Social Media Sharing

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

VINTAGE PURSE CLEANING - oh, that delicate, precious bag! ...

Check out all our Vintage Bags in NEWPRAIRIESTORE

Vintage Fossil Bag - SOLD

 Hi there Vintage Purse Fans!  We all have different ideas of  how to clean our purses... n'est-ce pas?  But, there is one thing I think we all agree on is that we do not want to leave it in a worse state than before; possibly shortening it's life (or ending it, LOL!)

Photo credit:  Harrilott
So, the one word that is most important to remember when selecting cleaning products or making your own home concoctions is:
Photo credit:  Robert De Bock
What you should not do:
  • Use Clorox wipes
  • Use baby wipes
  • Use any bleach or abrasives
  • Scrub with a rough pad
  • Put in the washing machine
  • Put in the clothes dryer
  • Leave in the sun
  • Use harsh detergents
  • Skip spot testing
  • yada yada yada...

 Believe it or not, there are many women who claim to be addicted to Clorox wipes that contain several dangerous chemicals... and cannot stop using them.  They even have such a bad addiction that can be a challenge to their health and even to unborn children.  If you Google "Clorox wipe addiction", you can see it there... do NOT EVER use Clorox wipes on your vintage leather!  There are many environmentally friendly alternatives that do not pose a health risk.

Cowhide Leather
It is important for cowhide leather should be cleaned to remove dust, dirt and other debris that can damage the surface. It is made up of many fibrous strands, much like a sponge. And, the fibers are so tightly compacted they cannot be seen until the leather is damaged (ripping or tearing). According to a Government of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development publication, once leather become dirty and dry it becomes dry and brittle. There needs to be proper cleaning help maintain healthy, moisturized leather.  However, cleaning should be just enough to be effective as you can damage this type of leather with too vigorous of cleaning. (Teague 2010).

Tanned Leather
For regular maintenance:  Wipe your bag once a week with warm, soapy water... mix a small amount of mild liquid soap to warm water and use a soft damp cloth to wipe away any dirt from the outside of your handbag (Cosmopolitan, 2019)... very GENTLY on old or delicate leather!  Dry with a soft, dry cloth.  When the leather is nearly dry, wipe down with a moisturizing conditioner to fight dryness and add protection against the elements.

Some well-known and widely accepted leather mild soaps that we recommend are:  Castile Soap, Saddle Soap, and Ivory Soap (EHow, 2010).

We believe in being kind to the earth and using cleansers that are environmentally friendly. 

We ALWAYS use the gentlest cleaning products for all of our vintage bags and have been doing this for over 12 years now!  If you purchase one of our bags, you can be sure you will be getting the highest quality (that makes our competition GREEN WITH ENVY). : ) ...

Green with envy
Photo credit:  Fran Tapia

In conclusion, we recommend any difficult cleaning jobs are given to a pro to help... don't risk drying out or changing the color of your bag!  But, for regular care (after spot testing), using these methods will give your bags the attention they deserve!  They can live to be well over 50 - 60 years old AND LOOK STUNNING!

Well, that's enough Vintage Purse Fun for now!!  Until next tine...CHOW! : )

“How to Clean Leather With Ivory Soap.” EHow, Leaf Group, 20 Apr. 2010,

Person. “How to Clean Your Designer Leather Handbag.” Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, 7 Jan. 2019,

Teague, Lillian. “How to Clean Cowhide Leather.”, Hunker, 5 July 2010,

Check out Newprairiestore to see all the cool vintage!!

Black Dooney

Vintage Montana Silversmith Purse
Subscribe in a reader