How to Clean a White Leather Bag?

How to clean a white leather bag

Leather is one of the most prized materials and it’s used to make many quality items – bags, shoes, coats, furniture etc. Even though it’s very durable, leather is an organic material and its surface is porous. This means that it absorbs liquids, which causes staining. Leather absorbs oils from our skin and hands, and these stains are especially visible on white leather. Below we will answer the question of how to clean a white leather bag and keep it clean and in good condition. After all, all of us want our beautiful leather bags for men and women, wallets, coats, shoes and furniture to last as long as possible. And also, stay white.

Basic Maintenance

For basic maintenance, make sure to wipe your bag frequently with a dry soft cloth (preferably microfiber). This simple method will easily keep your bag free of smudges and dust build-up if done regularly. For more thorough cleaning, you can use a commercial cleaner for white leather, but you can also make your own.

If you already have a bag and want it to really last and stay in a good shape, consider ordering leather care balsam. It will keep it moisturized and oiled so the product can keep its natural beauty and properties.

Leather Care Balsam

How To Make Your Own Leather Cleaner For White Leather?

First, take a bowl of warm water and mix in a few drops of a mild liquid dish soap or Castile soap and just a few drops of vinegar. Dip a soft cloth into this solution and wipe down all the surfaces. Don’t use too much water, as it is harmful to leather.

When you are finished with cleaning, wipe your bag one more time with a cloth dampened with clean water to remove soap residue. Let dry. Remember to never let your leather bag dry out in the sun. It is relevant for any color leather bag, not just white.

Another recipe for white leather cleaner asks for olive oil and vinegar. You will also need a spray bottle. Mix the oil with vinegar in 2:1 ratio and put it in the bottle. Spray the mixture on the stain, let it sit for a couple of minutes and wipe off.

Both of these methods are completely safe to use on white leather. Be careful with experimentation though, because many cleaning products can damage the leather. Never use bleach or ammonia-based cleaners. In addition, whether you have made a cleaning solution yourself, or you have purchased it somewhere else, test it on an invisible place of a product to oversee possible negative side-effects.

How To Take Care OF Leather Bags

Removing Stains From White Leather

It’s always best to wipe any spills as soon as possible, as this will minimize the chances of staining. Still, no matter how fast you are with a cleanup, at some point you will probably encounter tough stains that can’t be removed with a simple leather cleaner. Here are some items that can help you in removing stains from white leather:

1. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol works best for removing ink stains. Alternatively, you can use a nail polish remover but make sure to test the method on a hidden corner first. Dip a cotton swab in the liquid and gently blot the stain, without rubbing. When the stain is removed, wipe the area with a damp cloth.

2. Cornstarch or Baking Soda

For oil or grease stains, take a small amount of cornstarch or baking soda and rub gently over the spot. If the stain is not removed, let it sit for a few hours or until the starch has absorbed the oil.

3. Toothpaste

To clean stains with toothpaste, slightly dampen the stained area with water first. Use non-gel toothpaste. Just put a small amount on the stain and use a soft toothbrush to scrub gently. Wipe with a clean cloth when finished and dry.

4. Cream of Tartar and Lemon Juice

Mix the two ingredients in equal parts, apply to the stained area and let sit for 30 minutes. Then, wipe off the paste with a damp sponge.


Owning a white leather bag should not give you the nightmares anymore. With these simple quick-made solutions you can make at home, the question of how to clean a white leather bag will be answered forever. It will save you from the headaches and stress. Therefore, enjoy rocking your awesome white leather bag.

RELATED: Read Taking Care Of Leather and How To Take Care Of Leather Bags for more in depth info!

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11 thoughts on “How to Clean a White Leather Bag?

  1. Hannah J Parrish says:

    Some items can help you in removing stains from white leather: Rubbing Alcohol, Cornstarch or Baking Soda, Toothpaste, Cream of Tartar and Lemon Juice. I love this ideas so so so much. Thank you!

  2. Lily Safi says:

    This is a complete solution for those who want to know how to clean or wash white leather backpacks and bags. A must read article!

    • Riikka says:

      Black leather shirt coloured my white patent leather LV bag I’ve tried Cleaning wipes, Marseilles soap and WD-40 spray. Nothing happened. Please help!

      • Evaldas Baniulis says:

        Hey Riikka,

        Have you tried reading the article and applying the methods written in it? Neither wipes, nor soap nor the spray are mentioned in it 🙂

  3. Tracey Juron says:

    My black dress stained my white Chanel handbag covering the entire back side where it rubbed in black! Rubbing alcohol worked pretty darn well I have to say! Thanks!!!!

    • Evaldas Baniulis says:

      Hey there Jo,

      Just a pure rubbing alcohol will do the trick. But please test it on a hidden corner first, because some lower quality leather items might be negatively affected. In that case, stop and refer to other tips.

  4. Michelle L Meek says:

    How do you clean a kate spade white purse that has a set in stain for some kind of dye or something. For there is a big yellow stain on my purse that I don’t know what from. And I have tried all the above things and nothing even faded it.

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