How to Care for Your Leather Bags? - Bicyclist: Handmade Leather Goods

How to Care for Your Leather Bags?

How to Care for Your Leather Bags lady with a dark brown briefcase
Photo by Taylor Heery on Unsplash

Preserving Leather Bags

When you take time to care for and maintain your leather accessories, you uphold the value of that handcrafted object and the beauty of your cherished belonging. We want to help you take proper care of your leather bags and accessories so that they remain beautiful and can be a part of your lives as long as possible. 


There are different types of leather with different finishes, qualities and require specific treatment and care from time to time.

 Old Leather Bag

 Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash


How do you maintain leather bags?

Even though leather is durable, it needs to be taken care of from time to time. Keep these simple steps in mind to avoid wear and tear and extend the life of your bags and accessories for years. 


  • When you carry liquids in your bag, like a bottle of moisturizer, lotion or sanitizer, use a leak-proof pouch. A major cause of stains is spillages.
  • If you use your leather bag every day, you need to take extra care once a week or so. They tend to catch dirt and are prone to getting scratches. Use a leather cleaner to wipe away the dust. If there is a scratch, use a touch of leather conditioner over them. 
  • Leather is a natural material, and it can stretch. To prevent getting your bag distorted from its original silhouette, do not overfill and stuff your bag to its limit. Carry as much as it would allow.  


How should handbags be stored?

I am sure you would like to keep rotating bags from your collection now and then. When you plan on keeping your bag packed up for the season, it needs to be stored carefully to avoid fading, molding, cracks and distortion. 

Keep Handbag away from Direct Sunlight To Prevent Fading.

  • Just like any color or dye, dyed leather also fades over time. The UV in the sunlight breaks down the color pigments causing them to fade. Store your leather goods away from any direct sunlight.

Use Dust Bags.

  • Dust easily gets caught in between the hardware, fittings, locks and on the surface of leather. Always keep your leather bags inside a breathable cotton dust bag. 




 Photo by Meruyert Gonullu from Pexels

Storing Leather Bags in Humid Weather.

  • Keep leather bags ventilated, don't keep them locked up inside plastic bags. Take them out from the dust bag in a couple of months and wipe the surface with a soft dry cloth. You can also blow-dry your bag on the lowest setting. Remember, too much heat can also cause the leather to crack. 
  • Stuff your bags with old t-shirts, pillow covers or any soft cotton fabric to prevent distortion.
  • You can use Moisture absorbers inside your bag to prevent mold from building up on the inside.




Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash


Prevent Leather from Cracking.

  • The leather starts to crack due to lack of moisture, especially veg tanned leather. A small amount of water molecules gets exchanged through the pores on the surface of the leather. When the fibres become extra dry, they tend to shrink, causing the surface to crack. 
  • Once in a while, take your bag out of the storage and give them a thorough wipe down with a leather conditioner and cream to keep them fresh.
  • There is a difference between Leather Conditioner and Leather Cream, conditioner add or replace the oils in the leather and leather cleaners remove the dirt from the surface of the leather.
  • Store leather away from artificial sources of heat like radiators and heaters. They tend to make the leather dry up fast and develop cracks.




 Photo by Pixabay from Pexels 


How to Clean Suede and Nubuck?

Suede and Nubuck tend to catch dust and get stained easier than any other type of leather finish. 

  • Use a Suede or Nubuck specified protective non-aerosol spray for protection and keeping them water-resistant.
  • If you do get any watermarks on suede or Nubuck leather, use a dry clean cloth and gently rub the surface. 
  • To remove dust, you should use a special suede brush.




Photo by Lina Verovaya on Unsplash



How to clean a leather handbag at home?

  • First, use soft dry tissue paper (not baby wipes) to wipe the surface of your leather bag off any dust that might have settled. 
  • For smooth leather, gently apply a layer of leather cream on the surface using a soft cloth. It will coat the surface of the leather with a protective layer and protect it from any scratches. 
  • Let it dry for a few minutes and repeat the process. 
  • Apply extra layers of the cream on the handles and the flaps. As they are the part of the bag that comes in contact with your hands the most, they also tend to get dirty and stained. 
  • To restore lost shine, use a dry, soft cloth and rub the surface gently in a fast to and fro motion. The heat from the friction should open up the pores and bring some of the natural oils to the surface, giving the leather a natural shine. 


How to remove stains from leather?

Grease stains usually happen due to hand cream. If you handle leather bags with freshly applied hand cream on your hands, the straps and flaps get stained often. Cream-based stains tend to get absorbed by the leather fibres easily and leave a darkened patch. 

If you get stains on your leather, pour some corn starch over the patch as soon as you can. Let it remain there for 5 to 10 minutes, then brush it off and rub down the part with a soft cloth. The corn starch will absorb the grease and prevent it from getting into the fibres. 


How to remove colours and dye stains on your leather bag?

Sometimes dye from your clothes can get transferred to your leather bag. To get them off, use a leather cleaner as soon as you can. The longer they remain, the higher the chances of them staining your bags permanently.

Do not Use Home remedies to clean your leather bag.

Always stick to proper cleaning agents. There are many do-it-yourself solutions for cleaning stains from leather bags. But it might do more damage than good. Always use cleaning solutions specified for leather. Solutions like vinegar and baby wipes, petroleum jelly or other home-based cleaning suggestions have chemicals. They might react with chemicals already present in the leather.


Always do a Spot Check.

Before using a new leather polish, or a leather conditioner or a leather moisturizer, always do a spot test. Put a little bit of the cleaning agent on a discreet part of your bag and try it out. Like, the base or on the underside of the handles. See how the leather reacts to the cleaning agents. Sometimes they might darken light color leather or result in discoloration. Test before use.



Leather is a unique material, it responds to the care and love you give it by becoming ever more beautiful and charming. Take care of your leather accessories and it is sure to last you more than a lifetime. 


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