How to Clean a White Leather Purse

by Stacey
3 Materials
20 Minutes

A white leather purse is a beautiful accessory, but it’s also a magnet for scuffs, stains, and spots that keep it from looking its best.

We will tell you how to restore your favorite white leather purse back to its original beauty with some common household items.

What causes a white leather purse to yellow?

Leather is one of the most durable materials available, which is why it’s commonly used for shoes, hats, belts, and handbags.

But leather is also a natural, organic material and it has a porous surface. Porous materials absorb liquids. Oils from contact with our skin and hands can discolor white leather and turn it yellow or brown.

Clean your purse before removing stains

Before you do one of the following DIY stain removing hacks, you want the purse to be otherwise as clean as possible.

1. Empty the purse

Before you attempt to remove any stains, take some time to empty your purse. Remove items from the pockets and turn the purse upside down to shake out dirt and debris.

Pull the lining out of the purse and give it one last shake. If you can’t remove the lining, clean the inside of the purse out with a handheld vacuum.

2. Clean the bag

Add a few drops of dish detergent to warm water. Dip a clean rag or microfiber towel into the soapy water solution, wring it out, and gently wipe down the exterior of the leather bag.

Wet another towel with fresh water and rinse off the exterior of the bag. Dry the surface of the bag with a clean, dry towel. Now you are ready to tackle those stubborn stains!

1. How to clean a white leather with rubbing alcohol

Dip a cotton pad or ball in rubbing alcohol. Gently blot the stain. Be sure to dab up and down. If you rub side to side, you risk making the stain even bigger.

Continue blotting until the stain is removed. Wash the treated area with a clean cloth dampened with fresh water. Dry with a clean towel.

2. How to remove stains from a white leather purse with toothpaste

Toothpaste is another effective stain-remover for light leathers. Use a non-gel whitening paste for this purpose. Apply a small amount of toothpaste directly on the stain.

Next, gently wipe the area with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. After the stain is removed, wipe the treated area with a clean section of dry cloth. That’s all there is to it!

3. How to clean a white leather purse with baking soda

Baking soda is best used for oil or grease stains. Sprinkle baking soda on the stained area. Gently rub it in with a clean cloth or towel.

Let it sit undisturbed overnight. The baking soda should have absorbed the stain. Use a clean towel to wipe off the baking soda.

White leather purse

Photo from Contour Affair. Check out her tutorial on a DIY KARA-Inspired Zippered Mini-Backpack. Check out her site: Contour Affair

Tips to keep your white leather purse clean 

Now that your white purse is looking brand-new, let’s keep it that way.

Here are practical tips to protect your leather purse from stains and other types of damage: 

  • Spot-treat stains and spills immediately. 
  • Don’t let your bag rub up against jeans and other dyed clothing and fabrics. 
  • Store your bag on a hook or place it on a shelf away from other items that may discolor it. 
  • Use a leather conditioner every few months to maintain its shine and softness, and create a barrier to prevent future stains. 
  • Clean your bag with a microfiber cloth and leather-safe cleaner every few weeks to keep stains from setting in. 

When to contact a professional

While all of these methods are good at removing most stains from white leather accessories, there are times when you need to call in the pros. 

Ink and permanent markers can be hard to remove, for example. Older stains are also more challenging to lift. If stains aren’t going away with alcohol, baking soda, toothpaste, consider going to a leather specialist.

If your leather bag is a family heirloom, an investment piece, or especially fragile, we recommend taking it to a professional to have it cleaned and conditioned.

Don’t sweat minor stains on your white leather accessories. With a bit of TLC, you will have your favorite purse looking brand new. 

White leather purse

Photo from Contour Affair. Check out her tutorial on a DIY KARA-Inspired Zippered Mini-Backpack. Check out her site: Contour Affair

How to clean a white leather purse

How do you care for your leather goods? Share your favorite tips and tricks below! We love hearing from you!

For more fashion hacks, check out my post on How to Make Jeans Waist Bigger: 5 Easy Methods.

Suggested materials:
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Toothpaste
  • Baking soda

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