All people, women or men, who have leather bags love and want to extend their longevity as much as possible. Leather bags are very useful in many ways, such as storing your personal belongings, but they are accessories of everyday usage so they tend to get damaged after some time.
In order to keep them clean and functional for long periods, you need to take care of them and clean them regularly. There is a number of ways you can follow to clean your leather bag, although some ways are more effective, while others can harm your bag if you are not careful.
Luckily for, because I am a leather bag cleaning maniac myself, I have gathered a number of useful tips you can use to clean your bag properly. Following the tips in this article, you are going to achieve great results and make sure that you don’t damage your bag.
Let’s find out what those useful tips are!
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9 useful tips on cleaning your leather bag
1 – Use a leather protector
If you are like me and you love your leather bag, then I am sure that you want to give it the care and protection it needs. This is why before you start taking action to clean your bag, you should be aware that there are amazing products in the market designed specifically for cleaning and protecting leather.
One of these products is the TriNova Leather Conditioner, which I have used multiple times and does a very nice job when it comes to cleaning leather bags. The reason why I use it on my leather bags, is the fact that not only protects the leather, but also has the ability to restore slightly damaged areas as well.
In addition to the above, the particular product achieves what most of the similar products don’t. It restores the color of the leather! This is especially useful in case you have an old leather bag that you want to start using again. Get it out of the wardrobe, use the TriNova Leather Conditioner on its leather and let it dry (it takes about 45 minutes). You will be amazed!
2 – Clean the outer parts
The exterior part of a leather bag is always exposed to various environmental conditions such as rain, snow, wind or sun. What is more, it is highly likely that at some point of time, you will accidentally either stain or make some minor damages to the exterior of your leather bag, such as scratches from edgy objects.
Make sure that you clean the outside of your leather bag regularly, for instance once every three days or once a week. This way you are going to keep it clean, and inspect it often for any minor damages.
In case you spot a damaged or stained area on the outer part of your bag, you should instantly start cleaning it, otherwise the stain will be absorbed by the leather. The rule here is the sooner the better.
In order to clean the surface of the leather, it is advised that you mix three or four drops of regular soap into a cup of warm water. Take a dry soft cloth, and put it in the cup to make it slightly wet. Start rubbing the leather softly with the cloth until you either see the stain disappear or just clean the outer part. Use another dry cloth to wipe the leather and let it dry.
3 – Take care of the inside
Apart from the exterior part, the inside of your leather bag needs your attention too. The inside part of the bag is a bit more difficult to handle than the outside. You could skip cleaning it for some time, although if you use the bag regularly, especially if you use it everyday, you should take care of it at least once every two weeks.
I personally clean the inside of my bag once a week. I found that if I maintain the inner parts of my bag clean, it becomes an easier task rather than doing it once a month for example. A whole month is a long period, and in case you use your leather bag everyday it gets dirty too easy.
Once in a while, get into the trouble of emptying the contents of your bag, inspect them and separate the ones that you use more often from the ones that you don’t. Clean your things with plain water or a wet tissue just to get the dust off them.
Use your portable vacuum (we recommend the HoLife Handheld Vacuum), or even your regular vacuum to clean the inside of your bag from dust and dirtiness. After that, wipe the interior part slightly with a wet tissue, and let it dry before you put your things back in.
4 – Use a towel for the stains
A common mistake that most people do when it comes to cleaning the stains off their leather bags, is to use water straight on the stained area. This is a huge mistake and you should avoid it, because the water helps the liquid of the stain spread.
For instance, the first thing you need to do when some of your perfume gets spilled on the leather of your bag, is to put a dry tissue or preferably a dry cloth on the stained area and leave for some time there to absorb the oils.
This way you manage to get the moisture out of the stained area, and you can then apply the mix of warm water with soap to start cleaning it. Next step is to wipe the stain with a dry tissue and remove any excess oils and moisture, and finally wipe it softly with a clean cloth.
Make sure that you leave the towel on the stained area for at least half hour so that it absorbs the moisture effectively. If you have freedom of time, you can leave it a bit longer for better results.
5 – Have a purse or make up bag
In order to keep the interior of your leather bag protected at all times, you could acquire a purse or a make up bag to place your make up accessories. It is a good idea to keep them closed, and open them only when you need to use your accessories for maximum security.
