How to Care for Leather Bag

Are you a fan of leather bags? If so, they make a great fashion statement and provide superior protection for stored items. But while it’s easy to appreciate their great looks and usefulness, care must be taken if your bag is to last for many years down the road.

How to Care for Leather Bag

Leather bag care is not difficult, but it requires some extra attention. Simply store and clean your bag properly, be mindful of it when using it, and you’ll have a stylish companion for years to come!

In this blog post, we’ll explain exactly how to care for leather bag so that it can look its best every time you reach for it! Let’s get started!

What Will You Need?

In order to take care of your leather bag, you will need a few basic items. These include:

  • Soft cloth
  • Leather conditioner
  • Leather cleaner
  • A small brush (toothbrush works great!)

It’s always good to have these items on hand to quickly and easily clean your bag when needed.

8 Easy Steps on How to Care for Leather Bag

Step 1. Clean Regularly:

The first step in caring for your leather bag is regular cleaning. Start by emptying your bag and turning it inside out. Use a soft cloth to wipe off any dirt or dust on the surface. For stubborn dirt, moisten the cloth slightly – but avoid making the leather too wet.

Step 2. Use Leather Cleaner:

After you’ve dusted off surface dirt, it’s time to use a leather cleaner. Apply a small amount of the cleaner onto the soft cloth and gently wipe over the bag’s exterior. Follow the cleaner’s instructions and test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. This will prevent any unexpected reactions from damaging the bag’s visible parts. After cleaning, let the bag dry naturally away from direct sunlight or heat sources to prevent it from cracking or fading.

Use a Leather Cleaner

Step 3. Apply Leather Conditioner:

Following the cleaning process, it’s time to hydrate and nourish your leather bag with a good quality leather conditioner. Apply a small amount of conditioner onto a soft cloth and gently rub into the leather in a circular motion, taking care not to over-saturate. This conditioner will help to replenish the bag’s natural oils, keeping it soft and supple and preventing cracking.

Like with the cleaner, it’s wise to test the conditioner in an inconspicuous area first. Allow the conditioner to absorb and dry naturally, again, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Step 4. Regular Maintenance:

After properly cleaning and conditioning your leather bag, maintaining its condition regularly is crucial. If you use your bag daily, consider a quick wipe-down with a dry cloth at the end of each day to remove any accumulated dust or dirt. For bags used less frequently, apply leather conditioner once every couple of months to keep the leather from drying out or cracking.

If the bag has been exposed to rain or moisture, let it dry naturally and then condition it to prevent water spots or stains. Keeping up with these simple maintenance steps will go a long way in preserving the life of your leather bag.

Step 5. Mindful Usage:

Another essential aspect of caring for your leather bag involves being considerate in how you use it. Leather, while durable, can show wear and tear with mishandling. Avoid overloading your bag, as it can cause the leather to stretch and lose its shape. Be cautious of sharp objects that may scratch or puncture the leather.

Also, be careful about exposing your bag to direct sunlight for extended periods, as it could lead to discoloration. Being mindful of these factors can help maintain the aesthetics and structure of your bag.

Step 6. Store Properly:

Storage is a crucial factor in maintaining the longevity and appearance of your leather bag. Avoid storing it in plastic bags or other non-porous covers, as they can cause the leather to dry out. Instead, opt for a breathable fabric like cotton to store your bag. If you need to use the bag more frequently, fill it with bubble wrap or old newspapers to help maintain its shape.

Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat to prevent the leather from drying out or fading. Remember, proper storage can extend the life of your bag, keeping it looking its best for years to come.

Step 7. Avoid Contact with Water:

Despite its durability, leather doesn’t mix well with water. If your leather bag gets wet, don’t panic. Blot away the excess water with a soft, dry cloth and let it dry naturally, away from direct heat or sunlight.

Never use a hair dryer or other heat source to speed up the drying process as it can cause the leather to become brittle and crack. Once the bag is dry, apply a layer of leather conditioner to restore its natural oils and keep it supple. Remember, prevention is better than cure – so try to avoid taking your leather bag out in rainy weather or leaving it in damp areas.

 Never Use a Hair Dryer

Step 8. Avoid Exposure to Extreme Temperatures:

Leather is sensitive to extreme temperatures. Direct exposure to heat or cold can cause it to dry out, become brittle, and eventually crack. So whether it’s a hot summer day or a chilling winter night, try to avoid leaving your bag in your car or any other place with extreme temperatures.

If your bag does come into contact with extreme temperatures, remember to condition it once it’s returned to a normal environment to replenish its natural oils and prevent damage.

Following these simple yet effective steps ensures your leather bag remains in top condition and serves as a stylish companion for years.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Keep it Clean: Regularly dust and clean your leather bag using a soft cloth. If it gets stained, use a damp cloth and mild soap and gently wipe the affected area. Dry it off with a clean cloth immediately.
  2. Protect from Direct Sunlight: Exposure to sunlight can cause fading and damage to the leather. Avoid leaving your bag in direct sunlight for extended periods.
  3. Use a Leather Protector: Apply a leather protector every six months to protect your bag from water and other types of damage.
  4. Rotate Your Bags: Avoid using the same one daily if you have multiple leather bags. This will give each bag a chance to rest and regain its shape.
  5. Try Exchangeable Straps: If you want to change up the look of your bag, consider purchasing exchangeable straps. This will allow you to switch out the strap for a different color or style without purchasing a whole new bag.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can ensure your leather bag stays in top condition for years.

Apply a Leather Protector

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Using Harsh Cleaners: Stay away from using harsh chemical cleaners or alcohol-based products, as they can dry out and damage the leather.
  2. Don’t Overstuff Your Bag: Avoid overfilling your leather bag, as it can cause the bag to lose its shape and lead to unwanted creases.
  3. Keep Away from Liquids: If your bag accidentally comes in contact with liquids, immediately dry it off with a clean cloth, and do not use a hairdryer as it can cause the leather to crack.
  4. Don’t Neglect Regular Maintenance: Lack of regular cleaning and maintenance can cause your bag to deteriorate faster. Ensure you clean and condition your bag regularly.
  5. Steer Clear of Sharp Objects: Be cautious about what you put inside your bag. Sharp objects can scratch or even puncture the leather.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can help prolong the life and maintain the beauty of your leather bag.

Can You Use Dettol on Leather?

Dettol is not recommended for use on leather as it contains harsh chemicals that can strip the natural oils and damage the material. Stick to using mild soap and water to clean your leather bag instead.

Additionally, spot test any cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area before using them on the entire bag. This will help prevent any potential damage or discoloration. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when caring for your prized leather bag.

Stick to Using Mild Soap

So, stick to gentle cleaning methods and stay away from harsh chemicals. Your leather bag will thank you in the long run. Remember, proper care is the key to maintaining the quality and longevity of your leather bag.


In conclusion, how to care for leather bag can seem intimidating at first, but with the right tips and tricks, it is an easy task to manage. The key is prevention. Be sure that your leather bag is clean before you store it for long periods, and use a moisture barrier if storing it outdoors. Also, remember to condition the leather periodically with quality leather conditioners to keep its softness and shine.

Remember to attempt general maintenance such as spot cleaning or buffing with a soft cloth when possible, and be sure not to overload the bag. Following these steps will provide optimum preservation of one’s beloved leather bag. Start by making an effort today – you’ll thank yourself come autumn season!

After all, there’s nothing better than hitting the town this fall with a fresh looking bag in tow!

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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