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Because a python handbag is made of an exotic skin, you must take special care with its cleaning. It cannot be treated with the same products as traditional leathers. Over time, the scales on python skin will dry out and curl up off the bag, a problem exacerbated by improper care. Python bags are considered a luxury accessory, so they're generally much more costly than bags made of traditional leather. With gentle and infrequent cleaning, you will be able to maintain a python snakeskin bag in good condition for many years.

Empty the interior of the bag so it can be laid flat.

Dampen a clean T-shirt with warm water and wipe any surface dirt off the bag, smoothing in the direction of the scales so they are not lifted up. Pat the bag dry with a towel -- excess wetness can cause the skin to darken.

For any areas that must be cleaned under the scales, dampen a cotton swab and gently clean under each individual scale, being careful not to lift it more than necessary.

Allow the bag to fully dry in a cool, dark place. Don’t attempt to speed drying with heat because it will dry out the scales and cause them to lift faster.

Apply an exotic skin conditioner, again smoothing it on in the direction of the scales.


Do not use leather protectants and conditioners unless they are made specifically for exotic skins.

Store your bag in a dust bag in a dark, cool place.


Keep items like lotion, makeup and fragrance in a waterproof pouch in the interior to prevent leaking.

About the Author

Misty Witenberg

Misty Witenberg has been a magazine and freelance writer (including "Shape," "Fit Pregnancy," "Natural Health" and "Mom & Baby") since 2004. Her experience is in fashion, beauty, travel, fitness and culture writing.