HOW TO CLEAN LEATHER PURSES AND BAGS

One of the things that comes along with the purchase of a leather bag besides making you look chic, is the commitment to take care of it. 

These pieces are a totally sophisticated item that, while they last for years, need your attention to fulfill their incredible longevity. But don't sweat it, at Hand Matters we want to give you all the information you need to be super ready and know what to do when it's time to clean it.

 

Tips for Cleaning Your Leather Bag

Identify the origin of the stain

Even if we make a lot of effort to prevent them, stains happen. And that's okay, because that's a sign that you're giving a lot of use to the piece, as it deserves. In case one has appeared on your bag, it is very important that, before applying any product, you know what caused the mark.

 

Just as it is essential to understand how leather is made, it is also necessary to keep a record of what is happening on that material, as this will influence the type of treatment you should apply to remove the stain without damaging the design. As we will see below, there is a different solution for each type of mark. Therefore, keep in mind what happened to your bag before trying to clean it.

 

Know your leather bag

The world of leather is as varied as the number of things that can be made from it. One of the most important things to consider when buying a new piece, is to distinguish what type of leather you are acquiring. 

 

The best known to create handbags is the cow leather, because it is a skin that is totally versatile, resistant and durable in this type of designs. But other types of leather are also used, such as sheep, pig, goat, snake or crocodile, all equally durable and exclusive.

 

In addition to leather, handmade bags made from cowhide are also marketed. These pieces have a different look, and therefore require different types of care and treatment.

 

Get to know the products and their functionalities

At the beginning, we told you that it is important to know where the stain that is worrying you so much comes from. This is because we have different home solutions to get rid of them depending on what caused them.

 

In case of scratches or ink stains, your ally to delete it will be nail polish remover or alcohol. Apply these substances with a cotton swab and press a little bit on the dirty area. Remember not to rub, because you can make the mark bigger. Then, wipe it with a damp cloth and dry it with a towel.

If your bag has grease or oil signs, you can sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on them, as these substances will absorb them. Rub them very carefully and let it sit overnight. The next day, clean it with a soft cloth.

 

If you are looking to remove marks from a light colored bag, you can create a paste made with lemon juice and cream of tartar. Just mix them in equal parts and then leave it on for 30 minutes.

 

4 Easy Steps to Clean Your Leather Bags at Home

1. Empty Your Bag and Dust Off

Start your cleaning by removing everything you keep in your bag. Check pockets, nooks and crannies, and remove dust by turning it upside down. The part that collects the most dirt is the inner lining, so use a vacuum cleaner, fabric brush or lint roller to remove it.

 

2. Make a Soap Solution

Next, we move on to the outside. To clean the surface, we can create a solution made with two things we surely have at home: common dish detergent and hot water. Mix both ingredients in a bowl, and make sure it is consistent and not too watery.

 

3. Wipe Down

Once we have the homemade solution ready, we should apply it on the purse with a soft cloth, without rubbing or making sudden movements. Remember that leather is delicate, therefore, it requires gentle movements.

 

4. Dry the Bag

One of the enemies of our leather bag is and will always be humidity. That is why, when it comes to washing it, we must be cautious and pass a dry towel over the piece to make sure it is dry. This is the last step in the cleaning process, and helps us to maintain its durability and appearance.

 

Additional tip: Prevention is better than regret 

While it's good for handmade leather bags to be cleaned and washed regularly, it's always better to be a little bit watchful to prevent these stains from appearing as much as possible.

 

The best advice against the most common incidents is to carry your water bottles, pens, hair products or food in a plastic bag. This way, you will avoid future problems in a very simple and inexpensive way.

Keep your leather bags clean and dress in style

By choosing Hand Matters, you are getting an exclusive, timeless, versatile and sustainable bag that is ready to be combined with different outfits for years to come. Follow our blog and learn how to take care of it with our cleaning tips. Take care of any dirt and scratches and enjoy having such a valuable piece with you on a daily basis. 

 

FAQs

Is it safe to use water to clean leather?

It is safe as long as hot water is used and can be diluted with soap. This solution can only be applied with a clean cloth, being careful not to rub hard on the material. It is also very important that, after wiping, the bag is one hundred percent dry to avoid humidity.

What is the best way to keep leather hydrated?

Apply a hydrating cream on the skin. You can buy a commercial brand or make a homemade one with vinegar and linseed oil. Choose either option, rub it on and leave it on for 15 minutes for it to be absorbed. Afterwards, remove the remains with a soft, clean cloth.

How can I prevent leather deterioration over time?

We recommend that you avoid getting the leather wet or exposing it to high temperatures  whether from the sun or heating. You can also protect it from dust and other incidents by storing it in a dry, dark place in a bag.

How can I remove unpleasant odors from leather?

There are two homemade tips. You can wrap it in newspaper for one or two days, or you can place it inside a tightly closed bag with coffee beans for 24 hours. In case you do not succeed, it would be best to take it to a professional to avoid further damage.

 


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