True Quality CleaningStraight talk about caring for fine garments & household textiles from an expert who calls it like it is. In plain English.

Water-based stains on leather handbags. Now what?

The most common stains we see on leather or leather-trimmed handbags and purses are water-based stains.

Water-based stains include everything from bottle water, tap water, rain (from drizzles to monsoons), soda, juice, wine and coffee to household cleaning agents such as laundry bleach, window cleaners and dishwashing liquids.
Every fashionista has a "solution" that's "worked" for them in the past. They'll tell you all about magic erasers, saddle soaps, mink oils, pumice-based hand cleaners, moisturizing creams, shampoos, hair conditioners, leather furniture cleaners, automotive leather seat cleaners, sandpaper, etc. The list is endless.
On the flip side of the coin, for every advocate of one of these miracle remedies, you find someone who strenuously disagrees. They'll tell you that you should never use magic erasers, saddlesoaps, mink oils, pumice-based hand cleaners, moisturizing creams, etc.
A member of purse forum recently proposed this "solution" to a water stain on a leather handbag as a result of rain:
"Take a dish cloth, hold it under the tap, wring it out (it should not be too wet) and lay it over the bag for 1 night (the moisture will go in the leather). Then let the bag dry, not in the sun but at room temperature. The water stains will blend in."
I don't think so.
Here's the bottom line on water-based stains on leather or leather trimmed handbags and purses: Different leathers react differently to different water-based stains. There are just too many variables involved, such as the type of leather used, the type of pigments used, the type of water-based stain(s) involved, etc. Rarely, if ever, will a "one shot" solution solve the problem.
Our experience with water-based stains boils down to this: you may be able to lighten the stain to the point that it's not too noticeable. Maybe.
The very best solution, however, is to
* clean the handbag or purse inside and out
* "redye" the handbag or purse a color that closely matches the original color of the leather
* recondition the leather to enhance it's suppleness.
Here are two examples of handbags with water-based stains that we have recently restored:
FERAGAMMO LEATHER HANDBAG
BEFORE
AFTER
PRADA LEATHER HANDBAG
BEFORE
AFTER
Please note that the above mentioned clean/redye/recondition solution does not apply to Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas coated handbags and purses with natural cow hide leather trim. For more information on these Louis Vuitton handbags and purses, see here and here.
For many more examples of handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks that we've recently cleaned, please enter HANDBAG CLEANING in the search engine at the top right of this page.
By the way, if you're looking for a handbag cleaning specialist, please remember this: All handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks should be cleaned BY HAND. Never BY MACHINE. And, then, only by a cleaner who specializes in these accessories. And, the only way to ensure that the cleaner does, in fact, specialize in these accessories is to make sure that the cleaner has a FULL TIME handbag and purse cleaner ON PREMISES.
RAVE FabriCARE is the only cleaner in Arizona and one of the very few in the USA that employs a full time handbag cleaner whose sole job is to hand clean handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks. Unlike other cleaners, we'd never clean by machine and we'd never send your accessories to outside third parties for cleaning. That way we're able to deliver the very best technologically achievable results and return your items, in most cases, in a week and a half to two weeks.
How can I help you?
To comment on this post, please use the comment section below.
To ask a question relating to any of your garments or accessories, please email us.

Water-based stains include everything from bottle water, tap water, rain (from drizzles to monsoons), soda, juice, wine and coffee to household cleaning agents such as laundry bleach, window cleaners and dishwashing liquids.

Every fashionista has a "solution" that's "worked" for them in the past. They'll tell you all about magic erasers, saddle soaps, mink oils, pumice-based hand cleaners, moisturizing creams, shampoos, hair conditioners, leather furniture cleaners, automotive leather seat cleaners, sandpaper, etc. The list is endless.

On the flip side of the coin, for every advocate of one of these miracle remedies, you find someone who strenuously disagrees. They'll tell you that you should never use magic erasers, saddlesoaps, mink oils, pumice-based hand cleaners, moisturizing creams, etc.

A member of purse forum recently proposed this "solution" to a water stain on a leather handbag as a result of rain:

"Take a dish cloth, hold it under the tap, wring it out (it should not be too wet) and lay it over the bag for 1 night (the moisture will go in the leather). Then let the bag dry, not in the sun but at room temperature. The water stains will blend in."

I don't think so.

Here's the bottom line on water-based stains on leather or leather trimmed handbags and purses: Different leathers react differently to different water-based stains. There are just too many variables involved, such as the type of leather used, the type of pigments used, the type of water-based stain(s) involved, etc. Rarely, if ever, will a "one shot" solution solve the problem.

Our experience with water-based stains boils down to this: you may be able to lighten the stain to the point that it's not too noticeable. Maybe.

The very best solution, however, is to

  • clean the handbag or purse inside and out
  • "redye" the handbag or purse a color that closely matches the original color of the leather
  • recondition the leather to enhance it's suppleness.

Here are two examples of handbags with water-based stains that we have recently restored:

FERAGAMMO LEATHER HANDBAG

BEFORE

Fer6089 Fer6092
fer6090 Fer6093
Fer6094
Fer6095 Fer6096
Fer6100 Fer6102


AFTER

Fer9795 Fer9796
Fer9797
Fer9801 Fer9800
Fer9799 Fer9798

 

PRADA LEATHER HANDBAG

BEFORE

Prada front 3932 Prada front 3934
Prada front 3933 Prada front 3935
Prada coffee 3941 Prada coffee 3942

Prada bottom 3938

 

AFTER

 

Pra5176 Pra5180
Pra5177 Pra5181
Pra5182
Pra5183 Pra5184

 

Please note that the above mentioned clean/redye/recondition solution does not apply to Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas coated handbags and purses with natural cow hide leather trim. For more information on these Louis Vuitton handbags and purses, see here and here.

For many more examples of handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks that we've recently cleaned, please enter HANDBAG CLEANING in the search engine at the top right of this page.

By the way, if you're looking for a handbag cleaning specialist, please remember this: All handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks should be cleaned BY HAND. Never BY MACHINE. And, then, only by a cleaner who specializes in these accessories. And, the only way to ensure that the cleaner does, in fact, specialize in these accessories is to make sure that the cleaner has a FULL TIME handbag and purse cleaner ON PREMISES.

RAVE FabriCARE is the only cleaner in Arizona and one of the very few in the USA that employs a full time handbag cleaner whose sole job is to hand clean handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks. Unlike other cleaners, we'd never clean by machine and we'd never send your accessories to outside third parties for cleaning. That way we're able to deliver the very best technologically achievable results and return your items, in most cases, in a week and a half to two weeks.

How can I help you?

 

To comment on this post, please use the comment section below.

To ask a question relating to any of your garments or accessories, please email us.

 

 


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1 comment(s) for “Water-based stains on leather handbags. Now what?”
  1. Gravatar of Hannah from Maxwell Scott Handbags
    Hannah from Maxwell Scott Handbags Says:
    This is a great post.

    You're right, there is no one solution to getting rid of water stains from a handbag. It depends largely on the type of leather the bag is made from.

    The lady from purse forum has the right idea for vegetable tanned leather. However, actually leaving the damp cloth on the bag is a no no. You can, however, dampen the entire patch of leather that has a water stain and leave to dry naturally. By no means should you ever attempt to dry next to a direct heat source. This method works on natural coloured, vegetable tanned leathers.

    Thanks for the info!
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