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How to Clean a White Leather Purse

How to Clean a White Leather Purse

Much like the SENREVE woman, a white leather purse is elegant and bold. It easily adds a modern, sleek upgrade to any outfit, and coordinates well with a variety of colors and patterns. But this popular fashion accessory can be a magnet for dirt and dust, and is also at risk of yellowing over time due to the natural oxidation process of genuine leather. Not only that, but the porous nature of leather's surface easily absorbs oils from your hands and can easily pick up the color from your clothes when walking, causing stains. 

In this article, we will walk you through how to properly care for your white leather purse and maintain its beauty and pure white color for years to come. 

Quick Tips to Keeping your White Purse Pristine 

  • Avoid letting the bag rub against your jeans 
  • Do not put the bag on the ground, even when storing 
  • Allow your bag to fully dry after it has been cleaned or exposed to moisture
  • Clean spills and stains immediately 
  • When you are trying a new cleaner, be sure to spot check in a small hidden area of the purse first 
  • Clean your bag every couple of weeks using a microfiber cloth and water 
  • Regularly apply a leather lotion or conditioner as a protective barrier against stains and dust 
  • Like wood grain, leather also has a grain--try applying products and cleaning by following this line 
  • If your leather is already treated with a protective finish, such as the finish applied to SENREVE’s leathers, try simply using a water-based leather cleaner to remove stains 

Steps to Cleaning White Leather

Before you set out to start cleaning your white leather, there are a few items you will want to make sure you have on hand:

  1. Lint roller
  2. Leather lotion
  3. Leather cleaner
  4. Cotton swab
  5. Water
  6. White cloth

Step 1: Clean the interior by pulling out the inside lining. Use the lint roller to pick up any dirt, dust, or hair hanging out at the bottom of the bag.

Step 2: Spot clean minor stains using a damp microfiber cloth. If that doesn't work, try a pre-moistened leather wipe. For trickier stains like ink, see more detailed cleaning instructions below. 

Step 3: Apply leather cleaner using a microfiber towel and moving in small circles around the bag's entire surface area. If the bag is especially dirty, be sure to frequently switch out to a clean microfiber cloth. 

Step 4: Apply your leather lotion using the same method as above but with a fresh cloth.

Step 5: Let your bag air dry in an open area. Do not apply any type of heat or leave in direct sunlight, as this will cause serious damage to the leather. 

White Leather Handbag Options from SENREVE 

Now that you know how to properly care for your white leather purse, here are some of our favorite, classic options at SENREVE. 

The Maestra Bag has 8 interior compartments and a padded sleeve that can fit up to a 13" laptop. It's convertible, which means it can be worn multiple ways: as a tote, a backpack, a crossbody bag, or even a satchel. 

The Aria Belt Bag is an upgraded version of the classic fanny pack. It's convertible and can be worn in several different ways, including as a sling bag, a cross body bag, and even a clutch. It has three interior pockets and can easily fit most smartphones.

The Coda Belt Bag is another take on a bag worn around the waist, and comes with two interior pockets and a central compartment that fits up to an iPhone XS Max.

Removing Ink Stains from White Leather

The moment you notice an ink stain on a white bag, quickly use a damp, white paper towel or cotton swab to blot the ink and soak up as much as you can before it sets in the leather. As the ink transfers onto the towel or swab, throw it away and start with a fresh one to avoid smearing the ink onto other areas. Continue this treatment until the ink is gone. 

The leather at this point might look a bit dull. If so, use a leather conditioner to re-moisturize the area. 

Removing Scuff Marks from White Leather

Scuff marks are common accidents on white leather. While you may find an array of at-home cleaning methods with a quick Google, we highly recommend taking the item to a local cobbler or leather shop for professional cleaning. 

Again, the leather might look a bit dull after cleaning--be sure to apply leather lotion to the area. 

Removing Oil Stains from White Leather 

The residue left behind from an oil stain can make them tricky to clean, especially when those stains are on white leather.

Again, for this type of stain, we highly recommend that the item be taken in for professional cleaning, as home cleaning remedies like cornstarch or talcum powder can actually end up damaging the leather or making the stain worse.

As always, complete your care ritual by using a leather lotion and allowing the bag to fully dry.    

What Makes White Leather Special 

Leather is a natural product that is made by tanning animal hides. During the manufacturing process, most leather is dyed to achieve its beautiful and vibrant color. White leather is unique in that no dyeing occurs. Instead, white leather is created using a method called alum tanning, which uses aluminum salts to leave the leather white and water-resistant. The resulting leather is often more supple and flexible, leaving it even softer than traditionally dyed leathers.

What Causes White Leather to Yellow? 

White leather has a tendency to become yellowed over time as part of the natural oxidation process. In general, oxidation is the breakdown of leather from the interaction with oxygen and other elements in the air. 

This process cannot be entirely prevented, and white leather will naturally yellow after 5-10 years. Still, you can slow the process down by keeping the leather well lotioned and supple as the first line of defense.

Once the leather does turn yellow, there is no way to restore it to its original pure white color as the oxidation process is not reversible. While this look may be appealing to some, in most cases a yellow-ed handbag loses the elegance and boldness it had to start. Keeping this in mind, it's important that you care for your leather bag to extend its life and as a precaution to delay the inevitable oxidation process. 

The Bottom Line 

A beautiful, elegant white leather purse is not something to be afraid of. With proper care and attention, your bag will remain beautiful for years to come. Follow our quick tips on how to keep your bag looking as fresh and pristine as the day you bought it. 


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