Our Tips for How to Clean Leather Handbags

Luxury leather and designer goods aren't just a statement, they're an investment, and they can last for years with proper care. But with all the wear and tear that goes into using your leather handbag, it's easy to get soiled. And if you don't clean it regularly, the dirt will start to build up. 

Keeping your leather goods clean and pristine makes them accumulate more value as they age and become rarer over time. Leather handbags are an excellent investment, but they require a certain amount of care. As with all leather products, cleaning leather handbags is a delicate process. Here are our tips for how to clean leather handbags so you can keep them in excellent condition.

Use a High-Quality, Leather-Specific Cleaner

We recommend starting by using a high-quality leather cleaner. Many of these are specifically made for leather and work much better than general cleaners, which can dry out the leather and leave it feeling stiff or sticky. 

You should never use high-alcohol cleaners on leather handbags because they will dry out the material and make it crack over time. The best way to clean your bag is to use a small amount of water with your cleanser - this will help keep your bag's natural oils from evaporating too quickly.

Use Gloves When Handling the Leather and Cleaning Materials

Cleaning leather is best done by hand rather than by machine because a machine can cause friction that damages the material. However, we recommend using gloves when handling the leather and cleaning materials. Leather is sensitive to chemicals and cleaners, so it's best to use your bare hands as little as possible. You can buy gloves from any sewing store or craft store. Use them when handling cleaning products or when you need to touch your bag without getting your hands dirty, such as when zipping up or unzipping it.

Use a Soft Cloth-Like Microfiber to Prevent Scratching

Use a soft cloth-like microfiber to prevent scratching. Never use anything abrasive on your leather handbag — it will only damage the surface and cause permanent scratches.

Use Metal Polish for Zippers, Clasps, and Other Metal Features

Use metal polish for zippers and clasps on other metal features such as buckles or hardware on your bag's front flap or closure. You can find metal polishes at any local hardware store or online retailer. 

Remove Stains

Things such as oil, grease, ink, mold, and other products can stain and damage your leather handbag over the years. Use a gentle cleaning solution designed for the stain you are trying to remove. These can cause irreparable damage and even ruin your bag entirely. If you have stubborn stains that are unable to be removed easily, consider taking your handbag to a professional cleaner who can do this for you. 

Avoid Bending or Creasing the Handbag While Cleaning It

The leather material used for accessories and bags is exceptionally delicate and can bend easily if not handled properly. It is imperative to clean your leather bags without bending them. Bending can cause permanent creases in the leather, which can never be removed. 

Also, avoid folding your bag when placing it inside your wardrobe or bag shelf, as this will also lead to permanent creases on your bag. Make sure that you place your handbag in an open area and always wear it with care so that it doesn't get dirty and damaged easily.

Clean the Lining Separately

To clean the lining, first, make sure that it is turned inside out to avoid damaging it from the cleaning process. If there is any dirt or debris on the inside of your bag, use rubbing alcohol to clean it off. After you have cleaned off all of the dirt and debris from your handbag's lining, allow it to air dry completely.

Use a small vacuum to clean any dirt, sand, or other small debris. You may also want to use a brush attachment to remove any dust from the surface of your bag. Finally, do not attempt to self-repair any holes or tears in the lining - have a luxury specialist do this. If you try to fix them yourself, you risk damaging the lining even further and making it harder for professionals to repair it correctly.

Finish with a High-Quality Leather Conditioner

Leather needs moisture to remain supple and strong. Without proper conditioning, your leather will become brittle and cracked over time. In addition to adding moisture, a good conditioner will also add shine to your bag by nourishing the leather fibers beneath the surface. This makes it look new again! Using a high-quality conditioner will also help protect the material against moisture. Be sure to only use small amounts at a time.


Sell Your Luxury Leather Handbag with OnQue

OnQue is the best place to sell your luxury handbag on consignment. We are working with an exclusive list of passionate buyers and will work to connect the right ones with your listing. We have been helping people like you sell their luxury goods for over a decade, and we know how to do it right.

We will work with you to get your asking price. Our experts are ready to evaluate your luxury handbag and pay you top dollar for it. For more information on selling your luxury handbag with OnQue, contact us directly to learn more!