It often starts with a stain, a scratch, or an unsightly wrinkle, and before we know it, the leather handbag you love slowly becomes tainted, and you're left with a remnant of what once was. Sometimes we neglect to clean our favorite bag, but if we do this often, we might have to let go of it.
Whether it is a designer handbag or a more affordable version, they all require a little TLC if we want them to last for years and years. That is why we compiled this helpful list to ensure that you properly clean and preserve your favorite designer leather handbag.
How to Clean Leather Handbags
You can bring your leather handbag to a professional to be pampered and cleaned regularly. However, for many of us who want to clean our handbags personally, here is what you can do to clean them properly. This cleaning process uses items that are often available in your household.
Things you will need:
- Baby Shampoo: A few drops on the stains.
- Distilled Water: A quarter cup of distilled water for cleaning. Make sure not to use tap water, as the salts in the tap water can stain the bag.
- Spray Bottle: To spray the mixture of baby shampoo and water on the stain.
- Brush with Soft Bristles: To remove dust and dirt that settled on the bag.
- Lint-free Cloth: Used to wipe off the shampoo and water solution on the bag.
- Towel: Used to wipe off the water from the handbag.
- Leather Cream: To keep your leather bag in shape
Steps for cleaning:
- Empty your handbag
- Use a soft bristle brush to dust your bag thoroughly. This is to eliminate the dirt and dust that settled on the bag.
- Mix your cleaning solution with a few drops of baby shampoo with a quarter cup of distilled water.
- Put the cleaning solution in a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution on a clean, lint-free cloth.
- Wipe the stained area of your leather handbag with the wet cloth. Ensure to wipe the straps and the bottom part of the bag.
- Use a clean, dry towel to wipe off the excess cleaning solution on the bag.
- Let your bag dry for a few minutes.
- Use the leather cream in your bag. Use a soft cloth to rub the leather cream in a circular motion. The leather cream will make your bag shine like new.
Tips on Maintaining Your Leather Handbag
1. Regular Maintenance
Clean your leather handbag regularly. Make a schedule for emptying your handbag, turning it upside down, and shaking it to remove dust and other dirt. Regular cleaning or handbag maintenance will not only make your leather handbag last longer, but will also ensure that you only carry the essential items in your handbag.
2. Remove Stains Right Away
Remove any stains immediately to avoid permanent damage to your favorite leather handbag. Here are some quick tips on stain removal:
- Pen Marks: Try rubbing fresh ink stains with a white eraser. But don't use too much pressure while rubbing, and if the stain doesn't disappear after rubbing, bring your handbag to a professional handbag cleaner.
- Food Stains: You can use crushed white chalk on the food stain. Let it stay on the stain for several hours or overnight. Then wipe the white chalk with a clean cloth.
- Water Spots: Blot water stains from your leather handbag, let them dry naturally, and bring your bag to a professional bag cleaner.
3. Clean But Not Too Much
You can use certain products to take care of your leather handbag. Invest in these cleaning products. These will not only help clean your leather handbag, but will also help it last longer. In using cleaning products, read the instructions carefully to ensure that the product is suitable for your handbag's material.
Now that you know how to care for your precious handbag, you can follow these tips to keep your bags as good as new for a long time.
- Regularly clean your handbag and remove stains right away.
- Stains from grease, makeup, inks, and other oily products require professional treatment.
- The best home remedy for stains is preventive care. It is best to put your oil-based cosmetics, pens, and other items in a protective case. You can also use a purse organizer insert to protect and organize your handbag.
- You can use nail polish to treat minor scratches for black and brown bags. You may need to send your bag to a professional to get recolored for handbags with exotic colors.
- Keep the hardware of your handbags shiny by using a metal polisher.
- Always store your handbag in a dust bag and away from extreme lighting and temperature.
4. Maintain the Shape of Your Leather Handbag
Another way to make your leather handbag last longer and keep its beauty is to maintain its shape. If you're using a non-structured bag, keep its shape by using a base shaper or a purse organizer insert.
A base shaper is a plastic liner that you insert into a handbag to hold your bag's base in shape. It also allows you to put heavier or lumpier items in your bag without stretching the bottom.
At the same time, a purse organizer insert is a "bag within a bag" that helps organize and protects your handbags. It also allows you to quickly transfer your belongings from one purse to another.
5. Seek Professional Help
Don't be afraid to seek professional help for hard-to-remove stains, broken zippers, and rips and tears. Professional cleaners have the right tools and experience to clean and repair any damage to your leather handbag.
6. Store Properly
Once your handbag is cleaned, store it properly until its next use. The proper way of storing bags is to stuff them with soft dry materials and store them upright to maintain their shape. Unclip and roll up any long straps, keep them inside the bag, and store them out of direct sunlight.
Here are some stuffing options you can use in your handbag.
- Acid-free tissue paper.
- Ink-free papers.
- Unprinted white t-shirts.
- White towels
- Handbag pillows