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learning how to clean leather bag

How to Clean Your Leather Bag: A Step-by-Step Guide

Nothing compares to the feeling of smelling and holding a brand-new leather bag in your hands. Not because it’s new, well that’s also one reason, but also because it’s clean and smells incredible. People wonder how to clean leather bag, but it isn’t as difficult as they make it sound. Besides, cleaning your leather bag has a lot of pros, which makes the process worth the effort.

Ofcourse, owning a leather bag is a lot of responsibility. Leather is not an easy material. Yes, it has countless properties that make it the best material for men’s leather messenger bags UK, but it also requires care in return. It needs special attention with proper cleaning and maintenance to last a lifetime.

You must have heard that leather goods last decades, it is true. However, you can’t expect your leather accessories to last such a long time without investing any effort in them. Getting leather cleaned is your responsibility, and if you don’t do it, it reflects on the product. Over time, leather cracks and peels, and it happens faster with rough use. Hence, it is crucial for you to understand the proper ways to use and maintain your mens leather messenger bags UK.

As a leather retailer, we think it is our responsibility to inform you about the cleaning process of leather. We have developed this step-by-step guide to help you with it, and we hope you find it helpful.

Pre-Cleaning Preparations

Jumping right into the cleaning process is not the right method to do it. You first need to determine whether your leather product is ready to be cleaned or not. There can be some rips, tears, or signs of wear, so you need to get rid of them before starting the cleaning.

Use a Lint Roller

It is essential to get rid of the dirt and debris first. People use lint rollers for this purpose as they are highly effective. Using the lint roller on the leather surface gets rid of any dirt and debris, and you can shake off the excess residue.

Know the Type of Leather

All leather types are not cleaned with the same products. You need to understand your leather type before you can apply any product or cleaning method to it. Getting your leather professionally cleaned has this plus point because you don’t need to worry about different leather types. The professionals know which type is suitable for which product. However, when you clean your leather goods yourself, you have to take some time to know your leather type and how to clean leather bag of that type.

Now that we have got the preparations cleared let’s talk about the various steps that can be used to clean leather products.

Using Soap and Water

The easiest of all ways to clean your leather bag is by using soap and water. It brings the shine back, but only if you do it the right way, so here’s how you do it.

  • Gather all the essentials, including a bucket, lukewarm water, a clean cloth, and soap,
  • Dip the cloth in the water and make sure you squeeze it enough so it’s only damp, not dripping wet.
  • Add a few drops of the soap with warm water on the damp cloth and start rubbing it on the leather in a circular motion gently until it removes all the dirt.
  • Once you think all dirt has been removed, use a clean and dry cloth to wipe off the soap to avoid leaving any excess residue on the surface because it can dry up on leather.

Cleaning your leather with soap and water first makes the rest of the process easier. Remember one thing, though: purchase a mild soap that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals. Keep this in mind for all the leather cleaning products you will be buying. Since you have learned how to clean leather bags with soap and water, you are ready to identify the types of stains.

Types of Stains

First, you need to get rid of this misconception that all stains can be treated the same way. Just like all leather types require different cleaning methods, stains are also different. Identifying the types of stains you have on your leather bag allows you to follow accurate guidelines for cleaning. The most common types of stains that are found on leather products are oil-based and water-based.

Oil-based can be identified as stains caused by oil, grease, and cosmetics. They are slightly darker than water-based stains and have a greasy texture. You can identify water-based stains by their colour, as they are mostly caused by tea, coffee, or juice. They also don’t have a greasy texture, so it’s easier to differentiate.

Other than oil-based and water-based stains, some leather products also have ink and dye stains that usually come from pens or markers bought from stores. These stains are typically more difficult to take out and need special attention. You might need to purchase more commercial products for such stains. Knowing the type of stains on your leather accessories helps you in choosing the right cleaning products, and once you have done that, we can move ahead.

Remove Stains

The next step is to remove the identified stains. It is an essential step because cleaning requires you to get rid of the stains as well. You can ensure that your leather bag looks at its best, and here’s how.

  1. Prepare the area before applying any cleaning product on the surface. By preparing, we mean that you need to cover the surroundings with a clean cloth to make sure the product is only spread on the stain.

  2. Get the cleaning products, and here’s a list for your guidance.
  • Leather Wipes: They are good for everyday cleaning so that no dirt can make its home on the surface.
  • Leather Cleaner and Conditioners: Choose the products that are specifically designed for your leather type.
  • Water-Repellent: If you are dealing with water-based stains, apply a water repellent after you are done cleaning and conditioning for a precaution against future spills.

You should have baby wipes with you at all times because you never know when they might come in handy. It is always better to treat the stain as soon as possible; this way, you won’t have to put much effort into cleaning.

Dry Your Leather Bag

After getting rid of the stains and cleaning and conditioning your leather bag, it’s time to dry it. People often make the mistake of using dryers so the leather can be dried more quickly. There shouldn’t be any haste. Heat can cause more damage to the leather, especially if it is used carelessly. The following are the appropriate ways to dry your leather bag.

  • Leave the leather bag to dry for 24 hours because air drying is the best method.
  • In case you need it to dry faster, you can use a fan or a dryer at the lowest heat to speed up the process.

Don’t leave your leather bag in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures because it can cause serious damage to the material. You also need to ensure that if you are using heat to dry the leather, keep it at a distance so it doesn’t directly hit the surface.

