Preserve the Charm: Caring for Leather Bags and Backpacks

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Caring for leather bags and backpacks is essential to preserve their charm and longevity.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of caring for leather bags and backpacks. But did you know that the type of leather can affect the way you care for your bag?

Keep reading to find out how to properly care for your leather bags and backpacks!

Article: Caring for leather bags and backpacks. Image shows leather bag with mold

Caring for Leather Bags and Backpacks

Cleaning to conditioning, proper storage to protection – we’ve got you covered!

Cleaning

First, it’s important to keep your leather bags and backpacks clean.

Use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface of the leather, but be careful not to saturate it! Leather is permeable and will absorb water deep into the material.

It’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials when cleaning leather. These can damage the leather’s natural oils and cause cracking or discoloration.

When it comes to removing tough stains, such as ink or oil, use a leather cleaner specifically formulated for the type of leather your bag is made of.

It’s important to test any cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather before using it on the entire bag to ensure it does not damage the leather.

Additionally, always follow the instructions on the cleaner’s label.

And avoid over-applying the cleaner!

When cleaning, use a clean, soft cloth or sponge to apply the cleaner and wipe the leather dry with a clean, dry cloth.

Avoid exposing the leather to direct sunlight or heat while it’s drying.. Before storing the bag, make sure it is completely dry to prevent mold or mildew growth.

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Regular cleaning is an important part of leather care. Do this every few months to keep leather looking like new.

Conditioning

Leather is a natural material that can dry out over time, which can cause cracking and damage.

Conditioning leather is essential to keep it supple and prevent cracking.

Leather conditioners work by moisturizing the leather, which helps to keep it soft and pliable.

Conditioning also helps to protect the leather from the elements and UV rays, which can cause fading over time.

When it comes to choosing a leather conditioner, there are different types available, such as oils, creams, and sprays.

Each type has its own benefits and it’s important to choose one that is specifically formulated for the type of leather your bag or backpack is made of.

For example, oil-based conditioners are great for restoring old and dried out leather. Cream conditioners are better suited for protecting and maintaining new leather.

Before applying the conditioner, it’s important to clean the leather thoroughly to remove any dirt or dust.

Then apply the conditioner in a thin, even layer using a clean, soft cloth. Allow it to absorb into the leather for a few minutes before wiping off any excess.

Avoid exposing the leather to direct sunlight or heat while the conditioner is being absorbed. Repeat the process every few months or as needed.

We’re big fans of Chamberlain’s Leather Milk – strongly recommend you check them out

Protection

To protect your leather bags and backpacks, it’s important to avoid exposing them to extreme heat or sunlight for long periods of time.

This can cause the leather to dry out, crack, and fade. It’s also important to protect the leather from rain and other types of moisture, as this can cause staining or mold growth.

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One way to protect your leather bags and backpacks is by using a water and stain repellent spray. These sprays work by creating a barrier on the surface of the leather. This barrier repels water and other liquids, making them more resistant to stains.

When using a water and stain repellent spray, it’s important to…

You guessed it:

Follow the instructions on the label! And, as always, test the spray on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather before applying it to the entire bag.

Aged leather Messenger Bag On Wall

Storage

Proper storage is an essential step to keep leather goods looking their best, and to extend their lifespan.

When not in use, it’s important to store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. As we mentioned above, this will help to prevent the leather from drying out, cracking, or fading.

To keep the shape of the bag, we recommend stuffing the bag with paper or a fabric bag filler. This will help to maintain the shape of the bag and prevent it from becoming misshapen while in storage.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid overloading your bags and backpacks. This will prevent damage to the straps and zippers.

You should also use a breathable dust cover to protect the leather from dust and other debris.

Different Types of Leather

It’s important to understand the specific needs of the type of leather your bag or backpack is made of.

Full-grain leather is the most durable type of leather. It requires minimal care. Simply clean it with a damp cloth and use a leather conditioner as needed.

Top-grain leather is also durable but may require more frequent conditioning. As with full-grain, clean with a damp cloth and use a leather conditioner to maintain its suppleness.

Nubuck is a type of top-grain leather that has been sanded to create a velvet-like surface. It’s more delicate than other types of leather and requires special care.

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Protect it with a waterproof spray before use and avoid getting it wet. Clean it with a soft brush or a damp cloth and use a nubuck cleaner.

Genuine leather refers to any type of leather that is not bonded leather. It can come from a variety of sources and can have different characteristics depending on the source and tanning process. Typically though, the quality is lower than top or full-grain.

Bonded leather is made from shredded leather fibers that are bonded together with a polyurethane or latex binder.

It’s not as durable as other types of leather and may require more frequent cleaning and conditioning. Clean it with a damp cloth and use a leather conditioner as needed.

Think weeks rather than months between cleanings.

It’s important to restate this – check the care instructions of the leather before starting any cleaning or conditioning.

Always, always, always test any cleaner or conditioner on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather before using it on the entire bag.

tattooed hipster with leather backpack

Before You Go…

Leather is a natural material that can come from a variety of sources such as cows, sheep, goats and even exotic animals. Each type of leather has its own unique characteristics and requires different degrees of care.

Have a high quality leather bag or backpack? Make sure to look at high-end leather cleaners and conditioners to make sure this living, breathing material lasts.

Be sure to read our next article on the different grades of leather, where we go into more detail!

The Five Different Grades of Leather

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