The key tips you need to properly clean your leather backpacks

Leather fashion pieces like backpacks, purses and shoes can be tricky to take care of. It can be very frustrating when they get stained or dirty, especially if you don’t know how to properly clean the particular material.

What products are safe to use on leather, particularly a leather backpack, and how does one remove tricky stains or dirt from it? These are all important things to know before you begin cleaning your leather backpack. Read on to learn more!

Here are the key tips you need to properly clean your leather backpacks…

Determine the leather type

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An important aspect of caring for leather bags is to first determine what type of leather your backpack is made of. Leather is a material that’s usually obtained from the skin of an animal.

Some of the leather types include:

Full-grain leather: It’s an untreated leather type that still has its natural and original grain. Good examples of full-grain leather are these leather backpacks at, which are stylish and made to last long.
Grained leather: It’s a type of leather whose grain has been enhanced.
Suede: It has a velvety appearance on both sides, and is obtained by separating skin into several layers
Nubuck: This is a type of leather that’s treated with light sanding in order to give it a velvety appearance.
Patent Leather: This type of leather is covered with a flexible and waterproof film that has a mirror-like shine created by oils, varnishes, and lacquers.

Leather cleaning steps

Cleaning leather can be tricky, however, these steps to cleaning leather can help make the process simpler and prevent you from ruining your leather backpack. Here’s how to  clean leather backpacks:

a. Keep Leather Clean

Maintenance plays a key factor in leather cleaning. At least once a week, you should brush down your leather with a damp cloth. If this is done regularly, there’s less deep cleaning you may have to do later on. You can also apply an oily film or waterproofing spray to your leather backpack because it will limit penetration of stains, as well as prevent fading.

b. Use Damp Cloth

After brushing any dirt or grime that can be seen on your leather, switch to a damp cloth and use that to continue wiping down your leather.

c. Avoid Soaps And Cleansers

The chemicals found in different soaps and cleansers can potentially remove the natural oils in the leather, which are used to preserve the material. These soaps can also cause the leather to dry out, crack, and eventually deteriorate, so it’s better to stick to just plain water.

d. Dry Slowly

Leather should not be put under the sun, near a fire, or near a heater in order to dry it. The best way to dry leather is to let it sit somewhere at room temperature. If leather was dried too quickly, it could change the material’s chemical structure and cause it to crack or become brittle.

Be prompt when cleaning


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Cleaning stains from a leather backpack not only requires delicacy but also promptness in order to see the best results. When applying any product on your leather bag, you must do it carefully and promptly. It’s also advisable to test on a discrete area first using a small amount of product with a cotton swab. Whichever product you choose, dilute it with 10-15% warm water. The quicker you can start the cleaning process, the better your chances at removing the stain. If you wait too long, it’s possible that the stain will penetrate the leather, making it so much harder to clean.

Special leathers require special care

Different kinds of leather require different types of care. For example, suede, nubuck, and other velvet leathers should be maintained with brushes, rubber, and specific cleaning materials made for that particular leather. In general, products like talc or baking soda can gently be brushed on suede to remove any oily stains. Ink stains on nubuck leather can be removed with a cotton swab that’s soaked in 70% alcohol.

Fading, while not a stain, but still unappealing, can be fixed with a cotton pad soaked in makeup remover. White vinegar, in small doses, can also be used as a stain remover in this case.

Hire a leather specialist

It’s safe to say that leather specialists have the knowledge and experience in all things leather, which means they can clean any type of stain off of any type of leather or can give you tips and valuable advice on how to do so on your own. Either way, a leather specialist is the best person to go to when you have no idea how to properly clean your leather backpack.

Whether you’re purchasing your first leather backpack or you own many, it’s important to know the right steps to cleaning and removing stains from this type of material. Remember that different types of leather have varying cleaning requirements, so make sure to equip yourself with the right knowledge to avoid ruining your leather items.

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