How To Clean Your Worn-Off Dusty Leather Bag

I will show you  two ways you  can clean your bags to make them look spanking brand new.  One way is the professional/expensive way using branded products that are specifically made for bag care.  Or, by using products you can easily find at the grocery.

Here are some of the products you can use to clean your worn-off dusty leather bags:
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L-R: Apollo Petroleum Jelly (Php42.00), SC Johnson Glo Metal Polish (Php123.75), Apple Garde Bag Care products (patent and patina cleaner, Suede and Nubuck cleaner, Leather care and cleaner).  You can get the Apple Garde products from Purse Prime!

I was suppose to bring this Guess handbag at that private bag spa I attended recently but I was too embarrassed to bring it along with me because of the its pathetic worn-off should be thrown in the garbage state when I took it out of the storage.

I’ve had this Guess handbag for more than two years now but was kept in a storage for a couple of months. Little did I know that it got to this sorry state already, along with a couple more of my Celine picked up so many dust than I can imagine despite being being kept inside a dust bag.

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I used the Petroleum Jelly on the left side and used the Apple Garde Leather Cleaner on the right just to show you the different effect it will do to your leather handbag.

The part cleaned with the Apollo petroleum jelly  looks much shinier than the one cleaned with the apple garde.  If you like your leather shiny like this then use petroleum jelly, if you like it a little matte then use apple garde.

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To clean the metal part of your handbag like buckles, designs and zipper I use the Glo Metal Polish by SC Johnson.
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Look how it makes the metal shinny and bright I can actually make a mirror out of it!

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Tada! It looks like brand new again!

CAUTION: Never use water to clean or wipe off dust and dirt from your leather handbag or even shoes as real leather will either get very dry and eventually flake and crack.  Better to keep a petroleum jelly handy.

CLEANING TIP: If you don’t like the shine the PJ gives you handbag just let it set for awhile and then wipe it again.  What I like about PJ is its a cleaner and conditioner in one as it makes the leather soft as well.


  • Apply petroleum jelly on the zipper of your handbag so they don’t get tight.
  • Put a dehumidifier (silica gel)  inside your handbag before storage so it will not gather mildew (that ugly white stuff)
  • Put bag fillers in your handbag if you are gonna store to keep them in their nice form.  You can put crumpled newspapers or mini-pillows inside or clothes you don’t wear often.
  • Never hang handbags for storage as they stretch out the handles
  • Don’t fill your bags too much when you use them even if you think they are never full!

How about you what do you use to clean your handbag?

Stay gorgeous everyone!

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I am a storyteller. Enabler. Fashion, Beauty, Travel and Lifestyle Blogger. An advocate of autism awareness, women's and children's rights and the environment. A single parent of a person with autism. A former Journalist. I am not an expert I am experienced. I do what I love no regrets. If you need anything email me at : earthlingorgeous (@)


  • Divine Caraecle 09/29/2011 at 11:20 pm Reply

    @Theresa, hindi ba nakakasira ng bag lalo kung lalabhan palagi? I used to wash my bags pero ang sabi huwag daw dalasan pero babaho naman yun eh.

  • Divine Caraecle 09/29/2011 at 11:19 pm Reply

    Ang galing, hindi ko ito alam ah? Puwede pala yun? Thanks for sharing this sis!

  • Kristine Buenaventura 09/27/2011 at 6:43 am Reply

    Meron din akong alam na ibang products to keep bags look like brandnew.. I saw it sa Sophie brochure..BTW, mukhang bago na ulit yung bag mo Earth 🙂

  • earthlingorgeous 09/11/2011 at 6:20 pm Reply

    you are all welcome! glad to be of help 🙂

  • andrea r 09/11/2011 at 6:11 pm Reply

    Ms Earth! Thanks for the tip! My mom is bitching na about my tambak na bags na nagaamag na ehehehee! Will try this ASAP! Ba’t ngayon ko lang nabasa ito! OMG! Thanks talaga!

  • Glaiza Joy Domagas 09/09/2011 at 1:58 am Reply

    This is very informative! I’m gonna try this on my leather bags. Thank you so much!

