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brown leather purse from thrift store

How to clean a leather purse from a thrift store

Scoring a great deal at the thrift store is one of the best feelings ever. But sometimes, you have to take a few dings to get there — literally. A leather purse is the perfect example of this. 

If you’ve ever considered bringing home a leather purse from the thrift store, then you’ve likely realizes it’ll come with a few dings, scratches, and discolorations. That being said, how can you still get that great thrift store bargain — but still have a leather purse worthy of the public eye?

We’re glad you asked.

How to clean a leather purse from a a thrift store

Follow these 4 simple steps to take your thrifted purse from used to nearly-new.

Step 1: Inspect the Purse

Before you start cleaning, take a good look at the purse. Check for any damage, such as tears or cracks in the leather. If there is any physical damage like this, then you will want to be extra careful when cleaning.

Step 2: Clean the Outside of the Purse

Start by dusting off the outside of the purse with a soft cloth. If there are any stubborn spots, you can lightly dampen the cloth with water. Be sure to avoid getting the leather too wet. 

Next, use a leather cleaner or saddle soap on a soft cloth to clean the entire outside of the purse. Wipe in small circles until the dirt and grime are gone. 

Finally, buff the leather with a dry, soft cloth to restore its shine. 

Step 3: Clean the Inside of the Purse

Use a vacuum attachment to remove any dirt and crumbs from the inside of the purse. If there are any stains inside the purse, spot clean with a mild soap and water solution. Be sure to test the solution on an inconspicuous spot first to make sure it won’t damage the leather. 

Allow the inside of the purse to air dry completely before using it again. 

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Step 4: Condition the Leather 

Once you have cleaned both the inside and outside of your thrift store leather purse, you will want to condition it to keep it looking its best. You can purchase a leather conditioner online or at your local thrift store or department store. Apply a thin layer of conditioner all over the purse with a soft cloth, being careful not to get it too wet. Allow it to soak in for 5-10 minutes before wiping away any excess with a dry towel. 

How to keep a leather purse in good condition

Use these 3 simple tips to keep your leather purse in great condition for as long as possible.

Store It Properly 

When you’re not using your leather purse, store it in a cool, dry place. Sunlight and heat can cause the leather to dry out and crack, so avoid storing it in direct sunlight or next to a radiator. A closet or drawer is usually the best place to keep it. 

If you don’t have any other option but to store your purse in a humid environment, try putting a dehumidifier bag inside of it. These are small bags filled with silica gel beads that absorb moisture from the air, helping to keep your purse nice and dry. 

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Clean It Regularly 

Leather purses need to be cleaned every few months, even if they don’t look dirty. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the entire purse, paying extra attention to any spots that tend to get dirty quickly, such as the handles. If there are any stubborn stains, you can use a leather cleaner made specifically for purses. Be sure to test the cleaner on an inconspicuous spot first, as some cleaners can be too harsh and damage the leather. 

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Condition It Twice a Year 

Leather also needs to be conditioned every few months in order to stay supple and prevent cracking. You can buy a commercial leather conditioner at any shoe or handbag store, or make your own by mixing one part olive oil with two parts vinegar. Apply the conditioner all over the purse with a soft cloth, then buff it off with another clean cloth. 

By following these simple tips, you can keep your leather purse looking like new for years to come. Just remember to store it properly, clean it regularly, and condition it twice a yeaHow to clean a leather purse from a thrift store

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