Crocodile bag - how to care for it?


Jun 25, 2010
I was given a crocodile bag from my much loved late grandmother - probably purchased in the 50'ies or 60'ies.

Unfortunately the country I live in is extremely humid and even though the bag was stored safely in a cardboard box in her house, a cold waterpipe near the box, made the moist in the warm air condensate and slowly moist and wet the box and contents for a long period of time - and when I recieved the bag, it had a horrible moldy smell

I've done some google'ing and ended up wiping the mold off with a damp cloth ind and out then wiping it with a dry cloth. After, I wiped it in and out with a solution of half water, half white winegar and dried it outside with a dry cloth. I left it to dry slowly left open. The inside is suede so its not so easy to wipe and it still smells

I've have been reccomended to leave a nylonstocking with baking soda in it for some days to absorb the smell, but it still smells. Anything else I can do about the smell?

Then its the issue of the finish. Its worn of the edges and the shiny surface (shellack? Vernis?) is worn. How can I bring it back to life? Maybe dab some dye on the worn patches? Can I make a new fernis surface? I have worked with shellack for french polishing in restoring antique mahagony furniture - does anyone know if something simular is used on bags?

- I really hope for some suggestions. Its all I have to remember her by and I have so many memories of her in a smart Christian Dior suit and carrying that bag on her arm...

If indeed all is lost, would it be possible to take the bag apart at construct a new and smaller bag from the croc skin?

Thank you very much for your help!

P.S. Dont mind the ugly strap - the original strap was replaced in the 80'ies when their puppy chewed both the strap and the flap of her Chanelbag in an unattended moment...

P.P.S. I have these products available in my store - any reccomandations?

Fiebing's Reptile Cleaner spray

Fiebing's All-Purpose Cleaner & Conditioner

Fiebing's Leather Conditioner

Fiebing's Distressed Leather Conditioner

Fiebing's Golden Mink Oil

Genuine beeswax

Saphir Renovateur Médaille D'or

Lotion Saphir medaille d'or

Cordovan Saphir medaille d'or

The store claims that the Saphir products are reccomended by Hermes and others...



Aug 13, 2014
Crocodile skin is a very soft leather, prestigious and ultra sophisticated. It retains its natural structure over the years but there are some rules to observe if you wish to keep your bag in perfect condition and preserve its beauty.
• Don't fold or stress the purse in any way. Allow it to rest naturally, with plenty of space and nothing sitting on top of it, pressing it under its weight.
• It should also be covered in its box or dust bag to prevent dust from settling on its surface.
• Store your crocodile leather in a cool, dry place when not in use.
• Apply the conditioner or beeswax with a clean, soft and dry cotton cloth. Rub it in gently and allow it to penetrate for a few minutes. Then buff the surface to a shine using another clean, soft cloth.
• Condition your crocodile leather handbags at least once every other month to keep the material supple and healthy.
• First test it on a small, inconspicuous area to check for any unwanted reactions before applying it to the rest of the purse. However, in this case, beeswax is a very mild compound and should be safe on just about any surface.