A quality leather handbag is an expensive and long term investment. You will be quite proud of your new handbag and want to protect it as much as possible. Nonetheless, accidents happen and sooner or later you will find yourself with a stain on your bag.
The key to treating any stain is timing. The sooner you catch the spill, the more likely it is that you will be able to fully remove the accompanying stain. Many blemishes can be treated with a mild soap, such as dish washing liquid or hand soap that is mixed with water. It is generally recommended to try this method first, especially on stains of unknown origin. Commercial leather soap can be used instead. Always rub in the direction of the leather grain and be careful not to rub so hard that you grind the stain further into the leather. After any cleaning, be sure to rinse thoroughly but carefully, follow up with an air dry and then condition the handbag with a leather conditioner.
When using soap and water on your quality leather handbag, remember that an area that has been wet will likely dry slightly darker than the surrounding material. Therefore, care should be taken to avoid over-wetting the handbag and it is better to dampen the entire bag so that it will dry uniformly.
All methods, including soap and water, should be tested on an inconspicuous part of the handbag before treatment. If you have any doubt about your ability to successfully treat a stain, it is highly recommended that you contact a certified leather specialist for professional advice about your quality leather handbag.
Home treatments can be used for a variety of stains. Common stain types include: protein (particularly blood), water, ink and grease. After any treatment, be sure to rinse the area carefully with plain water. Use a damp sponge and pat it thoroughly, as this is much better for the handbag than immersion.
The most common protein stain that your handbag may encounter is blood. Blood spreads rapidly, so even a paper cut can cause a significant stain. Fortunately, blood stains are reasonably responsive to treatment, particularly if you catch them before they dry. First, wipe off all liquid with a clean cloth, then wash carefully with a mild soap and water solution. Allow your handbag to air dry and condition thoroughly.
Water spots are caused on handbags by uneven wetting and drying. In this case, it is best to re-wet the spot and the rest of the bag panel down to a seam. Do not over-wet the area; allowing the entire area to become damp will cause a more even drying pattern. Allow the handbag to air dry, then condition with a leather conditioner.
Ink stains on a quality leather handbag are extremely difficult to treat, particularly once they have dried. Some leather owners have had success with hairspray, followed by rinsing and conditioning. Be sure to try this one in an inconspicuous spot first, as ink stains can easily be worsened by home treatment. If you have any doubts, consult a professional.
Treat grease stains on your handbag immediately by using large quantities of corn starch or talcum powder. This will pull out the oil, but may leave the residue behind. Be sure to remove any liquid first with a clean cloth and leave the corn starch or powder on the stain for at least four hours.
A quality leather handbag will come into contact with many different materials and will probably develop a stain. Home treatments can help you minimize damage, but never be afraid to call in the services of a professional if needed. Your handbag was a major investment and it is well worth spending the money necessary to maintain it.
Source by Gale Boone