To the touch, leather is a material that resonates with your primal nature. Just by touching it, the skin-to-skin contact awakens your inner tiger. Organic, built to resist, leather soon seduced the aces of leather goods.
Only… a shadow soon darkens the picture. Even though it seduces aesthetes, this textile can also be very capricious. Worse still… Despite its apparent robustness, it is not uncommon for it to bend the knee in front of a colored liquid or shocks. That’s right… Behind its appearance of invincible giant, leather is a material that gets dirty rather easily. And without the right technique, any attempt to clean it will result in a glaring failure.
Why is it necessary to clean leather thoroughly?
Leather is not just a textile. It is an organic material that breathes, lives and feeds on all the elements that surround it. Of course, it is particularly sensitive to certain chemical agents and to too much humidity.
After spending hundreds of euros on a leather bag, the last thing you want is to damage it because of an aggressive treatment. In order to extend the life of your leather goods, there are three things you should never do:
- immerse a leather bag in a basin filled with water;
- scrub your leather bag with detergent or regular fabric wash;
- brush your leather with an abrasive sponge.
At this point, chances are you’re wondering why these warnings apply. So take the time to read on…
Because of its organic nature, leather is a prime breeding ground for bacteria, mold and other microorganisms. On this textile, they find the oxygen they need to survive as well as the nutrients that allow them to reproduce. Of course, a leather bag soaked in water quickly becomes an ecosystem populated by a myriad of microbial species.
In addition to being very sensitive to humidity, a leather bag will also be irreparably damaged by too aggressive detergents. This is due to the presence of pores all along its surface. Through these pores, the active ingredients can easily penetrate into the deeper layers and wear the fabric down to its roots.
Last gesture to banish: the too aggressive brushing. Yes… When faced with a stain that stands up to a cotton cloth, it’s tempting to pull out the heavy artillery. However, don’t do it. Leather is prone to scratches and cannot be treated without delicacy. A little too much hard work and it will give up the ghost.
And now you’re probably thinking that maybe buying a real leather bag was a bad idea… Absolutely not! For those who know exactly how to scrub this leather accessory, the leather bag is a guarantee of happiness.
How to clean a leather bag without damaging it?
This is a question that all owners of a real leather bag ask themselves. Once the object of their dream is covered with stains, how to get rid of it? Depending on your affinities, you can choose between several equally effective methods.
The cotton ball method
This is a grandmother’s trick well known to Sartoria owners. Extremely soft, cotton can be rolled into balls or used in the form of makeup remover discs. Once soaked, the cotton is gently rolled over the area to be cleaned. Of course, for this to work, it is necessary to use specific lotions.
The cleansing milk
Because of the sensitivity of leather, makeup remover or baby moisturizer is very effective in scrubbing leather. Pour a few drops on the cotton ball and make small circular movements on the leather bag.
Be careful though… As soon as the cotton ball is brown or black, it is time to change it. Otherwise, its cleaning action will be a thing of the past. Is your leather bag back to its former glory? Dry it with a soft cotton cloth.
Glycerin is a very useful product for repairing fragile or weathered leather bags. Both nourishing and scrubbing, glycerin is to be used exactly like the cleansing milk. Note that it is possible to use a glycerin bought in a pharmacy or even in a cosmetic store.
Its working principle is exactly the same as that of glycerin. But here’s the thing… To make the active cleansing ingredients penetrate the skin, it is recommended to use a slightly damp sponge or absorbent cotton. From time to time, rinse the sponge so that the dirt continues to fade. Once an area is clean, wipe it with a soft cloth.
Afterwards, your bag will be nourished and softened. Afterwards, apply some moisturizing milk and let it dry for at least eight hours. Your leather goods accessory will have regained its natural shine.
The clay stone
Even ink stains have to bow to clay stone. Yes… This natural product is formidable against the most stubborn dirt. Easily purchased in an organic grocery store, clay stone can also be found in home improvement stores and big box stores.
To clean a leather bag, pour a small amount of clay stone onto a slightly damp sponge. Lightly lather it up and gently pat your leather goods accessory. Run this sponge over the leather and use another textile to remove any traces of dirt. Then, wipe your bag with a soft cloth to make it as dry as possible.
Are you a fan of classic processes? For those who are not particularly fond of natural recipes, it is recommended to go through a classic channel. Although not many people know it, cleaning a leather bag with washing up liquid is perfectly possible. The trick is to know how to proceed.
Remove all dust
First and foremost, it is crucial to remove all dust and dirt that is clogging the pores of your leather bag. Using a cloth or vacuum cleaner, remove crumbs and other detritus.
Mix soap and water
In a container, dissolve a little dishwashing liquid or hand soap in water. To make sure you don’t damage your leather bag, use one scoop of soap for every four cups of water.
Use a damp cloth
Dip a piece of cloth in the liquid and wipe it over your leather bag. As soon as you feel that the cloth has too much water, wring it out. It is necessary that the cloth is wet, but not dripping.
Ideally, start at the top and work your way down. This way, you won’t have to iron over any excess liquids.
Drying the leather bag
As soon as you have finished removing the excess water, wipe the liquid off with a towel. Be careful… Do not rub. Just gently wipe the cloth over it.
Apply leather conditioner
To prevent the leather from cracking or fracturing, finish with leather conditioner. It will form a protective shield around the fabric and prevent it from being damaged by time. What more could you ask for?
Removing tough stains
No matter how hard you try, some stains just won’t go away. Fortunately, there are solutions that make it easy to get rid of them. Often, the products you need are only a few feet away. Remove stains on leather with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol by soaking a cloth with a little nail polish or rubbing alcohol. Then use it to gently pat the areas to be scoured.
To remove grease from leather, apply baking soda to the grease stain and let it sit for at least 12 hours. After this time, remove the excess powder with a dry cloth. You can also use toothpaste to lightly moisten the areas you want to clean. As soon as the areas are soaked with water, apply toothpaste. Rub with your fingers before wiping with a dry cloth.
How do you clean a leather bag?
With all these tips, there’s no doubt that your leather bag will be restored to its former glory, unless you do something else. Tell us in a comment how you clean a leather bag.