How to Clean A Leather Backpack

How to Clean A Leather Backpack? Best Guide-2023



Many people use the leather backpack due to their durability and natural shining design and color of the pack but more important is to maintain these features of the gear from time to time so that it may last long. Now, to retain the leather backpack appearance you have to clean the pack regularly not just like we clean or wash other things daily but there are methods of how to clean a leather backpack.

In this blog post, we will be discussing the methods of cleaning the leather pack, certain factors that must be considered before cleaning the gear, and some tips and tricks for maintaining your backpack, so let us have a look.

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Things To Know Before Cleaning A Leaning Backpack

Prior to the leather backpack cleaning there are certain factors that you have to consider before cleaning the gear to create ease in the cleaning process and prevent the gear from any kind of aggression and damage. Following are certain factors that might be considered before the cleaning process

1. Use Of the Right Tools

First, to clean correctly you have to choose the right tools for cleaning the pack because the right tools prevent the pack from any kind of aggression, damage, tearing, or fraying. 

The right tools may include a soft brush or cloth, avoiding harsh chemicals, and using soap or other light chemicals that are meant for specific backpack cleaning.

Further, the right tools are not enough but a right way of cleaning is also needed to fully complete the cleaning process.

2. Avoid Home Techniques For Cleaning A Leather Backpack 

It is important to note that always prefer the right and professional way of cleaning the pack that is specified by the company rather than following the traditional home techniques for cleaning the leather pack. 

3. Test For Leather Cleaner

Before cleaning the pack do a spot test cleaning such as putting the cleaning chemical or solution on the small area of the gear to check whether the chemical is not harsh enough to damage the pack then start further steps of the cleaning process.

 4. Don’ts Of Cleaning A Leather Backpack

You might have to consider the following don’ts before cleaning the leather

  • Do not machine wash your leather backpack
  • Do not iron the backpack
  • Never use harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia
  • Do not soak or immerse the backpack in water
  • Never store your leather pack in sunlight or near to radiator or hot places.

5. Use Of Correct Cleaner

Always use the right cleaner which is specifically designed for leather care and avoid home remedies such as using vinegar, baby wipes, or other products because the wrong leather cleaner can be harmful and can damage your leather backpack intensively.

Why To Clean The Leather Backpack

Cleaning a leather backpack is very important for the gear because it helps to prolong the life of the backpack, so the following are the reasons why you should clean your leather backpack

  1. To retain the backpack appearance and natural shining color
  2. To maintain the real value and fave of the leather backpack
  3. Cleaning helps in the longevity of the leather backpacks

How to Clean a Leather Backpack

There are several ways to clean a leather backpack but we will discuss here the correct methods for cleaning the backpack. A leather backpack can be cleaned in two ways a general way of cleaning and cleaning according to the type of backpack. Following are the two ways of cleaning the leather backpack such as.

  1. General Way Of Cleaning
  2. How To Clean A Leather Pack According To The Types Of The Backpack

1. General Way Of Cleaning The Leather Backpack

This method is very common and we call it a grandmother technique. It can be effective up to some extent but not for all because every backpack is specifically clean according to its type, let’s discuss this method.

Things You Will Need

Following are the supplies or materials that you will need for cleaning the pack

  • A leather backpack
  • Soft brush or cloth
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner
  • A pillowcase or dust bag
  • Bubble wrap.


Step 1

Empty Your Backpack

Empty your leather backpack and take out all your debris or items from the pack so that a single penny may not be left in the pack. Use a vacuum to clean the interior of the gear.

Step 2 

Use Of Leather Cleaner

First test the cleaner by applying it to a small area on the pack to test whether the cleaner is leather-friendly or not if it is then follow a manufacturer’s instructions for the application of the cleaner. 

Use warm water and mix the cleaner in it now, apply the cleaner to a microfiber wipe, which is considered ideal for not causing scratches on the pack or cloth, and rub it on the backpack

Step 3

Wiping Off The Cleaner

Now wipe off the cleaner applied to the whole backpack and let it dry naturally for hours in the open-air but do not keep it under the sunlight or near the radiator.

Step 4

Applying Leather Conditioner

Lastly, to ensure that the pack remains healthy and durable you need to apply a good quality conditioner on the pack to keep it moist. When selecting a conditioner always prefer the one that contains natural ingredients such as beeswax or naturals and avoid petroleum-based products etc

After selecting the best conditioner, apply it to a sponge or soft cloth and rub it over the backpack, especially the areas that have tears and wear, as well as the straps, then dry it on a soft towel and put it under a warm, well-ventilated place to dry.

2. How To Clean A Leather Pack According To The Types Of The Leather

As we said earlier, the general way of cleaning can be helpful up to a certain extent but not for all because in some cases the backpack is cleaned up according to its type, so let us have a look.

  1. Full Grained Leather
  2. Grained Leather
  3. Suede Leather
  4. Nubuck Leather
  5. Patent Leather
  6. Aniline Leather
  7. Bonded Leather
  8. PO (Polyurethane) Leather

1. What Is Full-Grained Leather And How To Clean it?

Leather made from the top layer of animal hide retains the grain and imperfections of the skin and is the highest quality leather available.

How To Clean The Full Grained Leather?

The full-grained leather can be cleaned by using a leather cleaner and applying it on a microfiber or soft cloth, rubbing the soft cloth on the entire backpack then leaving the pack in the open air to dry. 

2. What Is A Grained Leather?

The type of leather whose surface is embossed with a pattern that provides a textured look, that texture resembles the various materials designs such as skins of animals, etc.

