Wednesday, June 30

How to Clean and Care for a Vintage Leather Purse

A while back I mentioned that I purchased something great from Ebay, as every now and then I start hunting for vintage leather purses. I'm so stingy that I refuse to pay more than $40.00 for one (I might make an exception for Gucci...but more on that when I can afford it) so I was ecstatic when I found one within my budget by Bally. Normally I search for Coach or D&B when it comes to leather, but I think my vintage Coach phase might be leaving me already...I found this one by accident while looking for a "chain purse"!


Step 1:
Surface wife purse with damp cloth.
(Saddle Soap, about $7 at a local Ralphs, which means if you aren't lazy like me you can probably find it cheaper)
Use soft damp cloth (or brush) and froth Saddle soap on it before applying it to leather.
Rub and buff.
I just cut up a piece of cloth for this purpose, you probably don't want to use anything too nice because it's possible that the purse has a lot of dirt or color on it i.e. if someone tried to polish it in the past it would have color polish on it. My cloth was 1/3 black by the time I was done cleaning.

Result after Cleaning:
You'll notice that some of the scratches actually became more obvious after cleaning, this is because the soap is white and there may still be some residue left on the leather at this point (I'm a beginner at this~).

Step 2:
Oil the purse by rubbing oil to the leather with a clean soft cloth or brush. Normally "mink oil" is recommended for this purpose, but I've heard of people using even olive oil without any problems. If your purse is very expensive, I would go to the pet store and ask for mink oil. I have already tested out Johnson's Johnson's baby oil on a purse in this post so I am not at all worried about using it on my new purse!

Final Results:
Shiny and pretty right? Now you'll notice that the little scuff marks don't go anywhere but that's why there's actually a third step, which is polishing and buffing! I haven't bought the materials for this yet (can I use shoe polish?!) as I've hesitated so many times in the store and the leather polish I bought on Ebay never arrived (ugh. moving is so irritating), but once I do you can expect a post with results!

P.S. I did not edit these photos for light or color, only resizing and cropping so pictures are with flash in the afternoon light and should be accurate.


  1. WOW,
    I'm going to do this with my old leather stuff (and shoes) ; ).


  2. Anonymous30.6.10

    this is very helpful!

    join my giveaway:



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