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How to Remove Stains from Leather Bags

Worried about a stain on your favourite leather bag? Our step-by-step guide will show you how to clean your leather bags in no time at all!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

How to remove stains from leather bags

We all have that favourite leather bag that goes absolutely everywhere with us, right? From music festivals and clubs to picnics and other outings, that leather bag has been by our side through most of our important life experiences. Being a trusty sidekick means getting a little dirty and stained through life’s oopsies and accidents.

If your leather bag is stained, don’t worry! We have some easy tips on how to remove stains on leather bags so that you can restore your best bag back to glory.

The Most Common Stains that Occur on Leather Bags

When it comes to what causes stains on our favourite leather items like bags, shoes and couches, the most common of all is water. Other common stains include ink, grease, wine and everyday dirt and grime.

The good news is, most of these stains are easy to treat, you just need to know how.

How to Clean a Leather Bag

For leather bags, you’re most likely dealing with water stains or other liquid stains like beer, wine or cooldrinks. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to restore leather that has been stained by liquids:

#1 – Act Quickly

Act as quickly as you can, as soon as the stain occurs if preferable. The quicker you can treat the stain the less time it will have to soak in.

#2 – Blot to Start

Remove as much of the liquid as possible by blotting it down with a dry, microfibre towel. If you don’t have that handy, use a paper towel, serviette or even some toilet paper.

#3 – For Water Stains

For water stains, make sure you’ve blotted as much water away as possible and then rub leather conditioner onto the bag or purse in small circular motions. Leave the conditioner on the bag overnight and simply give it a good wipe in the morning.

#4 – For Other Liquid Stains

For stains like wine or beer, try one of these at-home concoctions for the best results:

  • If you have rubbing alcohol at home, mix a solution of equal parts rubbing alcohol and warm water. Using a small amount of cotton wool, dab the solution onto the stained area and rub in a circular motion. Once you’ve seen the stain lift and go, let the bag dry naturally outside.

  • A paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice also works well for liquid stains other than water. Rub the paste into the stain and allow it to soak in for 10 – 20 minutes. Wipe the paste off the bag with a clean, dry cloth. You can repeat if the stain needs more work.

Do you have a favourite pair of leather shoes or a couch that also needs a good cleaning? Read our blog on How To Clean Leather now for more advice.

More Leather Care Advice

When it comes to leather advice or removing colour stains from leather bags, there are a few things you should not do to leather to avoid ruining it;

  • Never rub your leather bag, purse or even your couch with anything abrasive like a scrubbing brush or abrasive cloth. Leather will scratch easily and can be scratched permanently too.

  • Avoid using detergents that are very strong or have bleach in them to avoid bleaching your leather.

  • Never submerse your leather goods like purses, bags or shoes into water completely.

  • Only spot-clean your leather goods if you have to. Leather is not designed to be regularly wiped or washed, so should only be spot cleaned like we’ve recommended above if there is a stain.

For more leather and surface cleaning tips, visit our website today!

Frequently Asked Questions on Removing Stains from Leather Bags

How do you get a stain out of a leather bag?

We’ve put together an easy guide on how to get water and other liquids stains out of a leather bag or purse. Read our blog above for more advice.

How do you get oil stains out of a leather bag?

For oil or grease stains on leather bags or furniture, mix a solution of hand soap (a liquid soap will do) and warm water and use a soft, clean cloth to rub the solution into the stain. Then allow to dry and wipe off any residue.

How do you make a leather purse look brand new again?

Leather purses should never be submerged in water, but rather use our spot-cleaning advice on how to clean stained leather to clean up the dirty patches and give it an overall new look.

Can you clean leather with vinegar?

Vinegar and warm water as a leather cleaning solution, can work just as well as our suggestion of rubbing alcohol and water.

Does rubbing alcohol stain leather?

If you put rubbing alcohol directly onto leather, it can stain it yes. Rather mix a solution of equal part rubbing alcohol and warm water to balance the alcohol out.

Originally published