If your leather bag is at your side day to day, you’ll more than likely find at least a small stain on it at some point. Nobody wants a stained leather bag, so we’ve rounded up some tips for removing various types of stains.
Remember - always test any of these suggestions on a small, inconspicuous area of your bag first.
Do not apply water to grease stains. Wipe grease off the surface of your leather bag with a clean, dry cloth. If this fails to remove the stain, sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch onto the grease spot and pat it in. Let it sit overnight, which allows the cornstarch time to absorb the oil/grease. Gently brush off the cornstarch using a soft-bristled brush.
Address ink stains as soon as possible. Mix one part rubbing alcohol with one part lukewarm water. Dip a cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol/water mixture and rub it over the ink stain using a circular motion. Allow leather to dry. Apply leather conditioner. If the rubbing alcohol mix doesn’t work, you’ll need to purchase a leather ink stain remover.
Dark stains from things like food or blood can be addressed with a homemade paste of one part cream of tartar to one part lemon juice. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for ten minutes. Remove the paste with a damp cloth. If residue remains, add some mild soap to the damp cloth and wipe down the area again. Allow leather to dry. Apply leather conditioner.
Always treat stains as soon as possible. And we cannot re-state it enough: always spot test. Every time. If your spot test doesn’t give you a safe result, or if you’re dealing with a large or particularly difficult stain, it will be worth your time and money to take your leather bag to a professional leather cleaner.