How To Clean Leather Purse

So you’ve got a beautiful leather purse that you adore, but it’s starting to lose its luster and showcase some unwanted marks and stains. Don’t worry, because in this article, we’ve got you covered! We’ll walk you through some simple yet effective steps on how to clean your beloved leather purse and bring it back to its original glory. Whether it’s a minor smudge or a stubborn spill, follow our friendly tips and say hello to a refreshed, clean leather purse in no time.

Cleaning Materials

To properly clean a leather purse, it is important to gather the necessary cleaning materials. Here are some essential items you will need:

Leather cleaner

Invest in a good quality leather cleaner that is specifically designed for cleaning leather products. This will help remove dirt, stains, and other impurities without damaging the material.

Soft cloth

Use a soft cloth, preferably made of microfiber or cotton, to gently clean the leather surface. Avoid using rough or abrasive materials that may scratch or damage the leather.


Use clean water to dampen the cloth and facilitate the cleaning process. It is important to use minimal water to prevent saturating the leather, as excessive moisture can cause damage.

Dish soap

Mild dish soap can be used to create a gentle cleaning solution. It helps to break down dirt and grease on the leather surface without causing any harm.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is highly effective in removing ink stains from leather purses. It should be used sparingly and applied only to the affected area.

White vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner that can be used to remove salt or sweat stains. It is also useful in preventing mold and mildew growth on leather surfaces.

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Before diving into the cleaning process, it is essential to properly prepare the leather purse. Here are some steps to follow:

Empty the contents of the purse

Before cleaning, remove all items from the purse. This will make it easier to thoroughly clean both the inside and outside of the bag.

Identify any stains or spots

Take a close look at the purse and identify any visible stains or spots that need to be treated. This will help you prioritize the cleaning process and focus on the areas that require extra attention.

Read the purse care tag

Check the care tag attached to the purse for any specific cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. Following these guidelines will help ensure that you clean the purse in the safest and most effective way possible.

Test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area

Before applying any cleaner to the entire purse, it is important to test it on a small, inconspicuous area. This will help you determine if the cleaner is safe for your particular type of leather and if it causes any unwanted discoloration or damage.

General Cleaning

Once you have prepared the purse, it’s time to start the general cleaning process. Follow these steps to remove surface dirt and grime:

Remove surface dirt and dust

Gently brush off any loose dirt or dust from the surface of the purse using a soft cloth or a dry brush. Be gentle to avoid scratching the leather.

Dampen a cloth with water and soap

Dampen a soft cloth with a small amount of water and add a drop or two of mild dish soap. Make sure the cloth is not too wet to avoid saturating the leather.

Gently wipe the purse with the cloth

Using the damp cloth, gently wipe the entire surface of the purse, paying extra attention to any stained or soiled areas. Avoid applying excessive pressure or scrubbing vigorously, as this can damage the leather.

Dry the purse with a clean, dry cloth

Once you have cleaned the purse, use a clean, dry cloth to thoroughly dry the surface. Make sure to remove all traces of moisture to prevent damage or discoloration.

Stain Removal

leather purses are prone to different types of stains that require specific treatment methods. Here are some common stains and how to deal with them:

Treat ink stains

Ink stains can be particularly challenging to remove from leather. To tackle this problem, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab or cloth and gently dab the stained area. Be cautious not to rub the stain further into the leather. Afterward, clean the area with a damp cloth and dry it thoroughly.

Remove grease stains

Grease stains can be treated by gently blotting the affected area with a paper towel or clean cloth to absorb excess grease. Sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain and let it sit overnight. The powder will absorb the grease. The next day, brush off the powder and wipe the area with a damp cloth.

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Deal with water stains

Water stains can leave unsightly marks on leather purses. To remove them, dampen a cloth with water and white vinegar solution (equal parts water and vinegar). Gently wipe the stained area, ensuring not to oversaturate the leather. Let the purse air dry completely, avoiding direct sunlight or heat.

Address mildew or mold

If you notice mildew or mold on your leather purse, take immediate action to prevent further damage. Mix equal parts water and vinegar to create a cleaning solution. Dampen a cloth with the solution and gently wipe the affected areas. Afterward, allow the purse to air dry completely. If the problem persists, consult a professional cleaner for further assistance.

Conditioning and Polishing

To maintain the beauty and longevity of your leather purse, it is crucial to regularly condition and polish it. Follow these steps for proper conditioning and polishing:

Choose a leather conditioner

Select a high-quality leather conditioner that is suitable for your type of leather. Different conditioners are formulated for specific types of leather, such as full-grain, top-grain, or suede. Read the product labels and choose one that matches your leather purse.

Apply a small amount of conditioner on a cloth

Take a clean cloth and apply a small amount of leather conditioner onto it. Avoid pouring the conditioner directly onto the leather, as this can lead to over-application.

Rub the conditioner onto the surface of the purse

Gently rub the conditioner onto the entire surface of the purse, ensuring even coverage. pay special attention to areas that are prone to dryness or cracking, such as handles or corners. Massage the conditioner into the leather using circular motions.

