Leather is a popular material for handbags because of its rich texture and overall durability. However, leather shows wear and tear easily, and to keep a purse feeling supple and looking like new, you must recondition it. All leathers begin to lose their luster as they dry out from sunlight and heat, but by applying a conditioning treatment once or twice a year, you can restore some of your purse’s shine and give it a barrier from moisture and dirt. With the proper care, you can extend the life of your bag for years.

Things You'll Need


Commercial Formula

Prepare your purse by removing any exterior dirt or dust with a damp rag. Wipe dry immediately with a clean rag.

Dip a clean baby’s burp cloth or other soft rag in a leather-conditioning formula. Massage it into the leather gently in small circles. Repeat until the entire purse is covered.

Wait 30 minutes for the conditioner to penetrate, then buff off any excess with a clean rag, working in small circles.

Homemade Formula

Prep your bag by removing any exterior dirt or dust with a damp rag. Wipe dry immediately after with a clean rag.

Mix one part white vinegar to two parts linseed oil, as recommended by Overstock.com. A mixture of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup linseed oil should be enough for most leather purses.

Dampen your rag with the formula and gently massage into the leather, using small circles. Repeat until you’ve conditioned the entire bag.

Wait 15 minutes for the conditioner to penetrate and then work in small circles to buff off any excess with a clean rag.