Dooney & Bourke, a well known manufacturer of fashion accessories, offers an extensive line of handbags made from a variety of materials, ranging from cloth to leather. The company advises against conditioning many of its leather goods, saying instead that a simple cleaning with a soft cloth is all that is needed. Some leather styles, however, are treated for water repellency, which allows them to be reconditioned to improve suppleness or hide minor abrasions.

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Visit the care section of Dooney & Bourke’s website to identify your bag style and see if there are any product-use restrictions. For example, bags from the Florentine Zebra group are made of untreated leathers that are not water repellent, and therefore leather conditioners should not be used on them.

Wipe the bag clean with a slightly dampened soft cotton cloth, such as a baby burp cloth. With a second soft rag, wipe off any excess moisture.

Apply a small amount of leather conditioner or wax directly on a clean, dry cloth, and buff bag gently, making small, circular motions.

Put the bag in a cool, dry area for up to six hours to let the conditioner or wax absorb into the leather. After most of it has been absorbed, gently buff off excess conditioner with a fourth clean rag, using the same circular motions.

If your bag has cracks, scratches or discoloration that a conditioner cannot repair, contact the company for repair information. Dooney & Bourke’s warranty may apply if the bag is damaged during the first year you have owned it. The company caps repair costs to no more than half the current retail price of the bag; otherwise it will replace the bag.


  • Dooney & Bourke bags generally do not have to be conditioned more than once a year.