tricks To Remember

There are always a few things you should keep in mind that make cleaning leather purses much easier. 

  • Always use a proper leather cleaner to clean your purse. Using baby wipes, vinegar, or alcohol-based cleaners is not recommended as they include chemical substances that can cause damage to the leather.
  • Make sure you’ve tested the leather cleaner on a small patch before applying it to the entire purse.
  • Keep your items in a waterproof bag and use another pouch for pens, makeup, or other such items to avoid staining the inside of your bag.
  • The most harmful type of stain for leather handbags is an ink stain. In that case, the first step is to take your bag to a professional as quickly as possible. If you aren’t able to, try using a leather-specific ink removing solution. Make sure to moisturize the affected area and allow it to dry naturally.

If you’re looking to clean your leather purse, all you need is a little time and these simple steps. It’s much better to take these precautions to prolong their life and prevent damage because, after all, prevention is the best cure!


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