Ask Our Readers: Cleaning Leather

Last week Kalissa was a great help to me and finished up the last hour of childcare so I could head out and do errands.  It’s such a treat to for me to be able to leave an hour early so I can still hit up my favorite thrift stores.  Of all of things that have changed since I started childcare the things I miss the most is being able to get to town during thrift store hours.  When I say it was a treat…it truly was.

I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a cross body purse.  I have one now that I love but it’s green leather…I actually don’t mind the green leather because it matches everything but sometimes I’d like something different.  Of course I won’t buy one for full price…’s the thrifty in me that just won’t let me pay full price for something to hold money.

I was really excited to find this…a Fossil purse for 10 cents.  I really liked it and the price was right but there is one problem…the purse is dirty.  The picture makes is look dirtier that it actually is.  In fact, when I showed it to Kalissa she thought it was just supposed to be colored that way.

In reality it looks more like someone dropped a can of pop and the pop splashed up out of the can and onto the purse.


The back is same way on the bottom but not the top.

I haven’t tried anything yet….I figured one of you readers would know what to do.

If it doesn’t come clean I have a couple options.  Toss it and forfeit the 10 cents…or try to use shoe polish on it and get a darker color.

So help blog readers.  How do I clean this leather purse??

10 thoughts on “Ask Our Readers: Cleaning Leather”

  1. I’ve used Saddle Soap with great success to clean leather items that aren’t suede. Don’t know if the soda stains will come out, but you could also consider dying the leather (use leather dye from Tandy leather). Saddle Soap not only cleans but it conditions the leather and makes it supple. Thanks for posting this. It reminds me that I need to do this to my wallet.

  2. As a last resort you might want to try throwing it in the washing machine and let air dry. I’ve done this with other leather goods and had decent results. Just remember this is a last resort.

  3. When we purchased our leather furniture we got a cleaning and conditioning kit…perhaps you could check your furniture store ?

  4. If you have a shoe repair shop close call and ask them. They use a lot of saddler soap as suggested. Take a damp cloth with a mild soap and clean and dry good then use the saddle soap. Good Luck. Chris

  5. Hubby says you can wash it with soap and water, let it dry and then oil it. Hope you find something that works well.

  6. I just applied shoe polish on my daughter’s new-to-her leather saddle bag (from the thrift store). It turned out beautifully, looks like new! It really soaks into the leather nicely, and then I always give it a buff/rub at the end, and there is no problem with anything coming off to stain the clothing.

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