A leather handbag is an essential accessory for most women. Unfortunately, they are subject to so much hard use, even in the normal course, that they often tend to start looking dirty and worn very soon. Not only will the handbag start to look old, the leather itself may get damaged and the bag could become unusable. Regular cleaning can extend the life of a handbag by years. This is not part of the work normally done by a domestic cleaning agency, although they can give you some tips on doing it yourself. But by following a few simple guidelines, you should be able to do it yourself without any help.
Firstly check if you handbag came with any cleaning instructions. If so follow those and if anything said here contradicts what the manufacturer has said, follow only the manufacturer's instructions. Now here are 11 steps to cleaning your handbag.
1. Empty all the contents of the handbag. Leaving all the zips and catches open, hold it upside down and shake it hard to dislodge all the dirt that has accumulated inside.
2. Wipe the insides of the handbag with a clean dry cloth.
3. If there are any stains on the fabric inside, dampen a cloth with a mild home cleaning solution and rub the stain. If the stain does not come off its best to leave it alone - no one will see it anyway.
4. Use a soft cloth to wipe dust away from the exterior of the handbag.
5. Mix a few drops of mild liquid soap in two cups of distilled water. Distilled water is safer because tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals that could damage the leather.
6. Dip a clean sponge or soft cloth into the mixture and squeeze it until it is almost dry - just about damp.
7. Wipe the outside of the handbag with this sponge or cloth.
8. Dry the handbag with a clean dry towel, rubbing reasonably hard to buff the leather.
9. Rub the surface with a clean chamois cloth to complete the buffing.
10. If you want to you can now apply a leather protecting agent (usually available in the form of a silicone permeated sponge) on the leather.
11. Dull metal clasps and buckles will look odd against the clean shiny leather. Use the appropriate metal polish to give the metal a shine. Be careful not to let any of the metal polish fall on the leather.
If you have any problems with difficult stains on the leather, you can ask your domestic cleaning agency for advice.
Enjoy using your clean shiny handbag!