Despite every woman having a few handbags in her arsenal, there always is that favorite one. The problem is, that’s the bag that gets dirty the most. Let’s learn how to clean a leather bag to make it neat again.
The first thing you should do before cleaning the leather bag is take everything out of it. When the outer and inner pockets are empty, you can wash the lining. To do this, turn the bag out, and start to wash with some soapy water, and then rinse well and allow the lining to dry. In addition to the powder detergent, the lining can be washed with liquid soap applied to a sponge, or shampoo.
You simply refresh the lining without washing by wiping it with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Usually the upper part of the fabric get dirty the most, so pay special attention to this area.
Even health and hygiene experts advise regular cleaning of the inside of women’s bags with antibacterial wipes.
Those who want to wash the entire bag should know that a leather bag might not tolerate getting completely wet. Do not put your favorite piece in jeopardy, there are much gentler way of cleaning the bag at home.
- Mix a table spoon of liquid soap, a teaspoon of ammonia, and a glass of water.
- Dip a sponge in this solution, and wash the entire bag completely. Pay attention to pockets, handles, straps and patches, top and bottom of the bag.
- When you’re finished washing, rinse with clean water and wipe dry.
- Wait until the bag dries completely .
General rules for cleaning genuine leather bags
To wash away traces of dust, splashes of dirt, grease stains, first wipe a leather bag with a solution of soapy water and a bit of ammonia. Then wash it with a damp sponge to remove stains. The final stage is to shine, moisturize and soften the leather.
Make-up remover helps to eliminate common pollution. It simultaneously removes dirt and softens the surface a little.
Since we’re talking about a leather bag, we suggest choosing a cream that matches the color of the leather. It will be able to hide signs of wear: scuffs, scratches, creases, cracks, etc.
Leather does well when conditioned. If it is conditioned, it becomes more pliable and shiny, and looks new. To clean and condition the leather bag, you can use a moisturizing hand cream. You can also use castor oil, vaseline or glycerin- whatever you can find in your home.
Apply the moisturizer with a piece of cotton, using light rubbing movements. The leather will not be able to absorb too much cream, so do not use too much, otherwise, you will have to wash the excess out with a rag.
Cleaning a black bag
A black or dark brown bag can be cleaned with natural ground coffee. It takes only one spoon, which is brewed with a minimum amount of water to get a thick mixture. This mixture is applied to the bag with rubbing movements to color the leather, then immediately washed with clean water. Do not allow the leather bag to get very wet, so always use small-sized rags and squeeze them well.
It is clear how to deal with black material, but how do you clean a leather bag that’s light or even white in color? Use cow’s milk for that, it removes dirt and softens leather a bit. Apply heated low-fat milk with a piece of cotton, changing the cotton as it gets dirty.
The light bag can be cleaned and refreshed by wiping with milk mixed with egg white. Whisk the egg white and add a little bit of warm milk to it. This is a great home cleaning method for any white leather, including patent leather, because it is very gentle.
More on the topic: how to clean a white leather bag
Cleaning smooth and patent leather
A bag with smooth glossy looking leather just needs to be cleaned with a damp cloth and rubbed intensively with a dry wool cloth.
Same goes for caring for patent leather. And to prevent the finish from cracking, you can apply a special water based protector, which you can buy in shoe stores.
Here is the list of things not to do with patent leather bags:
- clean them with regular leather cream;
- wear in hot weather (above +25° C) or too cold weather (below -10° C) ;
- lubricate them with an oily cream.
It is best to clean the surface of patent leather with a cut of the onion, and then rub it with a soft velvet cloth.
Sometimes there are stains on your bag that need to be removed. Stains are inevitable when an item is constantly worn. Do you know how to clean a leather bag if it has a greasy stain?
- Fresh stain can be abundantly sprinkled with powdered chalk or baby powder. Starch, fine salt and baking soda also absorb grease well. Any powder is left for 30 minutes, then cleaned with a soft brush.
- To get rid of stubborn stains, clean the bag with the help of any substance containing alcohol (vodka, facial wash, alcohol wipes). Please remember that alcohol dries leather out, and in some cases affects its color. Proceed carefully, use a small amount of alcohol, first removing traces of stains from the edges.
- If alcohol does not help, then you need to spot-clean the stain with dish soap, applying it to a sponge. You may need to clean it several times and spend a lot of time removing a stubborn stain, but if the bag is expensive and beloved, it’s worth it.
- Some stains can be removed with lemon juice. Squeeze some juice on a piece of cotton and wipe the dirt with it. After any cleaning, do not forget to condition the leather and let it dry.
To maintain the perfect look of the handbag, wipe it regularly with a damp cloth, then with a soft dry cloth. Heavy stains should be removed immediately, and you should throw out unnecessary things from the inside from time to time, while cleaning the lining.