Wiki Tips and advice Philippines - English

How to clean leather bag

Read on for our top tips on how to clean a leather bag, including what to use and to avoid.


Leather bag and leather wallet

Key steps to leather bag cleaning

  • Identify the type of leather your bag is made from – nubuck and suede need different cleaning methods to standard leather.

  • Use a commercial cleaner or make your own from mild dish soap and warm water. Always test your cleaner on a small spot first.

  • Wipe your bag with the cleaner, inside and out, before tackling stains and drying with a clean cloth. Do not use a hairdryer or artificial heat to dry your leather bag.

  • Apply a leather protector or conditioner regularly to help protect it. Keep it out of direct sunlight which can cause cracking, fading, and discoloration.

If you've made the investment and bought a leather bag, you'll want to keep it in good condition for the years to come – but what if you don’t know how? Rather than visiting specialist cleaners, learn how to clean a leather bag at home with our expert tips.

Always take care when choosing products to clean your leather bag. Make sure they’re designed for leather care, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and test them on a small spot first.

How to wash your leather bag: Simple dos and don’ts

From steps to protect your bag to advice on how to polish a leather bag, here are the most important dos and don’ts you should be aware of when cleaning leather bags.

  1. DO use a leather protector. This is especially important before you wear it out for the first time. Top up regularly to make sure the benefits don’t wear away with use!

  2. DO know about which type of leather your bag is made of. Nubuck leather will need different treatments to suede.

  3. DO test any cleaning products on a small area first. This will allow you to check that the product you have chosen will not cause any adverse reactions to the leather.

  4. DON’T use a hairdryer to dry your bag when cleaning. Excess exposure to the levels of heat produced by a hairdryer can damage the surface of your bag.

  5. DON’T expose your bag to direct sunlight. If you want to avoid cracking or colour fading, make sure your bag isn’t exposed to too much direct sunlight – particularly when air drying after cleaning.

How to remove stains from a leather bag: FAQs about cleaning your leather bag

The Poll

What topics would you like to read about?

0 Votes

Need to know how to remove mold from leather bags or simply want a guide to basic cleaning? Read the steps below:

What do you need to clean your leather bag?

There are a few items you need for cleaning your leather bag:

  • Two soft cleaning cloths

  • A small bowl

  • Warm water

  • A mild soap

  • A sponge

  • A dry towel

  • Leather conditioner

How do I clean my leather bag?

Cleaning your leather bag can be done by following just 8 steps:

  1. Empty your bag, shaking it vigorously to ensure you remove any loose dirt and debris.

  2. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe the inside of your bag.

  3. Dip the cloth into clean water, and once damp, wipe the outside of your bag. Take care not to soak the leather as this could cause damage.

  4. Mix a few drops of mild soap in a bowl of warm water and dip your sponge into the bowl containing your soapy water. Alternatively use a sponge and commercial cleaner. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  5. Use the sponge to clean the surface of your bag, always moving in the direction of the grain.

  6. Using a clean, dry towel to wipe off excess moisture and soap residue.

  7. Allow your bag to air dry for around 30 minutes.

  8. Using your second soft, clean cloth to apply your chosen leather conditioner. Don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Always rub the conditioner on in a consistent circular motion.

How do you get rid of greasy stains?

Have you discovered a greasy stain from a product such as hand cream? Here’s how to remove it:

  • Soak up as much of the stain as you can as quickly as possible with a tissue.

  • Apply cornstarch to the stain to absorb remaining grease.

  • Remember to keep your leather protected as this product helps repel grease and liquids.

Can I clean biro off leather?

Dropped a pen into your bag and forgot to put the lid on? Don’t panic.

  • Try a commercial leather cleaner designed to tackle ink stains.

  • Dip cotton wool into a little rubbing alcohol and blot gently.

  • If in doubt, consult a professional. Ink stains can be stubborn to remove on leather.

How to remove mold from leather bags

Learning how to remove mold from a leather bag is actually quite easy – you can use household items like white vinegar,  lemon juice, makeup remover, or disinfectant!

  1. Mix a small amount of your chosen cleaner with water.

  2. Dampen a clean cloth with this mixture and wipe across the moldy area.

  3. Repeat until the mold has been removed.

  4. Wipe with a dry cloth and let the bag air dry fully.

  5. If the mold was on the inside of the bag, leave it open while drying.

  6. Drying the bag in the sun can help kill any remaining mold particles but may risk fading or cracking the material if it’s exposed for too long.

How to clean white leather bags

The process for cleaning a white leather bag is the same as any other type of leather bag. Avoid using any chemicals that may cause discoloration and check your leather protector is suitable for white colors.

How to polish a leather bag

You don’t polish a leather bag – you condition it. Use a leather conditioner or protector and apply as instructed by the manufacturer. Usually you buff a small amount into the leather using circular motions.

So, whether you were looking for advice for how to clean white leather bags or tips on how to tackle common stains, we hope our tips have been useful!

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on cleaning leather bags

How do you care for a leather bag so that you don't need to wash it as often?

There are a handful of tips we can share for how to care for a leather bag so that you need to wash it less. First, ensure you regularly use a soft brush or microfiber cloth to clean the surface of your leather bag. Don't forget, you should regularly air out your leather bag too. If your leather bag gets wet, blot away excess water and air dry as soon as you can – the sooner the better – avoiding artificial heat such as tumble dryers or radiators as these could damage the leather. Finally, invest in a specialist leather conditioner. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the bottle and use it every 6 months or so to give your leather a little extra love.

How do you clean a leather suitcase?

You can learn how to clean a leather suitcase in just 3 simple steps. First, create a cleaning solution with warm water and a mild, unscented soap. Next, use a soft cloth to rub your DIY cleaning solution over the surface of your suitcase, working in a circular motion. To help your leather suitcase last longer, you should focus on the areas that need cleaning the most rather than cleaning the entire suitcase every time. Finally, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away the soapy residue and ‘rinse’ the surface before leaving it to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Take this step immediately after applying the cleaning solution.

How do you remove scratches from leather bag?

Want to find out how to remove scratches from leather bag? You've come to the right place. For smaller scratches, you may be surprised to discover that Vaseline is an ideal candidate. Simply use a paper towel and buff the scratch away with the Vaseline. For deeper scratches, first clean the leather with leather cleaner before dabbing the area with distilled white vinegar. Once dry, use colourless shoe polish to blend the scratch away.

Can you use leather oil for bags made of leather?

Yes. Using leather oil for bags is an important step in caring for your leather bag. The natural oils need replacing to prevent your bag becoming dry and rough to the touch.

Originally published