Use a Leather Protector

Cleaning leather is incomplete if you don’t take any precautionary measures for the product. A leather protector offers you peace of mind as it protects the material from any future damage. It comes as a water-based spray. You can spray it on the surface, and with its thin consistency, it allows the leather to breathe as well. Make sure you don’t soak the bag in the product; instead, use it as a light mist. Do it once in six months, and it will keep your leather goods protected.

Now that your leather is conditioned and protected well, you can enjoy its lasting for as long as you want. Doing this length cleaning process once a year is enough to enhance your leather bag’s life. If you use it carefully, it will stay with you for generations. Hence, leather cleaning is important.

Professional Cleaning for Leather

Apart from the steps we mentioned above, there are other things you can do to clean your leather goods as well. One of them is to get them professionally cleaned. Professional cleaners are well aware of the types and consequences of applying cleaning products to the material. Their expertise allows them to assess and use the right products in the finest ways. No matter how much you have cleaned leather goods, a professional’s work will always stand out. 

When you clean leather yourself, you have to worry about a lot of things to ensure that the material is not damaged in any way. This concern makes the process even harder. You don’t have to worry about it with professional cleaners. They know what they are doing. It might seem a bit more expensive than self-cleaning, but the results are totally worth it. You can see a visible difference in your leather bag once you get it cleaned professionally.

Common Issues with Leather Bags

Other than staining, the following are some of the common issues that we have seen leather owners face over time. These issues can be resolved with cleaning.

Mould and Mildew

This problem is mainly faced by people who store their leather bags in a damp place. It develops mould and mildew on the surface. You can use a clean cloth, dip it in lukewarm water and rub the mould off gently. Make sure not to rub the material too harshly because it might damage the surface.


Another big problem that leather owners complain about is the fading of the material, but there are reasons for that. If you use your leather products in direct exposure to sunlight and other UV light sources, it is bound to fade. You should also store your bag in a place out of reach of direct sunlight; it can be a closet or a box, but make sure the UV lights don’t reach it. You can also use products to protect the material from these lights when you are carrying it outside.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I clean my leather bag?

We have made it very clear that leather cleaning is an essential part of life if you own real leather goods, but how often you should do it depends on numerous factors. 

How often do you use it?

What kind of environment is it exposed to?

How old is it?

These are some of the things you should determine first. If you use your leather bag regularly, it might be better to clean it once a month so it doesn’t dry. If you cannot clean it properly once a month, you should at least try to get rid of the dirt daily once you come back home. Other than that, we recommend you to get it professionally cleaned once a year.

2. Is it possible to clean leather without damaging it?

Yes, it is.

There are various cleaning products in the market, and you can easily find some that don’t contain toxic chemicals. You need to know about the best products for your leather type, and you can get this information from a professional cleaner as well. Make sure to read the instructions and ingredients at the back before buying any product. Applying organic and chemical-free products doesn’t cause any damage to leather.

3. Can I use home remedies?

You can find countless home remedies on the internet for leather cleaning. While we can’t say that they are completely useless, it is better to use professional products from the market. Some home remedies can work wonders and do the job for you, but there’s also a chance that they will backfire. There are no ingredients, precautions, or instructions given with these remedies; hence, it is more likely that they might cause long-term damage to the leather, which may not be visible now. So, unless you are extremely experienced with home remedies and know what you are doing, we would not recommend it.

4. Should I clean my leather bag daily?

Excessive cleaning can also be damaging to the material. Too much of anything can be harmful. Even if you have checked the ingredients in cleaning products, keep in mind that they still have chemicals. Applying these products daily can cause serious damage to your leather bag. You should stick to cleaning it once a month with regular use, and if you want to do something every day, use a clean and dry cloth to wipe the bag so all excess dirt is removed. We repeat: 


5. How much does leather cleaning cost?

Since leather is an expensive material, it naturally requires more care. Leather cleaning can be expensive if you choose to get it cleaned professionally. While professional cleaning is a more effective method, there’s a solution for people who are on a budget. If you cannot afford professional cleaning, you can purchase cleaning products from the market and follow this guide to clean your leather accessories. This will be less expensive but will surely require more effort. So the cost of cleaning depends on your choice.

6. Is there a type of leather that doesn’t need cleaning?

When we talk about leather cleaning, we are talking about real leather products. There are numerous types of leather, and all of them have different properties. Faux leather doesn’t need the same amount of care as real leather. If you are looking for something that doesn’t require cleaning, you can purchase faux leather products, but keep in mind that they won’t have a long life. Faux leather goods are presented as an alternative to leather for people who cannot afford to buy real leather products. They might look the same, but they are not. All real leather types need cleaning and care, so there’s no way out of it.


Leather is an exquisite material, and there’s no doubt about it. It’s classy and timeless with its exceptional properties and unworldly appearance. A little effort on your part can ensure that these leather goods stay the same for a long time. Leather cleaning makes all the difference, and as a retailer, we have seen leather bags in the worst condition, reviving simply with cleaning techniques. 

All you have to do is understand your leather type and identify which product and methods work for it. Once you figure this out, you will know it’s not as difficult as it seemed. But if you want an even easier solution, professional cleaners are always ready to bring your worn-out leather bag to life. Reach out to a cleaner and have them clean your leather accessories. With both ways, you get to have a clean and sophisticated leather bag, so choose your method and start appreciating this precious material now.

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