Can You Use Shoe Polish on Leather Purse: Tips on How to Take Good Care of Your Leather Purse

Yes, you can use shoe polish on a leather purse to add a temporary shine and protect the leather from moisture and dirt. However, applying shoe polish to leather in full force is risky. Instead, try it out on an inconspicuous spot first to ensure it won’t damage the bag.  

It is important to note that shoe polish is not a permanent solution for protecting or conditioning leather. Therefore, it is best to use it as a temporary measure to keep the leather looking its best and to regularly condition and protect it with products specifically designed for that purpose.

Tips When Cleaning a Leather Purse

Choose the Proper Cleaning Agent

Different types of leather require various types of cleaning agents. For example, suede leather requires a different cleaning agent than smooth leather. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the type of leather and choose a cleaning agent that is specifically formulated for that type of leather.

If the leather is particularly dirty or soiled, you may need a more potent cleaning agent to remove the dirt. A mild cleaner may be sufficient if the leather is in good condition and needs a light cleaning.

Always avoid using bleach on leather – it may damage the material. Instead, use a dry cloth to clean and condition the purse. If the leather starts peeling or bubbles, you may need to replace it altogether. 

Remove Debris

Before you start cleaning, brush off any loose dirt or debris from the surface of the leather using a soft brush or cloth. If the debris is stubborn, you can use a small amount of leather cleaner or saddle soap to scrub the leather’s surface carefully. 

Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label, as using too much pressure or the wrong type of cleaner can damage the leather. Rinse the leather thoroughly with clean water after cleaning to remove any soap residue. If the debris is still present or the leather is dirty or soiled, you may need a leather cleaner or conditioner to remove the grime on this material.

Buff the Purse Dry

If you spill shoe polish on your leather purse, the best way to clean it is by buffing it dry. This will remove any residual polish or wax residue and smooth the leather texture. Begin by blotting the spilled shoe polish with a cloth to absorb as much excess polish as possible.

If the shoe polish has dried, use a soft cloth or a shoe shine brush to buff the surface of the leather to remove any excess polish. If the shoe polish is still wet, you can use a small amount of leather cleaner or saddle soap to scrub the affected area lightly.

Rinse the leather thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue, and then wipe it down using a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture. Once the leather is dry, you can use a soft cloth or a shoe shine brush to buff the surface of the leather to shine. This will help to remove any remaining dirt or polish and give the purse a polished, finished look.

Clean the Hardware

It’s essential to keep your hardware clean and odor-free buckle, straps, and rings – with mild soap and water. Begin by wiping the hardware with a soft, dry cloth to remove any excess dirt or debris. You can also use a leather cleaner if you have one.

Suppose the hardware is extremely dirty or tarnished. In that case, you can use a small amount of metal cleaner or a solution of equal parts water and vinegar to scrub the surface of the hardware smoothly. So let the bag air dry completely before putting it away.


To clean your shoes and bag, wet the area you want to scrub with just enough water. If the purse is especially dirty or soiled, add a small amount of mild soap or leather cleaner to the water to help remove any dirt or grime. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into a bowl of lukewarm water and mildly scrub the surface of the purse, paying particular attention to any areas that are particularly dirty or soiled.

Apply a slight shoe polish to a sponge and scrub softly in a circular motion – be careful not to damage the surface. Once the purse is clean, rinse it thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap or cleaning solution. Rinse well and dry off the shoe polish and bag before returning them to their rightful place.

Apply Pressure

If the stain is on the leather, start by soaking the area in water mixed with soap. When cleaning a leather purse, it is vital to use a gentle touch and be mindful of the amount of pressure applied. Use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub the surface of the leather slowly, and be sure to rinse the cloth or sponge frequently to remove any dirt or soap residue.

Avoid applying too much pressure when cleaning a leather purse, as this can damage the surface of the leather. For example, leather is a delicate material that can be easily scratched or damaged by excessive pressure or abrasive cleaners. 

