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How to Clean Your Leather Bag: A Guide by Amsterdam Heritage

At Amsterdam Heritage, a leather bag is more than just an accessory, but an investment. That's why we believe in providing our customers with the right knowledge and tools to properly care for their leather goods. By learning how to clean a leather bag, you'll be able to prolong its life and enjoy your totes, clutches and cross-body bags for many years to come. Here are some useful tips you should follow on how to care for and clean your leather bag.

Before we start, it is important to remember that not all cleaning products are suitable for leather. Avoid using cleaners that contain ammonia or bleach as they can cause damage to the surface. Water can also be harmful to leather, so be careful when using it during the cleaning process. To keep your leather bag looking its best, stick to gentle and appropriate cleaning methods.

 

Prior Caution

To keep your leather bag looking great and minimize the need for cleaning and repairs, it's important to take preventative measures. One of the best ways to do this is by applying a waterproofing solution to protect against water damage. For bags with a smooth finish, a thin layer of beeswax can also be applied as a form of maintenance and extra protection, especially during rainy seasons. When applying wax or any other substances, it's important to use a soft brush, like a shoe brush or a toothbrush with soft bristles. Make sure to test the product in a hidden area of the bag before applying it to the entire surface to avoid discoloration. Let the treatment dry completely before using the bag again.

If your leather bag does get wet, avoid using direct heat sources, such as a hair dryer, to dry it as this can lead to cracking and drying of the leather. Instead, place the bag in a room with indirect heat or low heat and away from direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can also harm the natural leather, so it's best to protect it from the sun as much as possible.

 

Materials Needed

To clean your leather bag, you'll need the following materials: 

  • Mild soap or leather cleaner 
  • Water
  • A soft cloth or brush
  • Conditione

 

Step 1: Dust and Wipe Down

To keep your leather bag in tip-top shape, begin by thoroughly cleaning both the inside and outside by dusting or wiping it down. Use a soft cloth or brush to remove any dust or debris that has accumulated on the surface of the bag. This will make it easier to see any stains or spots that need to be addressed.

 

Step 2: Test a Small Area

Before applying any cleaning products to the entire bag, it's important to test a small area first. This will ensure that the product you are using will not damage the leather. Use a small amount of the soap or mix a foam with a cleaning solution to work it into the leather on an inconspicuous area, allowing it to sit for a few minutes. If there is no discoloration or damage, you can proceed with cleaning the entire bag.

 

Step 3: Clean the Bag

Once you have confirmed that the cleaning product is safe to use, it's time to clean the bag. Using a damp cloth or brush, gently scrub the bag in small circles to remove any dirt or stains. Be sure to pay extra attention to any areas that are particularly dirty or stained.

 

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

After cleaning the bag, it's important to rinse it off and dry it properly. Use a damp cloth to remove any remaining soap or cleaner from the bag. Then, allow the bag to air dry completely before using it again. After drying, apply a protection cream, paying special attention to the handles, corners and high-traffic areas. Leave the cream to dry for ten minutes, then buff off any excess. This simple process, which takes no more than 15 minutes, will help maintain the value of your bag and could save you the cost of future restoration treatments. 

For lighter colored bags or those made of absorbent leather, you may want to repeat the protection process a couple of times. If you're short on time, focus on the main areas, such as the handles, with a quick wipe down to keep them looking fresh.

 

Maintaining the Condition of Your Leather Bag

Cleaning your leather bag is important, but it's also important to take steps to maintain its condition. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid exposing the bag to excessive heat or direct sunlight, as this can cause the leather to dry out and crack.
  • Keep the bag stored in a cool, dry place when not in use. (For storage, we recommend using the Amsterdam Heritage dust bag that comes with every bag purchase.)
  • Apply a leather conditioner every 6 to 12 months to keep the leather supple and moisturized. 

By following these steps and tips, you can keep your leather bag looking great for years to come. And remember, if you're looking for premium quality leather goods, be sure to check out our collection at Amsterdam Heritage. We stand behind the craftsmanship and durability of our products and are confident you will too.

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