If you are a purse person a great solution would be a purse such as the Hbutler Women’s MightyPurse Wristlet, which is a very compact solution that will most likely fit into every leather bag, no matter how small it is.
On the other hand, if you don’t like purses but you have a decent amount of make up accessories, then you could use a make up bag. One I have used and really like is the Portable Travel Makeup Bag by the Rownyeon. It has been amazingly convenient during my travels, and I was able to store all of my essential make up in it plus some more.
Make up bags and purses in my opinion are one of the best solutions for keep the inner parts of your bag clean at all times. You save time, money and effort by avoiding to damage or stain the interior of your leather bag, plus they are much cheaper than a bag if damaged.
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6 – Clean stains immediately
There are various types of stains that must be treated in several different ways in order to achieve the best results possible. All of them though have something in common: you need to treat them instantly after you spot them.
In order to be able to do so, you need to inspect both the interior and exterior of your leather bag regularly. This way, you take action as soon as possible, and save your bag from bigger damage.
A great way to achieve this, is by having a leather cleaner in your bag at all times. If the leather of your bag gets stained when you are out for dinner for example, you can use the cleaner and remove the stain in no time.
I always store the Honey Leather Conditioner in my bag when I go out. It is not too heavy and fits in almost any bag. It is worth having it with you as it does and amazing job regarding stains, it restores the color of the leather and leaves a nice smell unlike most of the cleaner. It is a nice solution if you want to be prepared for such occasions.
7 – Use baby wipes
Baby wipes are a great product when it comes to leather. They are especially useful when it comes to cleaning white leather, because they have the right amount of moisture so that they don’t destroy the leather or spread the liquids of the stain.
Adding to that, they smell great. They are very soft and they will not harm the surface of your leather bag, no matter how sensitive it is. If you doubt about that, keep in mind that these products are used on baby skin, so they are as soft as it gets.
Make sure that you get high quality baby wipes. Cheap ones tend to have more moisture on them than quality ones, and they don’t smell as good. In general, they are a very affordable product and it is worth invest in a quality packet to use on your leather bag.
8 – Store the bag in a safe place
A common place to store your leather bag is the wardrobe. You can place it in there to protect it from dust and dirtiness. Make sure that your wardrobe is nowhere near the radiator or any heat source, because heat will damage the leather of your bag.
Another great idea is to put your bag into a box. Find a box that is about the same size with your leather bag, maybe a little bigger, and place it in. Keep in mind that you do not keep the box entirely closed, as the leather must breathe.
When you put the bag into the box, place the box in a room with average temperature. Avoid humidity at all costs. Humidity is going to damage the leather after some time, so make sure that you place the box in a homey environment, preferably your room.
Lastly, if you decide to go with the box, do not place it near the window. This way, you avoid leaving the bag exposed to wind or sunlight, both of which can potentially harm the leather of your bag. Keep the box in a safe place and try not to move it a lot for extra protection.
9 – Use Vaseline
Vaseline does miracles when it comes to cleaning and restoring your leather bag. If you apply it on the damaged area, it can make scratches or minor tears disappear in no time. In addition, it brings back the natural color of the leather, and it makes it soft like it was when you first bought it.
In order to apply the Vaseline, you first need to clean the stained area with warm water. Take a dry cloth or soft tissue, put it in warm water mixed with regular soap, and rub the area gently. Make sure that you wipe the moisturized are with a clean dry cloth afterwards, to absorb the water, and the start applying the Vaseline onto the area.
Vaseline has the ability not only to clean the stained or damaged area, but to also make it waterproof and more resistant than before. Make sure that you apply just as much as needed so that you don’t burden the leather, and let it dry for at least an hour before you use the bag.
To sum up
These are 9 of the most useful tips I use to clean my leather bags. They have helped me in the past clean and restore my bags, as well as bring back their color or make them smell better. Apart from restoring damaged leather, they are great ways to bring back to life old leather bags and start using them again.
Make sure that you use any of those tips with caution and don’t overdo it. Only small amounts of the materials mentioned are needed to clean your bags.
Apply them gently and remember to always take care of your leather bag!