How to Make a Leather Handbag Look Like New Again

Published: September 9th, 2009
Images used as illustration purposes - Results may vary

Images used as illustration purposes only - Results may vary!

Leather handbags carry more than just cosmetics, day planners, and phones; they also carry an essence of glamour and class. It is important to maintain the look through regular upkeep with a leather cream that prevents fading and cracking. If, however, you have missed this step and need to refurbish your leather handbag, there are a few easy steps to follow.

Start out by gathering all the necessary products. You will need saddle soap and mink oil which can be purchased from a pet supply store, or a farm and feed store. If it is a delicate or particularly expensive leather handbag, consider purchasing a specially formulated product for leather. It is slightly more, but not more than the worth of the handbag. You will also need a toothbrush, cloth, and, depending on the style of the handbag, metal polish.

It is vital that the handbag is completely empty, even of miniscule debris that could be trapped inside. Use a barely damp cloth to wipe the interior and exterior to prep it for the leather treatment. You can protect the inside of the handbag from the leather products you are going to use next by lining it with a plastic bag and sewing pins.

Whether you are using the saddle soap or a leather specific cleanser, test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure that it will not leave a mark or deteriorate the color. If it is safe, continue by massaging the product into the grain of the leather with a cloth. Blot out stains with a separate cloth and a toothbrush to remove debris ingrained into the leather.

After the leather of the handbag is fully cleaned, use the mink oil or leather conditioner to moisturize. Using a cloth or your hands, rub the oil or conditioner in a circular motion while taking care to cover the entire handbag, including seams and crevices. With a clean cloth, wipe the oil reside, and then buff the leather well to achieve optimum shine.

If the color of the leather handbag is natural, this process may be complete. However, if you are working with colored leather, you can purchase products that aid in restoring the dulled or faded color that is inevitable with time. Both natural and colored leather handbags can be enhanced with products that boost shine and remove odor. Consider contacting the manufacturer of your individual handbag directly to inquire if there are any products they recommend for your specific model.

If the handbag is embellished with metallic hardware, use the metal polish to shine it. After refurbishing the leather, the metal has a tendency to look more worn than may have been noticed when the handbag in its entirety was deteriorating.


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