A leather handbag is more than just an accessory; it’s an investment. At American Leather Co., we pride ourselves on creating beautiful pieces for you to be yourself in. As an authentic American brand, we stand behind our unwavering commitment to quality, craftsmanship, style, and durability. We source the best materials and use special techniques to guarantee that our pieces are built to last.

That said, even the most durable leather bag needs maintenance, upkeep, and the occasional cleaning to continue looking and feeling like new. From routine protective treatment to stain removal, here are a few ways to ensure your American Leather Co. handbag stays as gorgeous as the day you bought it.

Prevention is Key

One way to keep your bag in pristine condition is to treat it before it gets dirty or stained. Our Protect & Treat Premium Leather Protectant Spray is designed to do exactly this. This no-mess spray is formulated specifically for the treatment of the softest leathers, like the ones we use to create our bags, purses, and accessories.

This spray should be applied to new bags and accessories to protect them from rain, sweat, and dirt. Our special formula penetrates the leather and forms a barrier against water and grime. Every time you clean or condition your bag, add another layer of spray to give your bag the ultimate protection it deserves.

How to Clean a Leather Purse

No matter how well we take care of our purses, they are bound to get at least a little dirty from time to time. While removing stains on leather entails a different process than removing stains from other fabrics, it’s not nearly as intimidating as it may seem. Follow these steps to have your leather purses look as good as new.

Empty Your Purse

While this might seem obvious, be sure to empty your purse before you attempt to clean it. A purse full of your belongings will not only be more difficult to clean, but you also risk damaging or dropping your personal items during the cleaning process.

Clean the Lining

First, turn your bag inside out and shake off any loose debris that might be on the lining. Then, use a lint roller or the fabric brush attachment on a vacuum to remove any remaining dirt and grime.

Clean the Leather

To properly clean the leather parts of your leather crossbody bag or leather purse, you only need five items: two clean cloths, a towel, water, and dish soap. Mix a solution of warm water and dish soap, being cautious not to add too much soap to the water. If the solution doesn’t seem strong enough, you can always add more soap, but this is definitely a situation where less is more.

Next, dip one of the clean clothes into the solution and wring it out so that it’s not dripping. Use this to wipe all of the leather parts of your bag. Once you’ve done this, dampen the second cloth with clean water and wipe the soap off of the handbag. Be sure not to leave any soapy areas, as this can create more stains. Finally, dry the bag with the towel, making sure that the bag is completely dry.

Removing Stains on Leather

Every so often, our cherished leather bags encounter more than the usual wear and tear. Imagine this scenario: You're at your beloved local coffee haven, securing that much-needed caffeine fix. But in a fleeting moment, a slip of the hand, and suddenly, your treasured American Leather Co. tote bag is drenched in a cascade of coffee. It feels like the universe conspired against your drink, your exquisite bag, and your spirits.

But fret not, for every stain has its remedy. Be it a coffee mishap with your tote or an unfortunate ink debacle with your leather backpack, hope is never lost. Here are some tried-and-true methods to restore your leather's pristine charm and get your day back in its stride.

Baking Soda: Nature's Grease Fighter

Confronted with a stubborn grease or oil mark? Generously dust the stain with baking soda, ensuring complete coverage. Gently massage it in with a damp cloth, taking care not to be too forceful to preserve the leather's integrity. Let it work its magic overnight. By morning, the baking soda would have absorbed the grease, reverting to its powdery form. Gently brush it away with a soft cloth or a clean towel.

Nail Polish Remover: The Ink Eraser

For ink stains or dark scuffs on your leather handbag, nail polish remover (or rubbing alcohol, if you don’t have nail polish remover) emerges as a trusted. Simply dip a cotton swab or cotton ball into the nail polish remover so that it’s wet but not dripping.

Blot the stain gently, making sure you don’t rub or wipe too aggressively. This could not only further damage the leather, but it could also make the stain spread. Once the stain is gone, wipe the area thoroughly with a clean, damp cloth and dry it with a soft towel.

Cream of Tartar and Lemon Juice

Disclaimer: This mixture is known to have a slight bleaching effect on dark colors, so be sure to only use this method on white or very light-colored leather.

While this may sound like the first two ingredients in some kind of baking recipe, we promise this is a recipe for stain fighting, not a baked good. To harness the power of these two household mainstays, mix a paste that is equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar. Apply the paste to the stained area and allow it to sit for about half an hour. Afterward, simply remove the mixture with a clean, damp cloth.

The Bottom Line

Owning a leather purse or accessory from American Leather Co. is a statement of timeless elegance. But to maintain its pristine allure, it's essential to know how to clean a leather bag. With the insights shared above, you're now equipped with the expertise to ensure your leather treasures age gracefully, reflecting your style for years to come.

Ready to discover another masterpiece for your collection? Explore our curated selections and find a bag that's destined to be your next cherished companion.

September 14, 2023 — Christopher Leogrande