How to Clean a Hair On Purse / Wallet

How to Clean / Care for your Purse or Wallet

All of our handbags are crafted with both regular cowhide leather and hair-on cowhide leather, which call for slightly different cleaning processes.


How to Clean Regular Leather

What you need:

— A soft brush or toothbrush

— Water

— Mild soap like saddle soap or diluted dish soap

— Two or three clean, dry cloths

Step One: Gently brush the leather with a soft brush to remove dirt and dust.

Step Two: Fill two bowls with one cup of warm water each. One bowl will be for cleaning, and the other for rinsing.

In the cleaning bowl, mix ½ teaspoon of dish soap until you get a sudsy solution, then dunk in one of your cloths. Alternatively, if you are using saddle soap, wet one of your cloths and work saddle soap onto it until you get a light lather. It’s important to only use mild soaps. Never use ammonia or bleach-based cleaners, since they could damage the leather’s surface.

Step Three: Squeeze excess water out of the cloth and begin gently scrubbing the leather in a circular motion, working small sections at a time. Use only as much water as is needed. Avoid scrubbing the whole bag with soap before rinsing — clean and rinse one piece at a time.

Step Four: Squeeze out the dirtied cloth and dip it into the rinsing bowl, then gently remove all soap and suds from that section of leather. Make sure to use a clean side of the cloth or a new cloth each time you rinse, since dirty water or suds may stain leather.

Step Five: Once each section of the bag has been cleaned and rinsed, make sure to wipe away as much moisture as possible before leaving it out to dry! Set the leather outside under a covered area (out of direct sunlight!) or in another well-ventilated place. As tempting as it is, don’t try to speed up the process with your hair dryer! To avoid damage, let your leather air dry.

How to Clean Hair On Leather

What you need:

— A vacuum with a brush attachment and/or a wire brush

— Water

— Mild soap like saddle soap or diluted dish soap

— Two or three clean, dry cloths

Step One: Use a shop vacuum, handheld vacuum, a vacuum with a hard floor setting, or a vacuum with a handheld brush attachment to remove surface dirt and dust. Avoid using a vacuum with rotating brushes that could damage the hair, and always vacuum in the direction of the hair growth. You can also use a wire brush to gently brush out the hair and dislodge any dirt or debris.

Step Two: Combine one cup of warm water with ½ tsp of dish soap in a bowl. Mix until soapy. Never use harsh soaps or cleaning solutions on hair-on-hide leather.

Step Three: Dip a clean cloth into the soapy water and squeeze out the excess. Use as little water as possible, since excessive or dirty water could stain your cowhide. Gently blot the cowhide with the cloth — don’t rub or scrub, just lightly dab. If you’re dealing with a muddy or crusty section, you can dampen it with your cloth and then use your wire brush or a fine-toothed comb to gently remove the debris. If there’s dirt at the base of the cow hairs, you can very gently rub the leather.

Step Four: As your cloth dries, dip it back into the soapy solution, squeeze it out, and go back to dabbing. Use a clean section of the cloth or a new cloth each time you dip it back in, and only work on small sections of the bag at a time.

Once all the leather has been cleaned, prepare a new bowl of plain warm water for rinsing. Use this to blot with a clean cloth until you’ve removed all soap residue from the cowhide.

Step Five: When you’re satisfied that your bag is fully cleaned and rinsed, let it air dry in a well-ventilated area. Don’t leave it in direct sunlight or try to speed up the process with blow dryers, as this can damage the leather.

Once the cowhide is dry, you can use a soft brush to gently comb out the hair and remove any clumping.

How to Use Leather Conditioner

Leather is prone to becoming brittle when it gets too dry, so leather conditioner is an important part of any care routine. It’s best to apply right after cleaning, before the bag is completely dried out. When the leather is nearly dry, use a teaspoon of leather conditioner per every square foot of surface area and work it into the leather until it’s evenly spread. If you can see visual traces or residue from the conditioner, then you are using too much!

Let the conditioner absorb for at least an hour before using or storing your bag.

Do not use leather conditioner on hair-on-hide surfaces.

Ongoing Hair On Purse Maintenance

Lastly, we have a few tips on ongoing maintenance. If you want to keep your leather in the best shape possible, there are a few things you can do for upkeep!

— A quick dusting after every use to get rid of dirt and debris

— A wipe down with water every month (no soap)

— Conditioning one to three times a year

— Spot cleaning on an as-needed basis

— Full cleaning with soap only when absolutely necessary