Caring for your Leather Bags

by Paris B on · 36 comments

in Bags,Tips

leatherbag Caring for your Leather Bags

I love my bags and I am especially partial towards leather bags because a good leather bag can last a long long time and stay looking good… if you care for it properly.

Here’s 5 tips on how I care for my leather bags – high end and low end.

1. Clean them with proper leather cleaner

For my more expensive bags, I use the Leather Cleaner and Leather Moisturizer from Coach. They retail for RM75 (US$10 in the USA) each for 6 fl. oz. Mine are the old packaging – they last ages! For regular bags, I use the Leather Cleaner by Amway. Works a treat on most leather from my bags to my sofa set! icon biggrin Caring for your Leather Bags

There is one exception to cleaning leather – vachetta leather or untreated leather. This is the light pale leather you get in the trim or straps or handles on Louis Vuitton monogram bags and on some Coach bags. If they get dirty or wet, its hard to clean because applying anything on them can change the color of the leather. What I do is just leave it. Over time, the pale leather will darken to a dark honey brown shade and all stains/marks will disappear or blend right into the new color. Looks better too in my view icon smile Caring for your Leather Bags

2. Clean your leather bags often

Do not wait until they look dirty before cleaning your leather bags. I clean mine once every 2 weeks if I’m using the same bag for the whole duration. Otherwise, I clean them and air them just before storing them. Cleaning it often means you are cleaning off dirt and when you polish it or moisturize, you are helping to prevent dirt from sticking to it. I use a soft old cotton T-shirt to clean my bags or a microfibre cloth – key word : Soft. You don’t want your precious leather bag scratched.

3. Stuff your leather bag when storing

When you buy your new bag, have you wondered why its always full of stuffing? Do you get irritated with all the wads of paper in it? The answer is so that it holds its shape while being stored. You can do the same at home either with the same stuffing that came from the store or you can stuff it with old T-shirts or towels or even bubble wrap. This way, your bags will hold up well and you will not have those awful creases you sometimes get in improperly stored bags.

4. When storing leather bags do not squeeze them into a confined space

Yes bags can take up a lot of space when storing but please resist the urge to stuff as many bags as you can in one space. You risk creasing the leather and a creased leather bag isn’t pretty. This is especially true if its a structured leather bag – once it bends or there is a crease its gone. So store them nicely, standing up where possible. It makes it easy for you to find your bag of choice too!

5. Store your leather bags in dust bags

A good bag should always come with a dust bag. It keeps your bags dust free when being stored and can prolong the life of your bag as it will not get scuffed or scratched. Dust bags also do not scratch your bag as plastic can. If you do not have a dust bag, do not fret. Just get an old cotton pillow case and use that as a dust bag. That’s what I do! icon smile Caring for your Leather Bags

Can you waterproof your leather bag?

You can also waterproof your leather bags by spraying a water repellent on them e.g. Scotchguard by 3M which is easily found in most supermarkets. I used to scotchguard my leather shoes, with ScotchGuard or any water repellent – it really works! Rain water just rolls right off without seeping in.

But I’d only do this with dark coloured shoes and similarly with dark coloured leather bags because water repellents can stain the leather and turn it a darker shade or change color totally. So, before you do anything to your bags or shoes, be sure to check on a small spot first before spraying your whole bag and then regretting it later. So, I do not scotchguard my bags at all – I value their bright colours too much!

Leather bags can dry out if they get soaking wet. But if its just a few drops of rain, I let it dry thoroughly then clean, moisturize and polish them. Good as new! icon smile Caring for your Leather Bags

If you have more tips for caring for your leather bags, please feel free to share! We could all learn a thing or two from each other icon smile Caring for your Leather Bags

Stay beautiful,

Paris B

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[ 36 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

giddy tigress May 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Yes! I got myself a bottle of the leather cleaner from Coach at $10. The lady told me I don’t need the moisturizer if I only wanna clean stains…hmmm…but I am thinking of also getting the moisturizer now that I know it costs RM75!


ParisB May 4, 2009 at 9:27 am

Hey giddy tigress

Just get the moisturizer! Your wallet will thank you once you get back :P


adeline May 3, 2009 at 2:49 pm

RM75 is not US$10 =)

thanks for the post! very helpful =))


ParisB May 4, 2009 at 9:27 am

Hi Adeline

I meant its RM75 in Malaysia and US$10 in the USA. I’ll clarify. Thanks


Jamilla Camel May 3, 2009 at 8:08 pm

I agree with you about the Coach leather cleaner stuff–it works!

I also use some English leather boot cleaner on my bags to moisturize…it works wonders and also weatherproofs the leather for English weather!


ParisB May 4, 2009 at 9:28 am

Hey Jamilla

Does the boot cleaner thing change the color of the leather? I’m always worried about that happening especially with light shades. Otherwise it sounds lovely and yes you do need waterproofing in English weather!


Tracy May 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Can the Leather Cleaner by Amway clean the white leather bag? My bag just a regular bag not the branded bag. I like white color bag but now it turn to yellowish color.


