Why Is It Important To Keep Real Leather Clean?
Real leather has some gorgeous natural characteristics that make it perfect for bags and purses. However, without regular cleaning, dirt, grime, and oils can accumulate on the surface, leading to potential damage long-term.
Day-to-day dirt and grime can do damage to your bag. Not only does it make the material lose its natural sheen and aesthetic appeal, but it can also cause scratches and cracks if allowed to build up.
For hygiene reasons it’s also a good idea to know how to clean leather bags and purses properly. Bags tend to be heavy-wear items that we use and handle regularly so it’s crucial that they are properly cleaned.
Cleaning Stains From A Real Leather Bag or Purse
Stains and spills on leather should be cleaned immediately to stop them from setting. You can use a damp cloth and a mild leather cleaner to gently dab clean the stains. You should always avoid excessive scrubbing when cleaning real leather.
How To Clean Leather Bags and Purses: Step-By-Step
The great news is that cleaning leather bags and purses is easy and doesn’t require expensive tools or lots of cleaning products.
Step 1: Prepare For Cleaning
Gather everything you need; a soft cloth, some leather cream or conditioner and clean water.
Before you apply it to the whole bag, you should always test a small amount of leather conditioner on a non-visible spot to check it won’t damage the leather.
Step 2: Surface Cleaning
Use a soft microfiber cloth to gently wipe the bag's surface, removing any loose dirt, dust, or debris. Avoid using anything abrasive because it can cause damage to the leather.
Step 3: Cleaning Leather Bags
Use a damp, soft cloth to wipe the bag all over. Never use hard brushes or harsh chemicals on the material.
Make sure the bag doesn’t get too wet during this part of the cleaning. Leather is water resistant but not completely waterproof (even the highest quality leathers!)
Step 4: Drying
Always leave real leather bags to dry naturally. Heaters or radiators can warp the material and cause leather bags or purses to lose their shape.
Choose a well-ventilated area where the bag can dry away from bright sunlight and unnatural heat sources.
Step 5: Leather Conditioner
Once your bag is dry and you’ve tested the conditioner on a small area of the material, it’s time to brighten up the material by applying a hydrating and nourishing cream.
Apply a small amount of the conditioning cream to a soft, clean cloth. Massage the conditioner into your bag all over to bring back the shine of the material.
The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Leather Bags
- Do dust leather bags regularly with a soft cloth to prevent the accumulation of dirt.
- Do address stains and spills immediately to minimize the chance of permanent discoloration.
- Do use leather cleaners specifically designed for real leather.
- Do test any cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire bag.
- Do store your leather bags in a cool, dry place when not in use, preferably in a dust bag or pillowcase to protect them.
- Don't use harsh chemicals, solvents, or abrasive cleaners that can strip the leather's natural oils and cause damage.
- Don't expose your leather bags to direct sunlight or extreme heat, as this can cause fading, drying, and cracking.
- Don't immerse your leather bags in water or soak them; excessive moisture can lead to leather deformation and discoloration.
- Don't scrub vigorously or use rough materials that can scratch or damage the leather surface.
- Don't neglect regular conditioning, as it helps maintain the leather's suppleness and prevents drying out.
Our 6 Favorite Easy-Clean Leather Bags
Some leather products will be easier to clean than others, and high-quality leathers like top grain and full grain leather can have a longer life than poorer quality alternatives when properly maintained.
Here are 6 of our favorite easy-clean real leather bags and accessories:
The Retro is a popular and charming leather bag with a vintage-inspired appeal. Made from premium full-grain buffalo leather, it offers both style and durability. With a padded laptop or tablet pouch, your belongings are well-protected.
The Prime is a great example of the balance that can be achieved between luxury and practicality. Not only is this suave real leather bag easy to wipe down, but it’s also really functional for everyday use.
The Brief epitomizes timeless style and sophistication, making it the perfect choice for today's modern professional.
With its sleek design, this bag exudes professionalism while offering everything you need for the working week. Designed with the needs of the modern working man in mind, it provides space for a laptop and its simple design makes it easy to keep clean to maintain its professional look.
Wallets are one of the few things that are taken everywhere. They see their fair share of daily dirt and mess. Choosing an easily-cleaned material is particularly important if you want a wallet that will stand the test of time. The Bifold is the perfect long-lasting, luxury wallet.
The Sling is a cool and stylish leather bag that’s perfect for those who love adventure. It offers all of the storage you need for your phone, wallet and keys plus its minimal design makes it easy to clean and keep in great condition. It’s the perfect long-lasting accessory for any look.
The Alba is a stylish and sophisticated small carry. It’s great for everyday use and has plenty of room for the daily essentials. The great thing about this compact real leather bag is it’s easy to look after and endlessly stylish.