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Tips on Cleaning Leather Handbags

by April Sanders

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Woman carrying a red leather handbag

The daily wear and tear on leather handbags can leave them dirty at the end of the day, especially if you carry your handbag every day. A fine leather handbag is an investment that is always in style, so you'll want to take good care of it. Handbag cleaning takes just a bit of time, but doing so makes the bag last longer in return. Retain the timeless look, flexibility and shine of your leather bags with a just few steps.

Cleaning Leather Handbags:

  1. Exterior: Leather bags can get dull over time from oils on the skin and exposure to environmental factors, such as perfumes or hairspray. Clean your leather handbag once a week to reduce light soiling. Add a few drops of mild liquid soap to two cups of warm water and mix until suds form. Dip a soft cloth in the water. Use the wet cloth to clean the outside of the bag. Buff dry with another soft, dry rag.

  2. Interior: The inside of your leather purse can get just a dirty as the outside. Empty the contents of your purse and run a lint brush or vacuum hose along the inner lining to collect dust. Wash any interior stains with soap and water and allow your handbag to dry before replacing contents.

  3. Heavy staining: Grease stains can be simply wiped off of genuine leather handbags. Ink stains can be removed from the purse by dipping a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol. Rub the stain with the dipped swab until it disappears from the leather bag and then let dry.

  4. Deep stains: Stains, such as blood, wine and food, should be cleaned off your leather purse with a paste. Mix together one part tartar with one part lemon juice and apply the paste liberally to the stain. Let it sit for ten minutes; then wipe it off. Finish by cleaning and drying the handbag as described above.

  5. Recondition leather: Help it maintain flexibility and resist staining by conditioning your leather purse twice a year. Mix one part white vinegar with two parts linseed oil in a plastic bowl. Dip a rag into the solution and rub onto the leather bag in small circular motions. Let the vinegar solution soak into the leather for 15 minutes; then use a dry cloth to buff the leather bag to a beautiful shine.

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