  • theresa 09/08/2011 at 7:32 pm Reply

    yup! very informative.. now, our bags will be saved! hahaha.. 🙂

  • corrine 09/06/2011 at 12:55 am Reply

    thanks earth. I admit hindi ko alam paano magclean ng leather stuff.hehehe. you know you gave me an idea. I just a 3rd hand or 4th pa yata car na may leather seat already installed. Maganda ang PJ to make it shiny and water resistant anyhow. Rainy season pa naman. Diba we put PJ sa baby butt to avoid diaper rash from long “babad” of wewee sa diaper.

    • earthlingorgeous 09/06/2011 at 8:29 am Reply

      tama it also makes the leather kinda water proof, same concept as putting PJs on our baby’s wetpacks hahaha!

  • Nica M. 09/05/2011 at 12:01 pm Reply

    Very useful post. I bought a leather bag from ukay ukay and I can’t find a really good article on how I can clean it. This is what I needed. Than goodness I’ve got several containers of PJ here.

  • Pink MagaLine 09/04/2011 at 11:33 pm Reply

    I have leather shoes and bags, so thanks a lot for these tips. Now I know how to store them and clean them!

  • earthlingorgeous 09/04/2011 at 9:02 pm Reply

    Hi Corine, use the PJ if the bag is super dusty or like it lost its shine na with regards sa shoes I still use Kiwi eh, use PJ paminsan minsan lang like once a month lang and not all the time sa shoes, but if you intend to store your leather na matagal I suggest u use PJ muna then let it sit for 30 mins saka mo itago 🙂

  • swexie 09/04/2011 at 8:28 pm Reply

    I did this today and I got good results. Hopefully lang di makakasira sa leather ang petroleum jelly. There is a leather balm in Ilog Maria Farm pero di ako bumili. Maybe I’ll settle with petroleum jelly muna in the mean time. It’s the most affordable alternative. =)

    • earthlingorgeous 09/04/2011 at 8:51 pm Reply

      hi swexie! you can google results in using PJ on leather 🙂 and yes super affordable alternative sha.

  • Avery 09/04/2011 at 2:07 pm Reply

    nice tips especially during this rainy season where mildew might thrive in stored leather bags more than during summer. thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Ria Hazel C. Lumandog 09/04/2011 at 1:56 pm Reply

    wow great tip Earth! Ang dami ko pa namang bags na sobrang mukhang ancient history na. :))

    • earthlingorgeous 09/04/2011 at 2:00 pm Reply

      ayan Ria restore your bags na ! weee! 🙂

  • Anjsh 09/04/2011 at 12:46 pm Reply

    I didn’t know that I can use PJ on my bags. Thanks for the tips. I must clean my bags now. =)

    • earthlingorgeous 09/04/2011 at 1:39 pm Reply

      yes Anjsh u can use PJ on any leather thingies even clothes they make them soft and shiny!

  • Issa 09/04/2011 at 9:19 am Reply

    thanks for these tips miss earth! i didn’t know that petroleum jelly can do that wonders to bags! i will definitely use your tips!

  • corrine 09/04/2011 at 3:46 am Reply

    Hi Earth,

    Just a question in a long run does petroleum jelly won’t affect leather? Can I use this at shoes rather buying kiwi shoe shine? thanks.

  • giay 09/03/2011 at 9:04 pm Reply

    Great! I never knew that petroleum jelly can also do well for leather cleaning. I only knew its for rashes and some insect bites.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • LOURDES ESPANOL 09/03/2011 at 8:55 pm Reply

    I have several leather bags that would look new again if I use petroleum jelly. I thought that they’re hopeless already.

  • arcee 09/03/2011 at 8:33 pm Reply

    very informative post for a bagaholic like me…i’ve got to check my bags now and try to look for a dehumidifier to put inside them…thanks a lot for this:-)

    • earthlingorgeous 09/04/2011 at 1:30 am Reply

      Hi Arcee! Yes check ur bags and see what can be saved!

      Hi Giay! Yes petroleum jelly is very useful!

      Go Lourdes! Give your bags some lovin’

  • theresa 09/03/2011 at 7:05 pm Reply

    weeee.. this is really useful for me.I’ve been storing bag and hanging them as well when not in use and at the same time, nililinis ko using water tlga or water with soap. Parang labada! hahaha. Now,talking about informative posts! I’m so happy with this! thanks much!!! 😀

    • earthlingorgeous 09/03/2011 at 7:44 pm Reply

      glad you learned something from this post theresa, hope to read more of your comments often! 🙂

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