Questions about Orange TKO!! How to UNDARKEN/CLEAN your Handles!

  1. Hi ladies!!!

    Dark handles on leather is usually caused by all that hand oil being absorbed into the leather (usually you find this darkening occurs when the handles are made of veg tanned unfinished leather - very natural leather like LV and other use for straps etc, or a BULGA type leather very soft and totally unfinished!!)

    Basically, if you can extract a lot of the oil you will see a lightening. Using cleaners and conditioners won't solve the darkening at all, since they will darken the leather as well!!

    Try cornstarch on the handles, rub it in. You will see it will start to absorb the will start to roll up:yes: ...keep going until you are happy with the effect, brush off the cornstarch with a soft toothbrush.

    If you can do this on a regular basis, your handles should serve you well...but unfortunately, hands and natural leather handles are not the best of may have to learn to LOVE the look and know that it is the sign of an authentic bag!!:biggrin:

    Good luck...
  2. Ooooh! Cornstarch is REBORN! I shall try this on my beloved handles!!! Yay!
  3. wow! such great ideas, especially barbara, with the cornstarch.

    pupsterpurse, if you decide to compare/contrast, do keep us updated!
  4. Actually, this suggestion makes a lot of sense. :yes: Your detailed instructions are very much appreciated. I am going to try this (as I printed out these instructions) and see what happens. Thanks Barbara! :flowers:
  5. There is a very thin clay sold in france called "terre de sommières" (I think Sommières is a village). My mums swears by it to remove oil stains on silk and leather.

    I found loads of strange advices on French websites about how to renovate old leather pieces:
    - warm the greasy area with a hairdrier before to melt the stain then apply terre de sommières (or cornstarch:smile: and allow to absorb for a few hours before brushing away
    - do not use soap, but clean the area with a bit of ammoniac (ouch!) dissolved in water
    - clean greasy stains with a mix of alcohol and chalk... allow to dry then brush away.

    I guess that's old French Savoir-faire, but I don't have the guts to do it!
  6. Thank you for sharing these tips betises_lau. :smile: I just printed out these helpful suggestions too.
  7. Lovin and betises... excellent info, that makes perfect sense! Plus, the cornstarch and the clay would be such low-risk treatments you really can't go wrong.

  8. WOW Lovin .... thank you so much for the interesting suggestions, I really appreciate it !! :flowers::love:

    betises .... old French savoir-fair suggestions are very helpful too, thank you too :flowers::love:
  9. is cornstarch the equvilant of our cornflour in the uk?
  10. I tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on a khaki colored bag that I had and while it removed a weeee bit of the stains on the handle, it really dried the leather out so I had to put AG Leather Care on it. The difference is so subtle, though, that I think it was hardly worth the effort. lol. I bought Saddle Soap last night, though, so I will try that one or maybe I'll try the cornstarch first---love the idea of using with a hairdryer--very interesting! :yes: Thanks betises!
  11. Really dumb question...but do we just dust the handles with the cornstarch powder? Or mix the cornstarch with water into a paste and then smear it onto the handles?
  12. Well, the way I am reading it, it sounds like you warm the area with a blow dryer, then you sorta pack the cornstarch onto it(I'm assuming it will turn into a paste from the oils coming out of the leather), then brush it away.
  13. I remember this one... try the cornstarch thing on the handles, I'm interested in knowing how that might come out. do a search on dark handles (or something like that) for tips on cleaning
  14. My opinion is don't buy a bag with dark handles unless you want to live with dark handles (or get them repainted). I have tried most of the solutions posted here and none of them worked for me, and some of them made things worse (e.g., using any kind of cleaner or abrasive like the magic eraser).

    I have also not seen any convincing before/after photos except for that one magic-erasered sky blue twiggy mentioned (and even that looked like it lightened the handles lighter than the original color, which means that it removed color ... and so that solution only is only really workable on a very light colored bag).

    Cornstarch did absolutely zippo for me.

    I think repainting the handles is the only real solution.