How To Care For A Vintage Bag

Posted May 10, 2019 by in Fashion

A well-made vintage purse will never go out of style, just like an elegant pearls or a sophisticated black sheath. Exquisite 1950’s and 1960’s leather handbags or a retro beaded clutch purse are the accessories you need to dress up your favorite wardrobe basics in 2019. 

If you are looking to add to your vintage collection look no further than the vintage bar for authentic designer handbags. But once you own one, you can’t treat the bag like you do your other ones. You need to really take care of it and use caution when storing it and cleaning it. Below are some tips on how to care for a vintage bag: 

What You Need to Clean Your Vintage Purses

Suede stone

Suede brush

Suede eraser

Nylon brush

White tissue paper

White cloth or cotton rag

Neutral cream polish

Leather cream

Leather protectant

Leather cleaner and conditioner

Low-wattage light bulb

Small desk lamp



Use cornstarch to remove oil stains on your leather handbags. Set your vintage leather bag on a flat surface with the stain facing up and pour cornstarch over it. Over the cornstarch, place a desk lamp that has a small and low-wattage light bulb to add heat. The warm light will help the cornstarch be absorbed into the bag.

Leave the cornstarch on the spot for 5 to 10 minutes to absorb the oil. Use a clean white rag to brush the powder off the bag. If you want remove water stains on your leather bag, make sure to dab away any excess water and wipe the surface gently with a clean cloth. 

Complete the cleaning process by rubbing the stained area gently using a pea-sized amount of mild leather cream and a white cotton cloth.

To Add Shine

Use a neutral cream polish to polish vintage leather purses. A wax polish is good for adding shine but is too heavy to use on handbags. Buff the clean polish until it melts into the leather.

Patent Leather: Wipe patent leather bags with a clean white cloth after each use to add polish.

Suede: Use a small-bristle suede brush or a nylon brush to brush your antique suede purses.

Lift any grime and dirt from the nap by gently rubbing the surface of the material using a brush. Use a suede eraser or suede stone to get rid of the black marks if your light-colored vintage bag has scuff marks.

Fabric: Dip a white cotton cloth in warm water and use it to spot-clean fabric handbags. Get rid of dirt stains by using a damp cloth to blot the stained area. Allow the fabric bag to dry overnight.

How To Care For A Vintage Bag

Preserving the Shape

To help the bag preserve its shape, stuff it with tissue paper.

Caring for Exotic Leather

Use a combination cleanser and leather conditioner to clean your exotic crocodile, alligator, or snake skin products. Spray or squirt several drops of the leather conditioner on a microfiber or cotton cloth. (Do not apply the conditioning product directly to the item to avoid damaging your vintage purse beyond repair.)

Use a circular motion to rub the product into your vintage purse. Use a neutral cream polish to polish as needed.

How To Care For A Vintage Bag

Use a Protectant

Use a protectant to protect your leather vintage handbags. Always apply a light coat of Collonil waterproof spray before you carry your vintage leather purses to protect them from rain, accidental spills, and dirt.

It is always advisable to use Collonil spray since it is the best product that’s currently available for preventing watermarks and dirt stains.

Vintage Purse Handbag Cleaning Warnings & Tips

It is always advisable to get your vintage, exotic handbags cleaned professionally at least once every year. If your bag is made of metallic or silk fabrics, or has embellishment, always store it in a box when you are not using it.

Moisturize your vintage leather bags using a non-staining moisturizer to keep them pristine. Spot testing is important here. If you have a designer vintage bag, you should also do research on how to take care of the specific brand you have. Here is how to clean a Louis Vuitton bag to get you started on brand-specific care.

How To Care For A Vintage Bag

Do you have a vintage bag? Let us know in the comments below!