How to Restore a Leather Bag

Leather Bags on Display

Everyone has at least one leather bag that goes with just about everything in their wardrobe – it’s a bag that you love and never want to lose. Even though you may have gotten it a while ago, it’s still irreplaceable. We get it. Leather bags are classic and timeless. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they’re also highly functional too. They’re durable and sturdy – two of the reasons why they’re considered a wise investment. Depending on your use, leather bags tend to lose their shine after a little while. They may get worn out and might start to show signs of wear and tear (like scratches).

With excessive use, the color may start to fade away from your once fresh, brand-new leather bag. As a result, your bag may start to look quite ancient and damaged. So, what can you do to restore a faded leather bag? In this blog post, we’ve discussed a simple yet effective method that will help you restore the lost beauty of your leather bag. The useful technique can easily be performed at home, with no outside help necessary.

Things You’ll Need

  • Clean and dry pieces of cloth
  • Spatula
  • Leather shampoo
  • High-quality disinfectant
  • Leather bag recoloring balm
  • Leather protector

Clean the Bag Using a Dry Cloth

Begin by emptying out your bag. Next, wipe the bag using a dry, white rag. Avoid a damp, colored cloth as it can bleed dye onto the fabric. Using this rag, wipe the bag gently from top to bottom. This helps remove all the dust and loose stains from your bag. To ensure that you don’t transfer the dirt specks back onto the bag, shake the rag every time you wipe the bag with it. This will help remove all the dirt from the rag.

Disinfect the Leather

This is an important step when you’re trying to restore your old leather bag to make it look fresh and new. This will also remove the accumulated germs from your bag. Invest in an excellent-quality disinfectant and wipe your bag with it. If you can’t find a reliable disinfectant, you can use household cleaning products instead. You can use ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, essential oils, beeswax, and tartar.

Remember that different types of leather react differently to these natural disinfectants. Before you apply any of them to the whole bag, test each ingredient out first.

Remove the Stains

This is the most important aspect of cleaning your leather bag. You need to wipe off all kinds of stains so that the recoloring balm can easily penetrate the leather material that your bag is made with. There are different techniques that can be used to remove different stains. We’ve discussed a few of them below:

Remove Makeup Stains

Begin by wiping damp or dry makeup stains with a dry paper towel. If that doesn’t work, use a hand vacuum. Next, wipe it down with a wet paper towel. Treat the stains with a laundry stain remover. Air-dry it and then dab the affected area with a dry towel.

Another great alternative is to use a mixture of mild soap and lukewarm water to wipe away stubborn makeup stains. This mixture will create a foam that will break up the stains and make removing them a lot easier. Using a sponge, apply this mixture onto the stained area. Let it dry for a couple of minutes and then wipe it off with a dry cloth.

Remove Ink Stains

Ink stains should be addressed as quickly as possible. To get rid of ink stains, you’ll need rubbing alcohol and water. Mix the two substances and apply the prepared liquid to the ink stains in a circular motion. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes until it dries.

Remove Grease Stains

Begin by wiping the oil off the bag’s surface with a dry, clean cloth. A microfiber cloth works best for this step. If the stain still remains, dab the affected spots with a small amount of baking soda or cornstarch. This will absorb the oil or grease stains instantly. Let it stay for a few hours or overnight if you can afford to leave your bag like that for that long. The next day, brush off the excess using a soft-bristled brush.

Remove Red Wine Stains

Red wine stains are the most stubborn stains of all. Once they’re stuck on your bag, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of them. However, you can remove red wine stains by first determining the type of leather you have. If it’s a full-grain, unfinished leather bag, you’ll need to take it to a professional.

But if you’re dealing with a finished leather bag, you can remove the stains at home. Make a homemade paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice.  Mix these two ingredients and apply the mixture to the stained area directly. Let it dry for ten minutes. Once it’s dry, remove the paste with a dry cloth. If the liquid stain still resides on your leather, apply some leather cleaner to the dry cloth and rub it on the affected part.

Apply a Recoloring Balm

This is the best technique if you’re looking to restore cracked leather. The most important aspect is to ensure that the recoloring balm is of the same color as your leather bag. If you already know the color code of your bag, finding the right balm won’t be an issue.

Use a spatula or a dry cloth to apply the recoloring balm to your bag.  Work on the most faded parts of your bag. Don’t hesitate to apply several layers if that helps fix the most washed-out areas of your bag.

Let the balm sit for at least 10 minutes and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Apply a Leather Conditioner

Now that you’ve restored the old color of your bag, it’s time to get back its old shine! You can easily achieve that by applying a leather conditioner.  This will make your bag tender and shiny. Cover every part of the leather and allow it to dry for 10 minutes. Wipe off the excess with a clean cloth.

Additional Steps to Restore a Leather Bag

Use a Protector Cream

After you’ve cleaned your bag with a leather conditioner, apply a generous amount of a protector cream. Always go for a branded cream and read the reviews of the cream before you buy it.

As the name suggests, a protector cream will protect the leather from further wear and tear and give your bag a new shiny appearance.

Store in Bubble Wrap

To add years to your handbag, you can store it loosely in large bubble wrap. Be sure to maintain openings for air flow. Never store it in a plastic bag as it encourages the growth of mold and mildew. Also, avoid hanging your leather bag up as it may cause the bag to lose its shape.

Aside from bubble wrap, you can store your handbag in a cotton bag or an old pillowcase. This will prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt. A great way to ensure that the bag doesn’t lose its shape is by stuffing it with tissue paper, or a purse pillow.

Our Final Thoughts

As much as a leather bag helps define your persona, it does need a lot of care to keep it in its best form. Don’t worry if your once-adored leather bag has lost its vitality; you can bring back its lost beauty by following the easy-to-follow guide mentioned in this blog. While you’re at it, be patient, as it may take a while to get the desired outcome.

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