Stain and purses are like the first and last born of any family: they share a very unique kind of connection with one another.
If you’re not getting stains from your Saturday night outings or awkward dates in roadside cafes, it’s likely from an enthusiastic toddler with an investigative spirit.
Whichever way you end up acquiring stains on your purse, one thing is certain, you’ll have a tougher time getting rid of them from leather than from any other material out there— because leather is delicate!
When you attempt to get rid of stains from a leather purse, proceed with caution.
Avoid cleaning materials that can crack, burn or damage the surface of the leather and opt for products that are fine tuned to work with leather and provide an efficient stain removal process as well as preserve the quality and aesthetic appeal of the purse.
Remove ink stains by applying ink remover to the affected spots with little pressure, then finish off with a cleaner, conditioner and protector to restore back the worn out color and texture and also protect the purse from future spills and stains.
Tackle any other stain with an effective leather cleaner and white rag, and finish off with a conditioner to restore back texture.
In the next few headings, we’ll discuss how to tackle stains in detail, and also how to care for your leather purses and maintain them.
Different Leathers And How To Best Tackle Stains On Them
There are different types of leather that can be used for making purses, and depending on which one of them you have for yours, the care and stain removal purpose might be different.
Full Aniline Leather and Specialty Leathers (Natural Leathers)
Non-coated aniline leather is dyed with a semi translucent dye and basically has no topcoat paint or pigmented sealant for protection. As a result, it is porous and will absorb spilled liquids into it.
Here’s how to treat various stains on Aniline Leather.
Apply Ink stain remover stick/solution to the affected spot briskly and with gentle pressure.
You might lose some color and texture from the concerned spot, but dont worry too much as you can easily solve that problem with the conditioning step.
When you apply the ink remover to the ink stain, it will cause the stain to dissolve fast so that a cloth rag can easily lift it off.
So when you’re done rubbing or applying, use a clean white rag to lift the stain or blot it off from the leather surface onto the cloth.
When you’re done, apply a leather conditioner on a white rag and rub it all over the surface of the spot to return it back to its original glory!
Then treat it with a leather protector (the same way) to add a layer of protection to the purse.
Food and Beverage
For food and beverage stains, first remove any leftover food particle in the stain area, and then blot the affected spot with a damp rag.
Next, apply leather cleaner to a clean portion of the white rag and transfer it to the affected spot gently. Rub in a circular motion to lift off the stain from the leather onto the cloth. Allow to air dry.
Now because the affected spot might have it’s moisture stripped as a result of the rubbing process, you have to condition it to restore back the shiny and vibrant state of the leather purse.
So take a clean portion of the white rag and apply the leather conditioner there. Then transfer that onto the affected spot in a circular motion with little pressure.
Allow to dry and if you want an extra layer of protection, you can apply scotchgard for that purpose.
Oil or Grease
First, sprinkle cornstarch over the affected spot, (if it’s fresh), then rub gently until it begins to coagulate. Repeat as much as you need to for the stain to completely vanish.
When you’re dealing with a more stubborn oil stain, rub mineral spirit over the spot and feather over the area. Allow to evaporate.
Next, clean with leather cleaner and condition.
Blood and Urine
Dampen a soft cloth with distilled water, then rub over the affected area to pull out excess stain. Next, clean with a leather cleaner and condition.
Circulate a hair dryer (on low heat) around the stain area to loosen the gum.
Then use a white cloth to gently lift off the gum. Now gently apply leather cleaner using a cloth and allow it to dry. Finally, condition.
Tips for cleaning aniline leather:
- If you notice surface abrasion or color inconsistency, which is especially seen in waxed and oiled pull up aniline leather, apply low heat from the hair dryer over the area and that should solve the problem.
- Treat Nubuck, Embossed Nubuck, Suede, Embossed Suede, Nubuck Sparkle, like aniline and employ the same stain removal technique as you would in aniline. For nubuck sparkle, you can spray with a sparkle spray to restore the lost protective coating after removing stain.
- Always test leather cleaners and other cleaners in an inconspicuous area to see how well the color of the leather fares with the cleaner.
They have a thin layer of top coat that limits penetration of stains and soils to the leather.
They are more tolerable to harsh cleaning agents than full aniline leather and can be treated for stain just as you would treat aniline leather, but be a bit careful with items like the ink removal stick so they don’t strip away the top protective coating and color!
Pigmented or Finished leather
It’s a refined leather that has a protective layer of coating on it.
To treat stains, you want to follow the procedures for treating sem-aniline which still points back to the procedures for cleaning aneline, but paying careful attention to how you use the ingredients to avoid removing the top coating.
But if you happen to lose it, you can apply scotchgard to replace it back.
Tips for removing stains on all leather
- Tackle stains fast.
- When you follow all stain tackling instructions and you notice the stain isn’t coming off, it’s best to leave it and deal with it as it is, or take it to a professional cleaner to avoid causing damage to the leather.
How To Clean A Leather Purse And How Often To Do It
Light cleaning of purses should be done at least once a month or two months to ensure no inconspicuous stain is actually setting in or our purses look fresh and new.
Cleaning a leather purse is easy and straightforward, you first want to remove as much debris as you can from the inside. Use a vacuum if you have to so the inside is really clean.
Then, apply a leather cleaner to the surface of a white rag and transfer that to the surface of the leather with light force in a circular motion. You might have to repeat the process again and again using different areas of the cloth to completely get rid of really heavy soils.
Allow to dry for 5 minutes, and when you notice the surface of the leather is tacky, then you’ve applied a bit too much cleaner, and you can typically solve that problem by wiping lightly against the leather with a clean rag. Now apply conditioner and you’re good to go.
When you do this consistently, your purse should feel fresh and clean. But even so, there will still be a point where the leather purse would eventually lose its freshness and might even pick up stains.
So every 4-5 months, you want to give your purse a deep clean to tackle soiling and stains.
First, clean with a leather cleaner, then tackle stains as instructed above, then condition and apply a protector to finish everything off.
Removing stains from leather purses is quite easy, you first want to tackle stains immediately using techniques that work for the type of stain you have. Then because cleaning usually strips away moisture and protective coating, you want to follow up with a leather conditioner and then a protective coating.