Leather bags are classic accessories & tools for men, and they are often made hardwearing to last long. (A very good example is Filson.) Durability of your leather bag is part depending on the leather’s quality, part on how you preserve your bag. Nonetheless, the better quality ones require lesser maintenance.
Here’s an interesting video I found online, showing how we can easily remove scratches on a very good-quality leather bag with only saliva: (Gross, but it’s just a test :P)
Quick Note: One of the way to tell if a bag is real leather is the Fingernail Dig Test. Dig your fingernail into the leather and see if there’s any imprint left. You won’t see imprint on a faux leather. Also, the imprint will take some time to fade away on a real leather. Just like your skin!
To properly take care of your bag, you need to clean your bag the correct way, store your bag in the right place, and use your bag the right way.
How to Clean Leather Bag?
First and foremost, read the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions on the tag that comes with your leather bag. The bag’s manufacturer knows it best. 🙂 Otherwise, here’s how I clean my leather bag. It’s easy & simple:
- Empty your bag. Open all pockets & unzip any zip.
- Turn it up side down & shake off the dust & debris.
- Wipe the interior of the bag with a dry cloth
- Wipe the exterior with the dry cloth as well. Emphasize on the hard-to-reach areas.
- Prepare the soap mixture: A few drips of mild facial cleanser / moisturizing bath soap + water. I use Dove bath cream.
- Dip the cloth into the mixture. Wring it dry.
- Wipe the exterior with the damp cloth. Then wipe the exterior again with a fresh damp cloth. Remember not to make the bag wet.
- Dry the bag with a dry towel. And then polish & buff the surface to restore luster.
- Polish with a thin coat of Vaseline.
How to Remove Grease / Oil Stains?
Sprinkle some talcum, cornstarch or black board chalk onto the stains. Leave it for a day and the stains will be removed.
How to Remove Mould / Mildew Stains?
Rubbing alcohol + water. Wipe the stains with the mixture and let it dry naturally.
How to Remove Blood, Urine Stains?
Use a damp cloth to slowly blot off the blood/urine. Let it air dry.
How to Remove Bad Smells?
Put some baking soda in one of the open containers in your bag and just leave it there until the bad odor is removed.
How/Where to Store Leather Bag?
- Keep your bag in a dry, ventilated & dark place. Avoid direct sunlight.
- Keep your bag in the dust bag cover that comes with your bag. No plastic bag. Pillow case is a good alternative.
- To preserve the shape of your bag, you can stuff your bag with tissues or papers.
Use Your Leather Bag with Care
- Avoid leaving your bag under direct sunlight when you’re out. Keep it in the shade.
- Avoid water or moisture, especially during rainy days. If it gets wet, wipe away the moisture immediately and let it dry. Stuff it with papers to soak up the moisture.
- Do not pull any loose threads. The best solution is to burn & smear it.
- Avoid scratching your bag against sharp objects. Avoid leaving any sharp objects (e.g. pens) unmanaged inside your bag. Put them into small containers or into the correct compartments inside your bag.
- Avoid putting too many things into your bag. The content should match the size of your bag.
“Prevention is always better than cure.” The best way to preserve your leather bags is to use them with care.
Do share with us if you have interesting ideas on cleaning your leather bags 🙂