How To Clean A Grained Leather

The grained leather can be cleaned by using a soft brush as it is embossed with a textured pattern and the brush can easily reach the dirty small area. Further, a vacuum cleaner to take out all the debris from the gear.

Now, use a leather cleaner of good quality and apply it on the backpack, rub the soft brush on the entire pack, and keep it in the open air to dry.

3. What Is Suede Leather And How To Clean It?

The type of leather is made from the hide of cows, pigs, sheep, or goats and has a soft napped surface that is created by brushing and abrading the animal’s hide.

How To Clean A Suede Leather?

A suede leather can not be cleaned with a soft or normal brush rather specific suede brush is used to clean this backpack but before cleaning you have to apply a suede protector because suede backpacks are not waterproof you have to waterproof it by applying the suede protector

Now, rub the suede brush without wetting it because it will cause permanent damage to the pack

Further, you can also use a suede renovation spray to maintain a suede leather backpack.

4. What Is A Nubuck Leather And How To Clean It?

A type of grained leather that is made from the uppermost layer of the animals it is different from suede as the suede is made from the inner split layer.

How To Clean A Nubuck Leather?

A Nubuck is similar to suede leather it also has a textured design. In this method also you will have to use a soft brush to clean the pack so that every corner of the texture may be cleaned just as we have discussed it in the suede cleaning process, A similar method is used for this pack also.

5. What Is A Patent Leather And How To Clean A Patent Leather?

A type of leather that is glossy and reflective that is mainly used in fashion items especially

How To Clean A Patent Leather Backpack?

Patent leather backpacks are shiny and you have to use a microfiber or soft cloth to clean it so to avoid any kind of scratches or aggressions on the pack 

Further, use baby cleansing milk or vinegar as a leather cleaner and rub it gently with a microfiber or soft cloth, lastly keep the patent leather backpack in open air or a warm place away from the sunlight for drying purposes.

6. What Is Aniline Leather Backpack And How To Clean Aniline Leather Backpack?

A type of leather backpack that has been dyed by using Aniline dye. Aniline dye maintains the imperfection and natural characteristics of the pack to remain visible.

How To Clean Aniline Leather Backpacks?

Aniline leather backpack cleaning is the same as a full-grained leather backpack. Just use a good quality leather cleaner such as soap or other and apply it on microfiber, rub the microfiber on the backpack and you do not have to waterproof the pack and keep the gear in a well-ventilated area to dry the pack.

7. What Is A Bonded Leather Backpack And How To Clean The Bonded Leather Backpacks?

A type of leather that is made from the scraps of the leather that are bonded together using adhesive.

How To Clean A Bonded Leather Backpack

Bonded leather is basically not real leather it has a very short life, in this regard, this leather must be careful with precaution

Bonded leather can be cleaned by gently rubbing the microfiber on a backpack and you may also use a leather conditioner to protect the surface of the backpack.

8. What Is A PU (Polyurethane Leather And How To Clean it?

It is also called faux leather or synthetic leather made up by applying polyurethane coating with a base material usually a fabric to create a material that is closely related in appearance to real leather.

How To Clean A Polyurethane Leather?

Polyurethane leather cleaning is the same just like grained leather.

Tips For Maintaining Your Leather Backpack

Here are some pro tips that we practically observe in our daily lives and after a good research, I have picked out the following tips and tricks to maintain your backpack 

  1. Keep your leather backpack cool and dry away from direct sunlight or heat as it will help your pack’s longevity.
  2. If you want your leather backpack to maintain its mechanical qualities, apply a watery or oily solution to keep it from cracking, and to keep it from stiffening.
  3. Protect your backpack from repeated friction against the walls, floors, and other surfaces.
  4. Do not overload your leather pack as it will cause tearing and fraying of the gear.
  5. Must keep in mind this statement that special leather packs require special care. 
  6. Do not use the water to clean the grease stains on the leather backpack.


I hope after looking at and understanding all the above methods, factors to consider before cleaning the pack, and some tips and tricks for maintaining your pack you have got the answer to your query of how to clean a leather backpack and you will be now in a position to bring these all methods in action to clean your leather backpack?.


1. Can you put a leather backpack in the washing machine?

No, because it can severely damage your backpack and will cause tearing and fraying of your pack.

2. Can I wash the leather bag with water?

You may clean your leather handbag just with water and mild soap. Yes, you heard it right. Mix a cup of warm water with one or two tablespoons of mild liquid soap. Further, dip a clean cloth in the mixture and remove the excess water from it.

3. What is the best thing to clean leather bags?

Soap Solution: Combine warm water and a few drops of mild soap or a leather cleaner. Avoid using aggressive detergents or chemicals that can harm the leather.

4. How do you clean a leather bag without damaging it?

Purchase a good leather soap. Add a couple of drops to some warm water, and then dip in a clean, soft white cloth (avoid using colored rags as they can cause dye transfer). Wring out excess moisture, and wipe down the outside of your leather bag.

5. Is it OK to hand wash leather bags?

You should use a non-abrasive cloth, warm water, and a mild washing liquid mixture to give your bag a good surface wipe, as the rule here is to keep it simple. later you can wash it with a soft, clean cloth.

6. Does water damage leather?

The oils in the skin bind to the water molecules, so as the water dries and evaporates, it starts drawing the oils out. It’s this shedding of natural oils that causes the leather to lose its supple quality and become stiff and brittle. Water can also cause staining and can move dyes leaving streaks and spots.

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