How to Clean Vintage Leather Luggage

Updated April 17, 2017

Vintage leather luggage is appealing to many people because of its style and luxurious look. However, if it hasn't received the proper maintenance it can easily lose its glimmer over time. Since this type of luggage is rather outdated, you may be unsure how to clean it. Fortunately, following a few steps will ensure that your vintage leather luggage comes out looking new again.

Vacuum out the interior of the luggage by using a hose attachment. This will get out any dust and gunk that has been accumulating over time.

Clean off the majority of dust and other residue from the exterior by wiping it off with a soft, moist cloth. Use lukewarm water for this process.

Dip a small area of the cloth into leather cleaner and apply the cloth to a small corner of the luggage. It's important to begin in a corner so that you can test the leather cleaner and make sure that it doesn't alter the colour of the leather.

Buff the leather clean working in one small section at a time while using a circular motion. Gradually work your way across the entire area of the luggage, adding more cleaner as needed.

Rinse off the cloth with water and wring it dry. Use this to wipe off any leftover residue from the exterior.

Dry the luggage completely by using a soft towel over the entire area.


Look at the instructions on the leather cleaner for any additional details of the application process. If your luggage has a musty smell, placing a car freshener inside of it for a few days will help eliminate the odour.


Keeping leather luggage away from water and out of direct sunlight are two ways to avoid mildew and increase its longevity.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum with hose attachment
  • Soft, moist cloth
  • Leather cleaner
  • Soft towel
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About the Author

Nick Mann has been a writer since 2005, focusing on home-and-garden topics. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.