LEATHER HELP: Tips from the Experts

  1. Here are some tips on how to care for your Designer Leather Handbag from a leather expert!

    Keep your bags Priceless!!:heart:

    Some leathers are just prone to staining. Naked leathers or as some call them unfinished leathers and vegetable tanned leathers are all susceptible to absorbing water and oil creating stains. Not to mention what happens with spills like coffee or wine...ouch!


    This Marc Jacob's has acid rain water stains (hard to see in this photo)

    FINISHED LEATHERS (do not darken with water)
    • Use warm water (1 cup) with a teason of vinegar. Dampen cloth and wipe clean . Make sure the leather is finished (does not stain with water!) Leather has a pH of 4.5 and most leather cleaners are at 10. This is OK for car leather, but not for handbags. It will alter the chemistry causing pH damage (recognizable by the spongy texture and cracking)
    • For ink stains: use a white eraser right away.
    • DO NOT USE ALCOHOL on ink stains. As you can see from the photo below, it does NOT work. It dissolves the ink and smears it.
    • For other spot soiling use the white eraser, it is effective in removing many different types of dirt
    • For oil stains, use corn starch. Rub in and let the corn starch absorb the oil. A light bulb is helpful to heat the area which decreases the viscosity of the oil, so that it can be absorbed faster. Brush off with a soft tooth brush.
    • To remove odor from handbags, place a container of baking soda inside the bag. The larger the surface area the better. Heat will help release the odor, so the baking soda can absorb it. You may have to change out the baking soda a couple of times. Then febreeze the interior of the bag, not the leather.
    • Keep out of DIRECT sunlight
    • DO NOT use Saddle soap. It will attack the leather finish and affect the pH. It will break down the leather fibers. It's OK for saddles, that leather is a lot harder, thicker and tougher than handbag leather.
    • Do not use shoe polish. If not top coated it may rub off on your clothes. Designer leathers are more sophisticated and requires a finish that has flexibility.

    Ink stain that was cleaned with alcohol.
    A no-no! Try the eraser first, if it does not all come out send for professional care.

    UNFINISHED LEATHERS (darken with water)
    • If you get oil on your handbag, place corn starch on it immediately. Rub it in and wait a while, until the oil has been absorbed. Heat will help the oil to be absorbed faster. Brush off with soft toothbrush.
    • For ink stains and other dirt, use a white eraser and erase the spot. Usually if you get the ink right away you can remove all of it. Ink migrates into the leather fibers so onces it is set, you need professional care.
    • For water stains, there is really no at home solutions unfortunately. However it can be fixed by a professional leather technician.
    • Do NOT use any over the counter cleaners on your unfinished leather bag. It will stain. There is only one cleaner that is recommended to clean unfinished leathers without staining and that is Lovin my Bags Leather Cleaner. It was formulated and tested for unfinished aniline and veg tanned leathers.
    • KEEP OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT. This type of leather fades easily.
    • Use a pre-treatment on your handbag as soon as you get it. Scotch guard products for leather will work, usually a spray on; or Lovin My Bags pre-treatment which is formulated for these types of leathers.

    Mimi_09 likes this.
  2. Interesting and useful tips, although somewhat marred by the blatant product plugs near the end, IMHO.
  3. My sentiments exactly!!
  4. Sorry about that...I am in NY, the company I recommend is in San Francisco...and I love to solve problems...I am a Textile Designer who works with leather specifically and Interior Designer ...I have studied leather chemistry and conservation for some years, and know the people who are trustworthy, and there aren't a lot of them...trust me.

    Sorry if I have offended anyone...I did not mean any harm....
  5. Hi
    I tried the cornstarch on a butter stain I got on my bag. It was a little messy, but it did take out a lot of the oil and made it less noticeable...Thanks for the tip..