Let the conditioner dry and penetrate the leather

Allow the purse to sit for a few minutes, allowing the conditioner to dry and penetrate the leather. This step helps restore moisture and flexibility to the leather, preventing it from becoming stiff or brittle.

Buff the purse with a soft cloth for shine

Using a soft cloth, gently buff the surface of the purse in circular motions. This will help restore the leather’s natural shine and remove any excess conditioner. Take your time and ensure that the entire purse is buffed properly for a polished finish.

Sunlight Exposure

Exposing leather purses to direct sunlight for extended periods can cause the color to fade and the leather to dry out. To protect your purse from sun damage, follow these guidelines:

Keep leather purses away from direct sunlight

Store your leather purse in a shaded area away from direct sunlight. This will prevent the harsh UV rays from causing fading or discoloration.

Avoid extreme heat or cold

Leather is sensitive to temperature fluctuations, so it is important to avoid exposing your purse to extreme heat or cold. Keep it stored in a climate-controlled environment to maintain its condition.

Store in a cool, dry place

When not in use, keep your leather purse stored in a cool, dry place. Ensure proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup, as excess humidity can promote mold or mildew growth.

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Dealing with Salt or Sweat Stains

Salt and sweat stains can be a common issue, especially during hot summer months or in regions with high humidity. Here’s how to remove these stains effectively:

Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar

Create a solution by mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar. This natural solution is effective in removing salt and sweat stains from leather.

Dampen a cloth with the vinegar solution

Dampen a cloth with the vinegar solution and wring out any excess moisture. Ensure the cloth is damp, not soaked, to avoid saturating the leather.

Gently wipe the stained areas

Carefully wipe the stained areas with the damp cloth, applying gentle pressure as needed. Avoid rubbing too harshly to prevent damaging the leather.

Allow the purse to air dry

After cleaning the salt or sweat stains, allow the purse to air dry naturally. Avoid using artificial heat sources or direct sunlight, as they may cause the leather to dry out or become discolored.

Mold and Mildew Prevention

Preventing mold and mildew growth is crucial for maintaining the longevity and appearance of your leather purse. Follow these tips to keep your purse mold-free:

Store purses in a breathable, dust-free bag

When storing your leather purse, use a breathable bag made of fabric to allow air circulation. Avoid using plastic bags, as they can trap moisture and promote mold growth.

Avoid storing in humid areas

Humidity creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. Avoid storing your purse in areas with high humidity, such as the basement or bathroom.

Consider using moisture-absorbing products

To prevent moisture buildup inside your purse, consider using moisture-absorbing products such as silica gel packets or activated charcoal. These substances help keep the interior dry and inhibit mold growth.

Regularly air out the purse

Periodically take your purse out of storage and let it air out in a well-ventilated area. This allows any trapped moisture to evaporate and helps prevent mold or mildew from developing.

Protection against Spills and Rain

Leather purses are susceptible to damage from spills and rainwater. To protect your purse from these potential hazards, follow these preventive measures:

Use a leather protector spray

Apply a leather protector spray specifically designed to repel water and stains. This invisible barrier helps shield the leather from spills, rainwater, and other liquids.

Apply the spray evenly on the purse

Hold the leather protector spray about 6-8 inches away from the purse and spray it evenly across the entire surface. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.

Allow it to dry completely before use

After applying the leather protector spray, let the purse dry completely before using or storing it. This will allow the protective layer to bond with the leather effectively.

Professional Cleaning

For tough stains or extensive damage, it may be necessary to seek professional cleaning services. Here’s what you should consider when opting for professional cleaning:

Consider professional cleaning for tough stains

If you have attempted to clean the stains but have not achieved satisfactory results, it is advisable to seek professional cleaning. Professional cleaners have specialized knowledge and products to remove stubborn stains without damaging the leather.

Research and choose a reputable cleaner

Do thorough research to find reputable cleaners in your area who have experience with leather purse cleaning. Look for reviews and recommendations from trusted sources to ensure you choose a reliable and trustworthy cleaner.

Follow any specific instructions or recommendations

When taking your purse for professional cleaning, make sure to communicate any specific concerns or requirements to the cleaner. It is important to follow their instructions and recommendations for the best results and to prevent any potential damage to your purse.

In conclusion, cleaning a leather purse requires careful attention and the use of appropriate materials. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively clean and maintain your leather purse, ensuring its longevity and beauty for years to come. Remember to always test any cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area before applying them to the entire purse, and consider seeking professional help for tough stains or extensive damage. With proper care and regular maintenance, your leather purse can continue to be a stylish and durable accessory.


Mila Brooks

My goal for Go Girl Bags is to provide all of my site visitors with a trusted quality experience. Going down the rabbit hole of frustration trying to find the perfect bag for all you needs is not any fun. My researched information not only about bag looks, but also quality of materials and other aesthetics you may not have thought about will help you make a better informed decision. Thank you.

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