How to Clean Vegan Leather Bags
If you are like me, you take pride in your bags. You want to keep them looking nice, and you need to know they can handle whatever stains, spills, and rubbish you or your kids give them. I am a busy mom and I have absolutely zero time for babying my bags. I need a bag that can keep up with my busy (and often messy) lifestyle.
Moms ask me all the time whether purchasing a vegan leather bag like the Itzy Ritzy Boss Diaper Bag is a good idea or not. The question at the top of their mind is always how do you clean it and keep it looking nice? The fact is, cleaning and maintaining a vegan leather bag is actually really easy. You just need to know the right steps to follow. Let me give you a quick run-down, mama!
Cleaning the Exterior Vegan Leather
Vegan leather is one of the easiest materials to clean, in my opinion. Just make sure that you test whatever cleaning products you use (including the ones I mention below) by using them on a part of the bag that is not easily seen. If any discoloration occurs, don't use that product.
Remove Messes Immediately with Baby Wipes or Boogie Wipes
The best thing you can do to keep vegan leather looking nice is to wipe off any dirt or smudges as soon as they happen. Like any other material out there, vegan leather stays looking nice you prevent stains from setting in. That's why I like to keep extra baby wipes or Boogie Wipes in an easy-to-access exterior pocket of my bag. When things get spilled on my bag, I quickly whip out a wipe and clean it off.
Spot Clean With Dish Soap and Warm Water
Dilute dish soap with warm water and use a clean, white cloth to gently spot clean set-in stains. Don't use color cloths in case of dye transfer. I like to use GroVia cloth wipes. Make sure that you ring out the cloth really well before using it on the vegan leather, so that you do not over-saturate the material. For raised textures like faux leather, use a toothbrush to scrub into the nooks and crannies.
Clean Hardware with a Q-Tip
Metal hardware, especially on diaper bags, tends to have lots of texture. Whether it is the brand name of the bag etched into the metal, or some other form of engraving, you can almost always expect to find grime in those deep crevices. Some people suggest using a tooth brush to clean metal hardware, but that makes me a little nervous. To remove any chance of scratching my hardware, I use a Q-Tip instead. Just dip the Q-Tip into some dish soap and water, then scrub.
Make Sure to Remove Soapy Residue
After spot cleaning is finished, use a clean, damp cloth to remove any soapy residue that might be lingering on the bag. Soap left behind on the bag can dry out the vegan leather and cause it to crack, so you want to make sure you get it all off before you let the bag dry.
Use a Clean Cloth to Remove Excess Water
Finally, use a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess water from the bag and let it air dry. While it is drying, keep the bag in a place with little humidity.
Removing Stubborn Ink Stains
The best advice about ink stains is to do your best to not get ink stains on your bag in the first place. No matter what is the material of your bag, ink stains are a beast to remove! But if the unavoidable happens and ink stains get on your vegan leather, there is a cheap and natural solution.
First, dilute one tablespoon white vinegar with two tablespoons water. Soak a clean, white cloth in the solution for 1-2 minutes. Vigorously wipe the leather with the cloth in small circles. Make sure to make your circles as small as possible, focusing all your attention over the ink and not on the un-affected parts of the leather.
Second, wipe down with a clean, dry cloth. After the bag has dried, examine the ink stain and repeat steps one and two until the stain is gone.
Cleaning the Fabric Parts of the Bag
Most vegan leather diaper bags have a fabric interior, and many of them have some fabric parts on the exterior as well. Keeping them clean depends mostly on preventing stains in the first place, and using the right product for the kind of stain you are trying to clean.
Scotch Guard is Your Bestie
The first step to keeping the fabric parts of your bag (both interior and exterior) is protecting it from stains in the first place. Use Scotch Guard on any fabric parts of the bag before you use it. Carefully follow the instructions on the Scotch Guard can, as failure to do so can cause harm to your bag. Most importantly, TEST THE SCOTCH GUARD on a part of your bag that is unseen (I recommend the inside of one of the interior slip pockets) to make sure that the Scotch Guard does not damage or discolor the fabric.
Use Blue Dawn Dish Soap to Clean Generic Grime
Blue Dawn Dish Soap mixed with warm water is my favorite tool for spot cleaning the inside of my bags. Just make sure to heavily dilute the soap with water and always test your solution on a part of the bag that can't be seen. Scrub the spot until the dish soap becomes white and frothy (this is how you know you have a good clean going). Wipe the wet spot down with a clean, dry rag. Depending on the severity of the stain, you might need to do this process a few times.
Use Household Items to Clean These Tough Stains:
- Lipstick: Rubbing alcohol or witch hazel
- Mascara, eye liner, lip balm, or other greasy make-up products: Dish soap
- Liquid foundation: 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Non oil-based make up like blush and eye shadow: Baby shampoo
- Ink stains: rubbing alcohol
Maintaining Your Vegan Leather Bags to Prolong Their Life
Like most bags, vegan leather bags require a little maintenance every now and then to keep them looking their best. Thankfully, the maintenance for vegan leather is pretty simple.
Use Baby Oil to Condition the Leather
To my knowledge, there are no great conditioners for began leather. Thankfully, baby oil works really well! And you probably have at least 3 bottles of it in your house already! Put a nickel sized dollop of baby oil on a clean, dry rag and gently wipe every leather surface. When you are finished, leave the bag to dry and absorb the oil.
Store Your Bag Away From Direct Sunlight
Too much sun exposure can dry the leather, which will eventually cause it to crack and look old. Make sure to store your bag in a cool, dry place with very little direct sunlight.
Stuff Your Bag To Keep it From Slouching
Leaving your bag empty in the closet while it's not in use can cause the bag to slouch. Slouching causes the leather to crease, which will eventually lead to cracks. If you trust the grab handle or tote traps, try hanging the bag to that it says upright. Otherwise try stuffing the interior with grocery bags or old linens. This will keep the bag upright and prevent cracking.
Well folks, that's it from me! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. Don't forget that we are taking pre-orders for the new vegan leather Itzy Ritzy Boss Diaper Bag in the Snake Skin print! These are EXTREMELY limited, and placing a pre-order guarantees that you will be one of the few to get one. Click here to pre-order now!