How To Clean Cowhide Leather Handbags

How To Clean Cowhide Leather Handbags

Cowhide Leather:  Leather from full-grown cows that are used for certain types of bags, as well as for shoes, boots, and jackets. Tough and durable, it can have a smooth or rough finish. Cowhide leather is the most commonly used type of leather, and have many different looks and feel. It is the most common type of leather used in the assembly of fashion accessories. As the name suggests, it’s made from the hides of cattle, a valuable by-product of the dairy and beef industries. Soft, strong and highly pliable, cowhide leather bags are affordable and make beautiful accessories.

Understanding cowhide leather handbags:

  • The natural tanning process uses tree bark extracts and turns the rough, natural hide into relatively soft and supple leather.
  • Although natural cowhide has an appealing look, after the tanning process, it can be dyed into an infinite number of colors and designs.
  • Next, the cowhide leather is dried to improve its molting and aging resistance.
  • The final stage of processing is applying the finish. The most common types of finishes include glazed, patent and embossed Please click on these links for detailed information as different types of finishes require specific handling and care.
  • High-quality cowhide leather is free of bruising and has a smooth texture.
  • When examining expensive cowhide leather handbags, look out for discolorations, bruise marks and blemishes. It should have a smooth surface with little or no coarse grain. Take a close look at the leather’s thickness. First-grade cowhide, the kind used by top brands, is approximately 1.5 – 2 mm thick.
  • If the purse doesn’t satisfy these requirements, there’s a good chance the purse is less than authentic.
  • Always buy your cowhide leather handbags from a reputable retailer.

How to Clean Cowhide Leather Handbags

For cowhide leather handbags, proper care is key to keeping it looking fabulous and extending its shelf life. Cowhide is an animal hide and as such, requires regular cleaning and conditioning to keep it looking healthy and soft.

How to care for, clean and condition:

  • Avoid getting your purse wet. Moisture will cause the cowhide to dry out and eventually crack. Cracking is an irreversible condition and quite an eye-sore.
  • Keep your cowhide leather handbags out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. UV rays will cause fading. Although faded cowhide can be re-dyed, the process takes a heavy toll on the leather.
  • Wipe off topical dust and dirt with a clean, damp cotton cloth; old t-shirts are good. This simple procedure doesn’t require soaps, conditioners and barely any drying.
  • Regular cleaning is important because dust can cause your cowhide leather to become brittle and stiff.
  • For stubborn stains, use a mild soap such as saddle soap, and rub it on a damp cotton cloth. Wipe the stain gently in a circular motion. Wipe off the soap residue with another clean, damp cloth. Blot dry with a dry cloth.
  • Let it air dry naturally, indoors. Don’t leave it to dry in the sun and avoid using direct heat sources such as hair dryers and radiators.
  • Treat mildew stains with a half rubbing alcohol, half-water solution. The first test for potential discoloration in an inconspicuous area. If the test is satisfactory, proceed to work it into the stain with a cotton cloth. Leave it in for a few minutes. If the stain persists, reapply. Then, wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth. Let it air dry.

Kattee Vintage Cowhide Leather Tote Bag Large Handbag



  • For grease stains, sprinkle the stained area with talcum powder or corn starch. Let it sit for up to 30 minutes. Brush it off with a dry cotton cloth or soft brush. Wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Alcohol aerosols such as hair spray can cause the finish to deteriorate. Avoid spraying it around your purse.
  • Treat salt and sweat stains with three parts vinegar, one part water solution. Like mildew stains, work it into the leather. Wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth. Then, let it air dry. After drying, apply conditioner.
  • For conditioning, use one teaspoon per square foot of surface area. Use Leather Honey apply it to a clean cotton cloth and work it into the leather until the cream evenly spread. There shouldn’t be any visual trace or residue (otherwise you’re using too much). Then proceed to the next section of the purse.
  • Allow the bag to rest. It takes about an hour for the porous cowhide to absorb the conditioner.
  • When not in use, be sure to store your cowhide leather handbags in a box or cotton dust bag. It needs to breathe. Never put any leather products into plastic bags.
  • Don’t fold or stress the purse in any way. Allow it to rest naturally, with plenty of space and nothing sitting on top of it, pressing it under its weight.
  • Tuck the strap inside, especially if there’s a chain or hardware on it. This will prevent it from scratching the leather.

Understanding Cowhide Leather Handbags

Remember that the best kind of care for your cowhide leather handbags is protection and prevention. Protect them by avoiding the don’ts, and preserve them by being proactive in their regular maintenance. For a top designer purse, a quick dusting after every use, a wipe down every other month and a conditioning every three or four months is an excellent program. By following this leather cleaning and care techniques, you’ll get the very best out of your cowhide leather handbags.