Proper Handling of Leather

Cleaning the Right Way

To clean the leather properly, you will need to soak it in white vinegar and water overnight, followed by washing it with a mild soap like Dawn or Palmolive. Afterward, dry the leather using a cloth or air dryer.

However, the best way to dry leather is to air dry it naturally in a well-ventilated area. Avoid placing leather in direct sunlight or a humid environment, as these conditions can cause the leather to become stiff or discolored.

Reducing Scratches

Protecting the leather finish on your bag with a light polish is essential before applying a more intense one. Use small circles and avoid excessive pressure when polishing, which can lead to scratches. Make sure you use the right color of polish – it will take on the color of your bag! 

Shoe polish can help protect the leather from scratches by creating a thin film on the leather’s surface that helps prevent dirt and debris from coming into contact with the leather. 

However, it is essential to note that shoe polish is not a permanent solution for protecting the leather from scratches. Instead, it will need to be reapplied regularly to maintain its effectiveness. In addition, shoe polish is not a substitute for proper care and maintenance of leather, and it is vital to regularly clean and condition leather to keep it looking its best.

Fix the Faded Part

Applying a leather conditioner or oil to the leather’s faded part may help restore some of its natural color and shine. If the fading is severe or the desired result is to change the color of the leather, you may need to use a leather dye to restore or alter the color of the leather. 

Several leather dyes are available, including water- oil- and spirit-based stains. Choosing a dye specifically formulated for the kind of leather you are working with is essential.


To fix a patch on leather, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Begin by cleaning the patch and the surrounding area: Use a soft cloth or a small amount of leather cleaner to gently scrub the patch and the surrounding area to remove any dirt or grime. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Cut a piece of leather to fit the patch: Use a leather punch or scissors to cut a portion of the leather slightly larger than the patch. Be sure to match the grain and color of the leather as closely as possible.
  • Apply a thin layer of leather glue to the patch: Use a small brush or a toothpick to apply a thin layer of leather glue to the patch. Be sure to coat the entire patch evenly, and avoid getting any adhesive on the surrounding area.
  • Place the patch on the leather: Carefully align the patch with the hole or damage on the leather, and press it firmly into place. Use a small roller or a smooth object to press down on the patch and help it adhere to the leather.
  • Allow the glue to dry completely: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the drying time of the bond, and allow it to dry completely before using the leather item again.

Water Damage Repair

Leather goods are delicate and should be treated with the utmost care. If they get wet, it is essential to use a water-repelling agent like WD40 so the leather doesn’t become damaged. Only dry the leather using WD40 first, as this could cause damage. 

Instead, apply it generously and leave it to work its magic – once done, take care not to let the leather dry out too much, or else it might crack. The best time for a repair is when the leather is still damp – this will stop it from drying out too quickly.

Products to Maintain Leathers

Leather Cleaners

Several leather cleaners are available on the market today, each with benefits. They work by breaking down dirt, oils, and other particles that may be embedded in the leather. 

Leather cleaners are specifically formulated to remove filth from leather surfaces and are more effective at removing stains than household cleaning products. In addition, they are designed to be gentle on leather and are less likely to cause damage or discoloration than harsher cleaning agents.

However, some cleaners may also cause damage to your purse’s finish – always test a small area first before using it on an entire bag!

Leather Conditioners

Conditioning leather is essential in keeping it looking and feeling its best. Not only does it prevent the skin from cracking or peeling, but conditioning also nourishes and softens the leather. Most conditioners are safe for synthetic and natural fabrics, making them perfect for all leather goods. 

Although you don’t need to rinse off the conditioner, leaving it to sit for a few minutes will give your polish time to work correctly.

Leather Protectants

Leather is one of the most delicate materials and should be treated carefully. One common problem that leather suffers from is water absorption, which can damage the purse over time. To prevent this, use a leather protector to keep your bag looking new and fresh.

Some of the other benefits of Leather protectants include the prevention of scuffing and marking on high-end purses, as well as being able to be used on both suede shoes and fabric items! Just be sure not to get it onto any stitching, though – violators will face the consequences!