How to Clean & Maintain Your Designer Leather Handbag

Taking care of a designer leather handbag is more important than you think. Most people who own leather handbags do not treat them like investments and tend to use them for years without cleaning them or doing any treatment at all.

Likely, you have invested tons of money into this handbag, this is why your goal should be to treat it as if this bag is supposed to be around forever. Taking care of a leather handbag isn’t all fun and games like some people make it out it be. It can be somewhat tricky.

This is why we decided to put together the top tip for taking care of your leather bags. We go into serious depth on how to take care of a leather handbag, what steps you should take to keep the handbag as supple as possible, and what to do when you see your leather bag drying or cracking.

All in all, the tips are here to help you clean your bag without destroying it… no worries, I’ve destroyed my Louis Vuitton bag with bad advice. I’m here to help you avoid that.

Clean your bag every week

You must wipe down the exterior of your leather handbag at least once a week to remove any debris or dirt that might have stuck. You can use soapy water, or mix a small bit of super mild liquid soap with warm water on a soft cloth.

That should do the trick. Gunk forms on the exterior of the bag when you have not cleaned it for a while, and you will find a fine film on the bag that allows more dirt and debris to stick. In regards to soaps, I like to use Dr. Woods Pure Lavender Soap.

It also keeps your bags from looking ashy…lol. It’s a little pricey for soap but whatever, some things are just worth it. You can you any soap you like but I would use the brands that are for babies for example.

Make sure you wipe the grans of the bag and NEVER use baby wipes, vinegar, or other home remedies unless you want to kiss your bag goodbye. These products tend to pull out the color, dry the leather out and cause other weird problems that can be avoided by not doing it.

Clean the interior

Learning how to clean the inside of a leather handbag is important because the bag could have a number of different linings.

A cloth lining can be wiped down with a simple rag, and a leather liner can be cleaned with a bit of soap and lukewarm water. However, there are many luxury handbags on the market that have nubuck lining.

Nubuck will stain if you get it wet. You should spray the lining with a waterproof sealant first. The nubuck will then reject water, and then it can be wiped down at least once a week without worrying about damaging the bag. This is a great suede and nubuck cleaner that will get the job done.

What happens when the leather cracks?

First of all, don’t panic! This can be fixed relatively easily. Dry leather will crease and then crack if you put pressure on the same parts of the bag over and over. You should use a special leather lotion to soften the drying parts of your bag, and you should apply this lotion at least once a week.

I recommend the Leather Rescue brand; it works beautifully on dry and cracking leather bags. Once again, use what you want, but avoid lotions with many harmful chemicals. Rule of thumb, if it is too harsh for your skin, it's probably too much for your bag.

Keep in mind when applying these treatments, some bags need a lot of care because they were too dry, and it might be necessary for you to treat the bag every day until it has come back to life.

You can see how dry your leather bag is when it begins to whiten or in other words, become ashy. Only the leather lotion can bring it back to its original, new bag color.

How to store a designer handbag

If your bag came with a dust bag, please use it. Some people believe it's just fancy packaging and ultimately throw it away. These bags were intended to keep your designer bag dust-free when it is stored.

You should also keep your handbags stored in a cool and dry location. You could use a storage container that will hold all your bags, or use a special humidifying unit that is traditionally used for cigars. The humidity should remain consistent so that the leather does not dry out.

If you follow this simple step, you could keep your bag dormant for most of the year, and come out of the box looking perfect.

Another quick tip, please avoid direct sunlight on your leather handbag. It can cause some serious fading of the color and damage the leather.

What about that harsh stain on my bag?

Sometimes, we wear a dark slim fit dress with white or other bright color bags with our bags pressed against our waist. We forget that sometimes the color from our sexy outfits transfers to the bags; causing dreadful staining.

Sometimes soap and water will do, but then, there are other times, when it will require more. I would resort to so good ole shoe polish. Likely, if your bag is any color other than black, you should try to match it to the best of your ability.

If you don’t know what this is GOOD!

Never use saddle soap. It will damage your bag. So, don’t do it.

Smells are inevitable

In most cases, a simple odor remover will suffice. Once again, avoid anything with harsh solvents or aerosol order remover – these can damage the bag. A great way to get rid of lingering smells is to place my best friend for everything…

Baking Soda inside of the bag then places the dust cover or other cloth bag on the bag for a day or so. The baking powder will absorb the odors.

A designer leather handbag must be cleaned and stored correctly throughout the year. If you do not do this properly, your bag will lose its value and it will begin to crack and dry out if you don’t store them properly.

A leather handbag will last a lifetime when it is treated with the utmost care.