How To Clean Designer Handbags

Buying a designer handbag is an investment and taking care of it is more important than you think. Cleaning your handbag may not be at the top of your weekly to-do-list, but it is something that should be done in order to prolong its life and keep it looking as good as new. 

In this blog, we give our most valuable advice on caring for your much loved handbag - including a step-by-step guide and common mistakes to avoid.

5 Steps To Clean A Designer Handbag:

  1. Empty your bag 
  2. Make a cleaning solution
  3. Dry the bag
  4. Apply protection cream
  5. Clean the interior 

  1. Empty Your Bag

To clean your handbag, start by emptying everything inside of it. 

  1. Make A Cleaning Solution

Make a cleaning solution by mixing a small amount of super mild liquid soap with warm water in a bowl. Create a foam with the cleaning solution and gently massage this into the bag with a clean, lint-free cloth. Pay particular attention to the sections you handle the most, such as the handle and corners, as these sections are most likely to be saturated in body oils. Don’t forget to clean the bottom of your bag too.

We recommend using baby shampoo as a gentle cleaning solution for minor scuffs and stains.  

  1. Dry The Bag

Next, use a clean, dry towel to wipe off any excess moisture or cleaning solution on the bag. Let your bag air-dry for 15-30 minutes - stay away from using a hairdryer.

  1. Apply Protection Cream

Once the bag is dry, it’s time to apply your chosen leather protection cream, such as Restorers Leather Protection Cream. This cream is key to prolonging your handbag’s life as it feeds, nourishes and conditions your leather from day one, helping stop stains taking place on the leather. 

  1. Clean The Interior

The way in which you clean the interior of your leather handbag will vary depending on the lining. 

Fabric Lining

Wipe the fabric lining with a damp sponge rinsed in warm, soapy water. 

Nubuck Lining

If your handbag is lined with Nubuck, the cleaning process is a little different as it will stain if it gets wet. Start by spraying the lining with a waterproof sealant. The nubuck will then reject the water, and can then be wiped down without worrying about damaging the bag. 

This is a great suede and Nubuck cleaner that can be used to clean and maintain your nubuck items. 

Leather Lining

Follow the same steps as if you were cleaning the exterior of your handbag. 


cleaning designer handbags

Try and clean your handbag every 1-2 weeks.

Things To Remember When Cleaning Your Designer Bag:

  • Always spot test your cleaning method before

    Preferably somewhere on the inside of the bag which isn’t very noticeable.

  • Use a proper cleaner

    Never use baby wipes, vinegar or any other home remedy on your designer bag, as these can seriously damage it. Many of these household products will pull out the colour, dry out the leather and cause a build up of grease on the surface of the bag. 

  • Store your bag correctly

    Your designer bag may come with a dust bag. If so, please use it. These bags are intended to keep your designer bags dust-free whilst being stored. If you don’t have a dust bag, a pillow case will do.
  • You should also keep your handbag stored in a dry, cool location and avoid direct sunlight to it. Sunlight can cause colour fading and leather damage.

    You may also want to keep your bag stuffed whilst you’re not using it to keep its shape. Take a look at this website for more detail on how to properly stuff your designer bags.


cleaning a designer handbag


The way you store your handbag is a key element of maintaining its shape and condition. 


NEO87100 is a luxury women’s bag brand that combines a feisty British attitude with Italy’s leathercrafting expertise. It is the brainchild of London-based Ilaria Barca, who turned to her uncle’s leather goods factory to make her dream of creating a modern and alluring handbag collection come true. Browse our collection.