Monday, August 19, 2013

Washing and Conditioning a Worn Out Leather Bag

I bought a Marc Jacobs Tina turnlock tote at the charity shop for £55! It needed a good cleaning inside and out as the lining looked like eyeshadow had exploded on it and the leather was dry in some places. With a little TLC, I knew I could revive the bag and make it an aged treasure.

The most effective way of cleaning the lining was hand washing. While I don't recommend this on very expensive leather bags, I did'nt have too much to risk because the leather is dark brown so water stains was'nt too much of an issue.  

Step one: I turned out the lining and washed it thoroughly with detergent and warm water, being careful not to let the leather get wet. Keep a towel handy for sopping up splashes. When the water ran clear, I wrung it out and hung it up to dry, keeping the lining kept separate from the leather. 

Step 2: When the lining is completely dry, turn it back inside. Now it's time to condition the leather. I use Wheelers leather balm which is made from beeswax and is perfect for moisturising. Make sure the leather is clean so wipe it down if needed and unfasten buckles so you can access all areas. I squirt a 10p amount of balm on my palm and massage the leather all over with my hands. Pay attention to edges and dry areas. Keep applying more balm and work the leather until it feels like the upper layer is saturated. 

Step 3: Hang the bag up to dry over night. It will be a little sticky on the surface but the bag will be usable after a quick buff. With further use the leather will suck up the balm throughout and be lusciously thick and supple.

The bag is ready for use and the leather will beautify with age.

Tah dah! A reconditioned bag with smooshy buttery leather. 


  1. This is probably the most useful post I have came across all week! I have an old leather bag that is in need of a wash out and didnt know how to approach it! Thank you soo much :)

    Lorraine x

  2. Good luck with your bag Lorraine!



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