Hints for getting stains out of soft leather bags

Updated April 17, 2017

Soft leather bags can absorb and retain substances that can cause permanent damage. Chances of getting rid of a stain are better if you take steps to remove the substance immediately after it makes contact with the leather. Treat the stain depending on what caused it. Should the stain not come out, it is best to take the soft leather bag to a cleaning professional, according to

Water and salt s

For water stains, let the bag air-dry and keep it away from sources of heat such as electric and gas heaters. After it dries, try treating the bag with a leather conditioner. For a salt stain, make a solution with three parts vinegar to one part water. With a soft cloth, rub the solution on the stain.

Gum and oil stains

For gum stains, first use cold then heat. Wrap ice cubes in a plastic bag and rub the gum until it hardens. This will allow you to remove the gum in pieces or in a chunk. If there are any remnants or leftover pieces, use a hairdryer to heat the gum. Make sure the dryer is on a low setting. Use a cloth to rub off the gum. For an oil stain, use cornflour. Rub it in well to absorb the oil. Try putting the bag near a light because the heat will provide faster absorption. After it appears to be dry, use a toothbrush or cloth and gently brush off the cornflour.

Ink stains and discoloration

For ink stains, try spraying the area with hairspray. Gently wipe it off with a cloth. Ink can be difficult to remove, so this particular type of stain might require professional attention. Should you see discolouration on your soft leather bag, buy a leather spray to match the colour of your bag. Spray gently on the area.

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About the Author

After graduating with a journalism degree from Emerson College in 1989, James Dryden went to work immediately in the publishing industry, first as a type-setter then as a copy editor, layout artist, writer, photographer and proofreader.