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Handbag 101:
How to Care for Leather Purses

Confused about how to care for a leather purse? We all want our luxury handbags to withstand the test of time, but caring for them isn’t so straightforward. Don’t worry, Rebag’s experts can help you out. Read on for tips on how to store, maintain, and clean your leather handbags, so your luxury investments can last a lifetime — or longer.

How to Store Leather Purses

  • Store a bag with a pack or two of silica gel to absorb any moisture. 
  • Stuff bag with crumpled paper, bubble wrap, or plastic cushion airbags to maintain bag shape. Do not newspaper as the ink could bleed on to the bag’s interior. 
  • Keep the bag in a dry and cool place. Exposure to light and sun causes discoloration. 
  • Keep bags away from heat sources, like radiators and heaters, as they can cause the leather to crack. 
  • Store the bag in a pillowcase or dust bag to protect it and keep it from staining other items, and to protect it from being scratched. Do not use plastic or airtight containers because leather needs to breathe. 
  • Do not hang leather bags because that stretches out the handles. 

How to Protect Leather Purses

  • Certain types of leather, like nubuck or suede, need waterproofing. Apply leather protection spray, let dry, and apply another coat. Make sure it is dry before going outside. 
  • You can apply a thin coat of beeswax to act as a sealant that keeps the leather bags from absorbing moisture. 
  • There are also small plastic protective layers that one can use over a bag when it rains.

How to Maintain Leather Bags

  • Leather purses need moisture. At least once a year, moisturize the bag by applying a thin film of leather conditioner and leave it for 30 minutes. Wipe off with a dry muslin cloth. Rehydration will help condition the bag and open up its pores. 
  • Leather stretches, so avoid overfilling bags to maintain their shape. 
  • If leather gets wet, use a thick microfiber towel to absorb as much of the moisture as possible, then let air dry. Avoid using a blowdryer as that can damage the bag. 
  • Store makeup in a cosmetic case to avoid spilling or discoloration should the makeup leak.

How to Clean Leather Purses

  • Empty out all the contents from pockets, turn the purse upside down, and give it a good shake to remove dust and debris. Use a lint roller to clean the lining, or vacuum using a fabric brush attachment. 
  • Wipe leather bags with a damp cloth to remove dry dust and dirt from the surface. After, wipe with a dry muslin cloth. 
  • For ink stains and scuffs, take a small cotton swab, and dip it in nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol, and lightly blot ink stain or scuff. Do not rub, as that may make the stain spread. Blot gently until the stain is gone. 
  • For oil or grease stains, sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on the stain. Let sit for a few hours or overnight so cornstarch or baking soda can absorb grease. Use a soft cloth to wipe powder away.