Leather bags can be used for many years. Following we want to explain how business cases, shoulder bags and weekender and the bags of the Corf collection can be cleaned and cared.

In the course of time traces of use cannot be avoided. Corners of business bags or weekender may be worn out, and ball pens or cosmetics may leave stains.

Already when buying you may have your bag protected against rain or pollution. This can be done with a spray or cream which cover the surface with a protective film.

Most important steps to keep a bag in good conditions are

  • Protection against stains by impregnating,
  • Cleaning with a moistened cloth and
  • Refreshing with top grade colour creams.

After some time of use you can refresh the surface of your bag and restore the original colour.

Bags of natural vegetable tanned leather may develop a patina as a result from daylight and traces of use. The shade may become darker. Such a patina is accepted as a typical sign of the natural beauty of the leather. Care can be done with a top-grade wax which also will soften the leather.

How to remove typical signs of use and stains

Normally spots or other traces of pollution can be removed with a moistened cloth. Don’t use to much water and wipe the area to avoid stains.

Traces of use and stains will depend on the handling of a leather bag. Stains of ball-pens or ink will more often happen with a briefcase than a travel bag. Lady bags often show marks of food, coffee or other beverages. Any stain will be more visible on a bright coloured ladies bag than on a shoulder or travel bag in black or brown.

Water and spots of rain

You can avoid stains of rain or water by wiping the drops away with a dry rug. Rain or water drops will not do damage to a leather backpack with a protective top coating. On bags made of anilin leather stains may remain when drops are not wiped away in time. The visibility of stains may be reduced if the stains and the surrounding area of the leather is treated with a high-quality cream or beeswax.

Leather bag care with top grade creams.

Spots of ball-pens and ink

Ink and ball-pen traces commonly occur on document or briefcases. Cleaning is not easy. You may try a with citric or tartaric acid or spirit. But in case of brighter colours the finish may get etched and a major patch may be generated. So we would recommend to try at a part of the bag which is less visible – for example on the bottom of the bag.

Food and oil spots

Here the cleaning success depends how quickly they can be absorbed with a filter paper. According to the leather finish the blur may as well be rubbed off by a careful application of gasoline or degreasant and subsequently dabbed off with filter paper.

Coffee spots

Coffee or cacao spots can be removed if you swab the areas with glycerine or glycol which afterwards should be carefully rubbed off with a soapy solution.

Wine or fruit juice spots

Crisp patches of wine or juice should be dredged with common salt which is brushed off subsequently. Afterwards you should cautiously wipe the area with a mild detergent solution.

Nail varnish spots

Nail varnish dots can be dissolved with acetone and then whiped off with a rag moistened with spirit.

(These and further possibilities see S. K. Fuchs, M. Fuchs, L. Derichs: Faszination Leder, 2. Auflage Frankfurt 2019, S.238 ff)

Should leather bags be washed?

By washing and drying the leather may shrink. Sometimes leather bags are washed to achieve a used look. But don’t try to wash your bag unless this is recommended by the manufacturer.

Restoring and refreshing of leather colour

The chance to refresh and restore the look of a bag depends on several factors.

Frequency of use

Not only the age of the bag but also the frequency of its use is important. A briefcase which is daily worn will show traces of abrasion in a shorter time compared with a travel bag which is only used two or three times a year.

Strength of stress

But also important for traces of usage is the strength of the stress. So, a travel bag may show marks already after the first journey if it gets caught on a baggage belt or is improperly forwarded.

Smooth or printed leather

Such damages caused by mechanical stress are even more visible if a weekender is produced from a smooth leather. If treating the leather, you must be careful not to make stains. You should try to remove any traces with a moistened cloth or a top-grade cream.

On a printed leather stains or scratches normally are less visible and easier to remove.

Dye through leather

Traces of scratches will be easier to show if a leather is not dyed trough and the lighter shade below the surface becomes visible.

Intense sunlight may pale or bleach the colour of a shoulder bag.

Leather bags usually are strained less strongly but similarly as shoes. Therefore, it also makes sence to refresh the colour of your leather bags from time to time.

In case of aniline coloured leather bags it is possible to remove little scratches or changes in colour through wiping with a wet rug or a high-quality cream out of beeswax. In order to remove stains or refresh shoulder bags out of a covered leather you can use high-quality colour creams as those offered for shoe care. However, you should not forget to polish the treated areas to avoid that the colour comes off. Therefore, it is important to respect the descriptions usually added to the colour products. Read more about the manufacturing of leather bags or the tanning-process within our leather bag guide.

The use of a leather protection spray or cream can be helpful for a new bag as protection against stains or pollution.

Rules for the care of leather bags

  • You can care and refresh leather bags similarly as shoes.
  • For refreshing you should only use high-quality creams.

Nubuk and Suede

Nubuk and Suede leather have a roughened surface. They cannot be treated with cream because that would leave stains. For protection sprays can be used, for cleaning a moistened sponge or the dry surface can be brushed.

For the Corf collection we don't use Nubuk or Suede.

How to find the correct care instruction?

Information for the correct care will be given either by your shop or you will find it on the homepage of the brand.

All leather bags can be treated with beeswax or other top-grade creams which do not dissolve the original colour. Smaller signs of pollution can be removed with a moistered cloth.

Our service will be glad to assist with any problem you might have with the care of your bag.