ParisB May 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Hi Tracy

The cleaner will clean dirt off the bag but it won’t change the color back to white I’m afraid. White bags do have this problem of getting yellow over time. But I do find that if you use it often, and keep it clean its less likely to yellow.


lauri October 24, 2009 at 3:46 am

Hey all, I know this is an old post, but white bags that have yellowed can be restored with “bartender’s friend”. it’s a powder cleanser that reverses oxidation. Remember to use a soft cloth and remove all residue when done.


Jamilla Camel May 4, 2009 at 8:26 pm


I use Wheelers Traditional Leather Balm, made in Crewe, Cheshire, UK, and it’s suitable for use on all leathers except suede.

Neatsfoot oil and beeswax are the secret ingredients!


ParisB May 5, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Thanks Jamilla, I’ll keep this in mind for the next time anyone visits the UK :)


Tine May 11, 2009 at 8:03 am

You just reminded me that I have to get my leather bags conditioned. I keep forgetting to do it. Gah.


winnie July 13, 2009 at 9:59 pm

do u have this problem where the colour of leather handle of the lv bag fade off a bit due to fraction? what can i do


ParisB July 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Hi Winnie

I’ve never had a problem. The handle does get a little darker due to the oils from my hands but otherwise, no fading.


Jo March 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

Hi, I just bought a new RM Nikki hobo bag in vintage violet! I’m just wondering if you have any tips on how to care for the bag? I’m concerned that using a leather cleaner on its gorgeous leather skin may cause it to discolour.


ParisB March 12, 2010 at 10:20 am

I use the Coach leather cleaner and moisturizer on all my leather bags, high end and low end. Thus far I have not had problems. I don’t use the Amway cleaner on my more expensive bags though just in case.


ag January 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm

do u know if i can apply the coach leather cleaner to my lv vachetta leather after like 3 years of use? the leather is tanned already.


Bun Bun Makeup Tips August 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm

So does that mean I don’t have to clean my LV bag? It’s the monogram canvas Neverfull model. By the way, I quickly dug out my dust bag that has been, erm, collecting dust and put my stuffed LV bag in. Thanks for the tips!


ParisB August 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

For my monogram I only wipe the canvas part down with a damp cloth when I’m done using it. I don’t clean the leather trim because I want it to age and thus far, its aged beautifully to a dark honey brown which I prefer :) I do store it in its dustbag when I’m done with it though.


Tracey October 17, 2011 at 11:58 am

Hi do you know if there is anything suitable to clean LV Rosewood? Mine is white in colour and besides turning yellowish slightly, there are some some colour migrated from clothing. I can post a picture of it to show you.


ParisB October 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

If its the one in the Vernis leather, I”m not sure what can be used to clean it especially if its white. White leather has a tendency to turn yellow and to stain. It might be best to take it back to an LV store and ask.


Kara December 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I just got lipgloss on my new louis vuitton hand bag. It is on the handle and am wondering what I should do? Alcohol? Some friends recommended a baby wipe? Please help!!


Paris B January 2, 2012 at 8:51 pm

The best thing to do would be to take it back to LV or to a bag cleaner to be professionally cleaned. Alcohol may cause it to stain further or spoil the leather.


Upset mom January 8, 2012 at 3:06 am

Please help, my daughter just got a speedy 30. I scotch guarded it and the leather handles are fine but the bag turned white with a coating. What do I do? Is it ruined


Elaine February 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Hi, I got a bag from cArlorino and they say is winer bag.but they say i can use leather bag lotion 2 polish it bag is having the chair 2 clean it?thanks.


Paris B February 2, 2012 at 10:35 am

Hi I’m not sure what a “winer bag” is but if its leather, you should be able to use a leather cleaner to remove stains, depending on the type of stain and how long its been. You could also take it to a bag cleaner – there are a couple around that might be able to help you.


Elaine February 2, 2012 at 11:08 am

I’m staying in melaka but so far i haven’t found any person 2 help me out.any suggestion?


Carolina March 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Hey Paris B
Silly Me I Washed My Leather Tan Bag And It Changed Colors But 2 Days Later It Went Back To Normal But Theres One Part Thats Blue What Should I Do


Paris B March 23, 2012 at 12:35 am

If its a stain I’d suggest taking it to be redyed or to a professional cleaner to be restored if they can. Otherwise I’m afraid you’re stuck with it :P


Xiauhui October 2, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hi…thanks or your post…I have a vachetta leather monogram lv.there are stains on it…which cleaner do u suggest?n where I can get it…thank u :-)


Paris B October 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

When it comes to Vachetta leather, I have no recommendations. I just let mine age and it sorts itself out after a while. Putting product on vachetta can stain it further because it’s untreated.


MRCLR October 13, 2013 at 6:58 am

Hi my coach legacy Harper got a fingernail scratch on the handle after which I immediately applied the coach moisturizer. End result is now there’s a dark stain instead of a scratch. The leather looks horrible now. What can lighten or remove it? Thanks!


Paris B October 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Actually for scratches what I do is just buff them out with a piece of soft cloth, without any product on it. A product will seep into the leather and change the colour. I’m not sure what you can do at this point, except let it age and lighten on its own. Or take it to a bag/leather refurbisher and see if they can help.


MRCLR October 13, 2013 at 7:06 am

Wish I could send a pic!


Lee December 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Where can I buy the coach moisturiser and cleanser in Malaysia?


Paris B December 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Coach stores should carry them.


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