How to clean a leather purse?

| | Reviewed by: Rose Smith
Updated: March 29, 2021 | Published:

Leather can be a good fashion investment and consequently needs to be kept especially clean. Your leather purse should not be an exception. To make sure that your leather purse stays in mint condition, you need to clean it regularly.

Don’t worry, cleaning a leather purse isn’t as daunting a task as you think. It’s quite easy to do, and you can do it in the comfort of your home too.

When cleaning your leather purse, do not use ammonia or any bleach-based cleaners. They can damage the surface of the leather. Here are steps to take when cleaning your leather purse.

Cleaning your leather purse

Leather Purse

When cleaning your leather purse, you need to make sure that you spot test any cleaning products on a hidden part of your purse first before using it.

Clean with a soft cloth

Avoid using abrasive materials or clothes to clean your leather purse. Instead, use a soft cloth to clean. Always use mild soap when cleaning your purse. Do not soak your leather purse in water to avoid ruining your leather. If necessary, use a damp cloth soaked with a mild soap. Use a clean cloth to wipe off any residue moisture on the leather purse.

Always apply moisturizer to your leather purse immediately after cleaning. This would help soften the leather. After the cleaning, buff your leather purse to restore the texture and add shine to the purse.

Treat your leather as delicate

Remember that all original leather was once a living hide and so needs to breathe. Always use the right leather cleaner to clean your leather. Avoid using petroleum-based products or other synthetic cleaning products to clean your leather.

Make sure to test whatever cleaning products on an inconspicuous part of your leather purse first before using it. Remember that different leathers require different cleaning techniques. Leathers like suede and nubuck leathers should be given special attention when cleaning. Rather than using a damp cloth to clean, always use a leather cleaner spray to clean. Other leathers like plastic and vinyl can easily be cleaned with mild soap and clean soft cloth.

Getting rid of stains

Sometimes no matter how hard you may try, there’s always that little stain that might appear on your leather purse. But you don’t have to fret about the stains. You can get them off without needing to ruin your favorite leather purse.

Before you begin cleaning off stains on your leather purse, it is important to know the kind of stain you’re dealing with.

There are two types of stains: wet stains and dry stains. Wet stains are caused by water-soluble contaminants and can be removed with water. While dry stains are greasy blemishes caused by wax, paint, or oil and can only be removed by dry cleaning. Below are some common stains and how to get rid of them.

Ink stain

Always attend to ink stains immediately. To remove ink stains, dip a cotton swap in a nail polish remover and lightly blot the ink stain. An alternative way to remove ink stains is by applying alcohol on the ink stain using a clean cloth. Avoid rubbing the ink stain, blot instead until the stain is gone. After cleaning, ensure to wipe with a damp cloth and dry.

Oil or grease stain

To remove oil or grease stains use either baking soda or cornstarch. If the stain is still very fresh, try to soak as much as possible with a paper towel. Try not to press the stain into the material of your leather purse. Once you’ve soaked up the oil, sprinkle some baking soda or a cornstarch on the spot. If you can’t find cornstarch, you can use cornflour. Leave the cornstarch in overnight so that it can soak up the oil. Gently brush off the cornstarch with a soft-bristled brush.

According to Anuent, for leathers like suede, dampen the leather with steam and brush away any excess cornstarch on the leather purse.

Dark stains

Mix a cream of tartar with a lemon juice to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and wait for at least 10 minutes before wiping the stain off with a damp cloth. For residue stain, use a damp cloth soaked in warm water mixed with mild soap.

Mud stains

Mud stains should be wiped off immediately. If it’s on a leather purse like suede, let the mud dry first. Using a bristle brush, wipe off the mud from the surface of the leather purse.

Blood stain

Hydrogen peroxide works great on leather to remove blood stains. Though this is more effective on leather-like suede. Soaking a cloth in hydrogen peroxide, gently dab on the affected spot, and the stain would be off in no time.

Gum or wax stains

It’s quite easy to take off gum stains on your leather purse. All you have to do is, put your purse into the freezer. This would make the gum or wax harden. Once the gum or wax has dried off, take your leather purse from the freezer and wipe away the gum or wax from the surface of your leather purse.

Scratch mark

For scratch marks, a shoe polish would work, although it’s only temporary. Choose a polish that matches your leather purse’s color and apply only in small amounts to avoid ruining your leather purse.

Condition your leather purse

Always ensure to condition your leather purse to give it that shine it deserves. Not only does a leather conditioner help enhance the natural luster and unique features of your leather, but it would also prolong the life of your leather purse.

Tips for maintaining your leather purse

  • Make sure the inside of your leather purse is not left out when you’re cleaning. Ensure to empty the leather purse, shaking it properly to remove dust. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the inside of your purse.
  • Always stuff your leather purse with tissue paper if you’re not using it, to maintain its original shape. It would also prevent the leather purse from cracking.
  • Never leave an open pen inside your leather purse to avoid ink stains.
  • Always store your bag in a dust bag or a white pillowcase. This would prevent dust from staining the surface of your leather purse.
  • Apply a leather conditioner to your leather purse at least every 2 – 6 months to help it last longer.

With the right care, you can be sure your leather purse would stand the test of time. Ensure to clean your leather purse regularly, depending on how often you use it. Don’t let little stains to deter you from showcasing your luxurious blend of leathers.


About Amy Smith

Amy, an award-winning journalist with a Master's in Journalism from Columbia University, has excelled for over twelve years, specializing in parenting, pregnancy, nursing, fashion, and health.

Her acclaimed blog, AmyandRose, demonstrates profound expertise shaped by her journey from pregnancy to nurturing a teenager and a toddler. Recognized by several parenting awards, Amy's work has been featured in top-tier health and lifestyle magazines, underscoring her authority in these fields.

Her contributions, grounded in evidence-based research and personal experience, provide invaluable, credible insights for parents navigating the complexities of modern child-rearing and personal well-being.

For Educational Purpose Only! For medical advice, consult your physician.

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