How to clean white leather bags

Made from the tanned hides of various animals, leather has many uses in the textile industry. White leather can be produced through two types of tanning processes---aldehyde or synthetic. Both processes produce pale or creamy white-coloured leather used in the manufacture of white handbags. Dirt and stain removal on white leather requires careful cleaning. The wrong cleaner can turn a white bag yellow or, even worse, destroy the leather all together.

Wipe the white leather bag down with a damp sponge to remove surface dirt and build-up. Add a squirt of dish soap to the sponge to increase the cleaning power.

Rinse the sponge in clear water and wipe away any soap residue. Wipe the white leather bag dry with a soft cloth to ensure that water spots do not develop.

Remove ink on white leather bags by dipping a cotton swab in 70-percent isopropyl alcohol. Rub the cotton swab over the ink until it disappears. Wipe the area with a damp sponge afterward. Dry with a soft cloth.

Fill a spray bottle with a 1:1 ratio of distilled white vinegar and linseed oil. Spray the white leather bag with the solution and buff away stains with a soft cloth.

Pour a small amount of baking soda in a small bowl and mix in enough water to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to the white leather bag with a soft cloth. Remove tough stains by rubbing the cloth in circular motions until the stain disappears. Wipe away the baking soda paste with a damp sponge. Buff and dry the leather with a soft cloth.


White toothpaste and a toothbrush can also remove ink from white leather bags. Simply apply a small amount of toothpaste to a toothbrush and scrub gently. Wipe the area with a damp sponge and buff dry with a soft cloth. Keep your white leather bag looking its best after cleaning by placing a dab of saddle soap onto a soft cloth and buffing the white leather until it glows.


Do not use bleach, harsh chemicals or abrasives on your white leather bag. Doing so will cause the leather to dry and crack.

Things You'll Need

  • Damp sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Soft cloths
  • 70-percent isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swab
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Linseed oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Small bowl
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About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.