How to Take Care of Leather Bags

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Taking care of leather bags isn't nearly as complicated as you might think. Learn how to take care of leather bags 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

This is Aubrey from The Leather and Vinyl Doctor in Utah. We're here today to discuss how we can take care of a leather bag, how to keep it clean, how to keep it conditioned, how to make it last a lot longer. The first thing you want to do is identify the type of leather that your bag is made out of. The best way to do that is through what we call a water test, place a few drops of water on the surface of the leather and observe. You want to notice whether it's beading up and sitting on the surface of the leather or is it actually penetrating into the fibers of the leather. Deciding on which way it's going is going to be important from the standpoint of what you use to clean it with. Now in my case here the water is beading up. It tells me that I have a finished leather, a protected leather, one that has a faint bit of opacity to the outside of it. It tells me also, with that in mind, that most cleaners are going to work really well with this. If the weather was penetrating in and making dark spots on the leather then I would have to be a bit more cautious about the type of cleaner I use. I'd want to make sure that it's going to be compatible with what we call an aniline, semi aniline or Nubuck type leather. So you want to check that out. Now you always want to test your cleaner and make sure that it's working the way it should and not removing any color or working adversely with your leather. Test it out in an inconspicuous spot, find something on the corner or on the back or something you know is not going to be seen too easily, apply the cleaner to it and I had a little bit of over spray so it's probably better to have sprayed that onto the cloth like that and just to have tested it in the corner just seeing if there's you know, any color coming off. In this case it's not doing that so I'm okay. So with a small bag like this I'm going to go ahead and apply the cleaner to the cloth itself. I'm going to work that cleaner into the panel here, allowing that to dry and if I'm finding there's some stubborn stains I can always use a brush, a soft brush. I can apply some more cleaner there or actually in this small bag case we'll put it on the cloth itself, apply the cleaner there and just start working that in a circular motion just to help to free up that dirt and debris, cleaning it off with a cloth and once I'm finished, I've done that whole panel, allow that to dry, work on the other side and get that done. Once it's dry, I want to go ahead and apply my conditioner. Again this conditioner is a lanolin-based conditioner that is very compatible with leather and I'll go ahead and apply that with a damp cloth and again in circular motions, let that penetrate into the material and that will serve the purpose of softening the leather and protecting it as well. Allow that to dry and then your bag is in good shape and should last you many years.

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