Cleaning Your Leather Handbag Gently and Properly

Cleaning Your Leather Handbag Gently and Properly

When disaster strikes, make sure you handle spills the right way.

You spent weeks shopping for just the right bag. You stretched your paycheck (or your credit card, ahem) to buy it. Your friends love it. Coworkers compliment you on it. But then disaster strikes! A spill, a smudge, or a splash, and suddenly your beautiful handbag is in trouble. What to do?

Life is messy! But when spills and smudges happen, regular cleaning products can do more harm than good. A specialized leather cleaner is the proper way to respond to small spills and drops before they become stains. If the leather cleaner is part of a single-use wipe, you can carry it around in your handbag and have it ready whenever you need it.

The most important thing to know is that a leather cleaner does its job without oily soaps, harsh detergents, or water. Water-based cleaners and emulsifiers can pull essential moisture and natural oils out of your leather. Soap and water, rubbing alcohol, or laundry detergents can all cause problems with the feel or finish of soft designer leather.

Once you've applied the leather cleaner according to the directions, you should let your handbag dry. Slowly. That means no heat, no fans, no excessive toweling. If dirt or stains remain after you've used the cleaner, your bag may need professional attention.

We recommend using a good leather conditioner, after each cleaning, to make sure your bag is back in balance. And to help guard against future spills, read our tips on using a handbag stain protector.

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