There are various cleaning products and methods out there, some of which are beneficial while others are detrimental to the material.
The ultimate question is how do you keep your leather accessories and items looking sparkly without ruining them? This article will examine how you can do just that without considering a few different approaches.
Basic Cleaning for Leather Accessories, Bags & Purses
Leather, in all its decadence, is not immune to the effects of spills and dirt. Stains, spots and splashes can damage the most durable leather, especially if the offending substance is strong (ie. sauce) or if the leather is not protected with a spray.
You can give yourself the royal treatment by having your leather accessories professionally cleansed of such blemishes but you’re better off cleaning it at home. You’ve got several household cleaning products that will do the trick, and you can use them in simple cleaning procedures.
How to Clean Leather Hand Bags, Wallets & Accessories at Home
- Mix one part mild soap (ie. face soap or mild laundry detergent will work) with eight parts bottled or distilled water.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and then spray onto a sturdy cloth, microfibre cloth or a sponge.
- Start with the exterior and wipe the stain(s) gently. Make sure to go with the grain rather than go against it. Then wipe the interior of your bag or purse in a similar fashion.
- Once the stain has dissolved, leave your bag or purse to dry away from sunlight.
- To protect your leather from future stains, apply a pea-sized amount of leather moisturizer onto the item.
This process should take no longer than 15 minutes. With that said, you may have to repeat the process if you have a light-coloured bag or purse, or if the leather is highly absorbent.
Removing Harsh Liquid Stains from Leather Accessories
Some compounds leave a more indelible (and unwanted) mark on the leather. They include the likes of beverages (ie. wine), perfumes, acrylic nail polishes and even hair dyes. Fortunately, spilling a harsher compound doesn’t have to spell an emergency. The fix is to remove the stain quickly and correctly before it permanently remains on your accessories. We’ve got the solution (excuse the pun) for you.
How to Clean Leather Stained With Harsh Liquids
- Begin by blotting the stained area right away with a dry cloth or tissue to absorb as much of the liquid as possible.
- Next, blot the area again with a damp cloth or tissue using warm water only.
- Start at the outside of the stain and work inwards (to prevent it from spreading further outwards).
- Once again, you should dab the stained area with a dry cloth or tissue to absorb any remaining fluid (whether that’s water or cleaner).
- Leave your bag or purse to dry in a warm room, but do not apply any heat to the stain (as it can ingrain the blemish further).
Remember, speed and technique are the keys to successfully removing harsh liquid stains. They set in quickly, so you can’t have a laissez-faire attitude toward them - or else you will be sorry later!
Removing Smells & Bad Odours from Leather Accessories
We’re going to assume that you won’t spend much time sniffing your leather handbag, messenger bag or purse. That is unless it’s new, of course, and you can’t get enough of that “brand new smell”. Nevertheless, depending on where you put your items or what was in them, you might notice an unpleasant odour attached to them. It’s not going to ruin the look of your bag, but it’ll definitely take away the pleasure of owning it. Fortunately, there are some simple fixes for smelly leather.
How to Clean leather Accessories that Stink
- Dilute some white vinegar in water and spray onto your leather accessory.
- Simply wipe the surface of your item completely.
- Afterwards, apply a small amount of leather conditioner to prevent the leather from drying out (which vinegar may cause).
It may seem like fighting fire with fire here since vinegar has a very strong, if not, overpowering scent. However, it’s one of the best odour-busters you can buy, and it costs next to nothing at the grocery store.
Keep Your Leather Accessories Stain and Stink-Free
So now you know how to clean your leather accessories, whether they are leather handbags, messenger bags or purses. These simple products and techniques should give you some reassurance that a stain or stench isn’t destined to ruin your goods forever.
With that said, you should take steps to keep your leather accessories safe from the elements (ie. food, drinks, pets, kids). But how can you keep them safe? We will teach how to do just that in our next article on storing leather accessories (specifically, bags).
Are you looking for the most stylish and durable leather accessories? Take a look at our men’s and women’s selection.