How to Care for a Leather Purse

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If you're good to your leather purse, it in turn will be good to you. Find out how to care for a leather purse with help from a leather and vinyl professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Leather Care
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Aubrey from The Leather and Vinyl Doctor. I'm one of the co-owners. We're here this morning talking about cleaning a handbag - handbag leather. Now, the first thing you want to do is identify the type of leather that your handbag made out of. They're made in quite a variety of different types of leather. The best way to do that is to distinguish between whether it's a finished leather or a semi-endline... less finished piece of leather. That's the important distinction what you want to make, and the best way to do that is really to place a few drops of water onto the surface of the leather, and notice whether it actually beads up, or whether it actually soaks and penetrates into the leather. Now, in this case, I've got my, my water is actually beading up and it's just sitting on the surface, so it tells me that this piece is a finished piece of leather - very treated, very protected. But, in the event that it actually started soaking in, starting to become dark, I'd want to be a little bit more cautious about the type of cleaner that I used, because that's going to penetrated straight into the fibers, and it could leave some water stains, could leave some residual stains of the actual cleaner. So, with that, you want to find yourself a cleaner that is a water-based cleaner, a pH-neutral cleaner, one that is formulated for leather. And, you can either apply it directly to the handbag - the preference, I think, would be to apply it to a cloth, a clean white cloth, so that you don't get any over spray, any dripping, because if it is fairly soiled, that could lead to streak marks. So in this case, I'm going to apply the cleaner. I'm going to use circular motions, and if my bag isn't too dirty, I can get away with that. In some cases, where there could be a build up of dirt, I might find that using a very soft, small brush - I'll go ahead and wet the area - and use the brush to work that area. I might even apply some directly onto the bag itself, being careful not to spray it over, but I'll work that in circular motions, get up a bit of a lather, applying a little pressure is really going to get into the grooves and the cracks, the creases and the grain of the leather. Then I'll use my clean cloth, and I'll work it and dry that, applying a bit of pressure as well. What that's leaving me with is a very clean piece of leather, and now it's ready to receive some conditioner. A bit like your hair, it needs some moisturizing, some sort of rehydrating agent. So this here, in this case it's a heavy aniline-based cleaner. Sorry, conditioner. You want to avoid anything that's got silicon, and any sort of additives such as that, that would might leave some sort of residue. Again, we're applying circular motions. We're applying this with a little bit of pressure, not too much. Try to get into the cracks, the little nooks and grains of the leather, to make sure that we have good coverage, but that is the extent of what you need to do. You don't need to do anything more outside of this. Getting a good clean, applying some conditioner on a regular basis, it'll keep your leather handbag clean and keep it a few extra years than you normally would.

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