Leather Handbags: 8 Tips for Caring & Maintaining – Our Guide

Brown leather bag

A woman’s handbag speaks so much of her style. A leather bag, for example, is an epitome of durability, class, and style—that’s why it’s a classic favorite. Since leather is an organic material, it is more prone to potential dullness and damage. If you own a leather handbag, you need to be well-equipped with leather care knowledge to lengthen the lifespan of your bag.

Here’s what you should know:

1. Handle it with clean hands

Leather is a naturally absorbent material. What you have in your hands can be easily transferred to your bag. So before you touch your bag, make sure your hands are clean. If oil gets to your bag, it can attract dirt and darken the leather over time. If not treated early, these darkened areas can turn into stained spots, which are more difficult to remove.  

2. Only carry the essentials

A quality leather bag can retain its shape for years if properly maintained, but putting more stuff inside it can alter its shape eventually. If this continues, your bag won’t be able to preserve its contour and the weight can tear the leather in the handle or back. If you want to maintain the beauty and shape of your handbag, you have to limit the items you put in it. 

3. Keep your bag dry

Keep your bag away from any form of moisture or wetness. Avoid using it during rainy days or wintertime. If it got accidentally splashed with water, gently pat it with a towel and allow it to air dry. The presence of moisture can attract mold and bacteria growth in your bag. They can cause rot later on and affect the quality of your handbag. The moisture can also cause swelling which will change the form of your bag.

4. Put your makeup in another pouch 

Leather is sensitive material, so do your part in keeping it away from potential danger. If one of your essentials is makeup, keep all of them in a separate pouch. This pouch would protect your bag from any makeup leak or stain.

5. Keep your bag away from other beauty products too

Makeups are not the only products that can harm the quality of your leather bag. It is also sensitive to hair products, perfume, deodorant, lotion, and more. If you’re going to a salon or putting any of these mentioned products, use them away from your bag and make sure to wash your hands immediately after. Exposure to any of these products can cause irreparable damage to your bag. 

Ways to Clean Your Handbag

No matter how much you care for your bag, it will eventually gather dirt if used regularly. However, cleaning it properly can prevent further damage. 

1. Use a leather care product when cleaning

There are different ways to care for leather bags, so before following any tips, read the care and cleaning instructions of your bag’s manufacturer. Buy a leather cleaner that does not contain alcohol or mineral oil. These ingredients can cause discoloration and dryness. Gently rub the leather cleaner in a circular motion on your bag. Let it sit for a short period, depending on the product instruction. Then, using a clean, damp cloth, carefully wipe it off.

2. Apply a leather conditioner

A leather conditioner can help prevent drying or cracks in your leather bags. It should be done once or twice a year, depending on your bag’s condition. It is also important to test your chosen conditioner in a hidden spot first. Leather conditioners can darken the color of the leather, making it look new. Make sure you like how it will look first before you apply it. 

3. Treat stains immediately

When you notice any kind of stain on your bag, treat it as soon as possible. One way to do this is by applying white chalk powder in the affected area. Leave it overnight and brush it off the next day.


If you want to enjoy your precious leather bags for as long as possible, keep it well-maintained. Now that you are aware of the cause of leather damage, avoid exposing it to these situations. Remember that cases may differ, depending on the bag’s skin and the condition it is in. You can follow our guidelines above, but always adjust them to what you need.

If you’re looking for stylish handbags in the US to add to your collection, ours at Hotter Handbags boasts the best selection for you to choose from. Shop for new bags now!

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