As equestrians, we all have access to a variety of leather cleaners and saddle soaps that we use on our tack and paddock boots. However, these cleaners may be much stronger than what we need for our handbags and could be causing further damage.
Why Cleaning Your Leather Bag Is Important
Leather absorbs just about anything that it comes into contact with. The most common reasons why leather may stain or age include:
- Contact with water; rain
- Oils from our skin
- Chemicals or oils from hand lotion
- Everyday dust and airborne particles
That said, this doesn’t mean that we can’t use our bags. Knowing why it’s so important for us to take care of them helps us to keep them clean and lasting longer!
Step-By-Step Guide: Cleaning Your Leather Bags
Step 1: Use a clean, soft cloth to wipe away any dust particles or pollen that may have ended up on your leather bag while you were out and about.
Step 2: If you use your leather handbags frequently, consider cleaning them with a leather cleaner at least once a month.
Recommended Leather Cleaners
- Colour Lock Leather Handbag and Cleaner
- Atlas Leather Cleaner
- Leather Honey Leather Cleaner
- Otter Wax Saddle Soap
It’s important to spot-test any cleaner you use on a small, hidden area of your leather handbag to ensure that it will work well without any discoloration. There is no “one-size-fits-all” cleaner, so always test first!
Step 3: Leather will dry out, crack, and hold scratches. This is why conditioning it is just as important as cleaning. While you may not need to condition your bag as frequently as you clean it, we recommend sticking to a regular schedule. Use your best judgment to see when your handbag may be looking a little dry.
Recommended Leather Conditioners
Step 4: Keep your leather handbag in the cloth bag it comes with, and try to keep it stuffed with bubble wrap or non-printed paper. This helps the bag keep its shape and protects it from scratches, dust, and water damage when you’re not using it.
Caracol's Tip: Paper can get messy so we recommend using handbag pillow shapers to make it easier!
It's also important to keep your leather jewelry clean and conditioned. There are two main differences when looking at cleaning leather handbags versus leather jewelry: leather handbags are larger and only parts touch our skin, whereas leather jewelry has continuous contact with our skin, the oils from it, and the moisture that it will inevitably be exposed to.
Tips for Cleaning Your Leather Jewelry
- If you sweat or get you leather jewelry wet, wait for it to dry before cleaning and conditioning it.
- Clean your leather regularly and condition it monthly.
- Use a Q-Tip to help clean and condition leather that's in-between precious stones or hard-to-reach spaces.
Now that you know how to clean your leather accessories, it's time to shop, right?!
Find us this week, through October 29th, at Arabian Nationals in Tulsa, OK at the Tulsa Expo Square for some early equestrian inspired holiday shopping!