A leather handbag can be elegant and stylish, but it can become worn out from dirt and stains. Regular cleanings can keep your leather purse looking like new longer. Here are some tips on how to clean your leather bag.
Always check the label on your handbag for the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. If anything in this article contradicts the recommendations on the label, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Begin by emptying your handbag and unzipping all of the pockets. Turn it upside down and shake it to dislodge any dirt or debris. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe the interior of the purse.
Mix a few drops of a mild liquid facial or body soap, such as Dove or Neutrogena, with two cups of distilled water until suds form. Dip a sponge or soft rag in the soapy water and wring it out so that it is barely wet. If you use a sponge to clean your bag, use a natural, non-colored one so dye will not rub off onto your handbag. Wipe the leather surface of the bag with the cloth or sponge. Dry the purse thoroughly and buff it with a towel.
Treat the handbag with a water-based leather protector/conditioner, such as you can find at a leather clothing or furniture store. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
If your leather handbag has a stain, the method used to clean it will depend on the type of stain. Always test on an inconspicuous area first before attempting to clean a large area to avoid causing damage to your bag.
To get rid of an ink stain, dip a cotton swab in isopropyl rubbing alcohol and rub it over the stain. Dry it with a hair dryer on the lowest setting.
To remove a dark stain, make a paste with equal parts cream of tartar and lemon juice. Rub the paste on the stain. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then remove it with a damp rag and moisturizing soap. Dry the handbag by buffing with a soft cloth or towel.
For a grease stain, simply use a dry cloth to wipe away the stain. Do not put water on a grease stain.
Don’t put the leather handbag in direct sunlight. This could dry it out and make it fade or crack.
Avoid exposing your handbag to excess water or moisture to prevent damage.
Don’t use any harsh or abrasive cleansers on your leather purse. Don’t use any type of oil, polish, or any product that contains waxes or silicone. Don’t clean your handbag with saddle soap, alcohol, varnish, ammonia-based cleaners, or bleach. Don’t use baby wipes or any alkaline cleaner on your leather bag. Any of these could cause damage.
Leather needs to be replenished and reconditioned from time to time. You can buy a product for this purpose or mix one part distilled white vinegar with two parts linseed oil. Shake well and apply the mixture to the handbag in a circular motion. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then buff once or twice with a soft cloth.
Making a mistake while cleaning your leather handbag can ruin it. If you have doubts about how to clean your purse, ask for help from a professional.
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