What Causes Discoloration of a Leather Purse?

Written by jillian holden
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  • Introduction

    What Causes Discoloration of a Leather Purse?

    Exuding a classy and professional look, leather purses are popular because of their sophistication and unique beauty. However, they quickly can be discoloured by everyday activities and actions. Stains are caused by things ranging from ink to mildew, but they can easily be prevented and repaired.

    Learn causes of leather purse discolouration. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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    Mildew is a thin growth that can develop on a variety of surfaces. It flourishes in areas that are damp, poorly lit, warm or have little to no air circulation. Mildew attacks leather for protein and will cause considerable damage to a purse if allowed to grow.

    Mildew flourishes in darp, dark areas. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

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    A leather purse can be stained by pens, markers, highlighters and other writing materials. It can be caused by writing instruments left without a cap, accidental writings or a child's decoration. These stains are common, but they are not difficult to remove if seen immediately. Remove the stain by filling a small container with rubbing alcohol. Dampen a cotton swab with the alcohol. Do not submerge the cotton swab. Rub the stain gently in a circular motion until it is gone.

    Use rubbing alcohol to remove ink from a leather purse. (NA/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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    Rain, condensation or water spills can easily cause discolouration of a leather purse. As the purse dries, water will dehydrate the leather by soaking up its natural oils, discolouring it in the process. To prevent staining, fill a bowl with room temperature water and dip a clean sponge into it. Squeeze out excess water and lightly blot the stain. Move in an outward direction with the sponge, using less and less moisture as you move away from the stain. Do not saturate the leather.

    Water can cause discolouration of a leather purse. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

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    Grease and Oil

    Grease and oil stains can be caused by a variety of materials. Ranging from cooking oils and butter to greasy foods and sweat, they can easily discolour a leather purse. Instead of using water to wash the stain away, use absorbent materials, such as talcum powder, baking soda or cornstarch, to soak up the grease and oil.

    Grease will stain a leather purse if not properly removed. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

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    The finish of a leather purse can become discoloured when exposed to dust, dirt and grime. By opening up the pores of the leather, they slowly build up in the material, eventually causing discolouration. Do not rub the stain in an attempt to remove it. This will grind the dirt deeper into the leather and make it more difficult to remove. Instead, create a solution of 3 tbsp of vinegar and 1 tbsp of water. Dampen the cloth in the solution, and dab the affected area until the stain is removed.

    Excess exposure to dirt, dust or grime can cause discolouration of a leather purse. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

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    Emitting a musty, unpleasant stench, mould will eat away at leather and stain it a whitish blue if allowed to grow. Prevent discolouration by placing your purse on a rack, hook or shelf where air circulates; increase circulation with a fan or air purifier.

    Increase air circulation with a fan. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

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