Patent Leather Cleaning- A Myth?

Patent leather bags and shoes are always available, but are of course hotter in some seasons than others! Even when the glossy/garish stuff isn’t particularly trendy, it nearly always turns everyone’s head:)

Patent leather, for starters is genuine leather that is coated with a high gloss finish, which gives it that exceptional shine! There is also something called faux patent leather , which is of course not leather!

Since the appeal of patent products is their beautiful glassy finish, one always tries to keep them looking their best!

Below are some tricks and tips on how to clean and care for your cherished patent leather possessions-

For general cleaning (dry dust, fingerprints, etc.)

1.Wiping it off with a cloth moistened with water is a quick and easy way to clean off fingerprints and general dirt.

2.If the dirt levels area heavy, apply a small amount of Windex and wipe it away with a clean, soft cloth or paper towel.

3.Buff with a soft cloth when dry to restore the shine.

4.If a stain transfers to the surface of the bag, it can be removed with tape. Fresh stains work best with this removal method. Simply press the tape onto the surface and then remove. The stain will stick to the tape and come off of the purse.

5. Patent leather cleaners available on the market can also be used, but they only work on fresh stains, not on old nasty ones!

We strictly recommend not using use home remedies like hairspray, white vinegar, alcohol and so on! They almost always end up destroying the surface coating of patent leather! Mr Clean’s magic earsor should also not be used without exercising proper caution (a patch test is always recommended).

For deep cleaning (heavy stains that are old and tricky)

No matter what the internet or endless leather care manuals claim, it is guaranteed that a stubborn stain (like a month old ink stain, or even a week old dye-transfer from another product) cannot be removed from patent leather. Till now, no successful method of removing stains from the patent finish has been invented/discovered – it is also very difficult to replicate the patent finish if it is damaged. It is possible to dye Patent leather but even if you dyed the leather to black, the stains would still show through! Thus bad stains can be classified as irrevocable damage in the case of patent leathers!

Every leather care practitioner always turns all patent leather away! The danger of using harsh solvents is that you damage the lacquer coating that cannot be replaced! The heavy stain is absorbed by the leather beneath the gloss finish, and there is no way any cleaner/solvent can reach to the stain without destroying the patent coating first. Thus fresh stains can be easily wiped off, as they are still sitting on the surface coating and have not yet been absorbed by the leather inside!

Care Tips-

1.Patent leather picks up dyes and colors from other fabrics (such as clothing, etc.) very easily. Avoid allowing your purse come in constant contact with other clothing, etc. that may have dyes that transfer easily.

2. To remove scuff marks from patent leather, rub them with a soft cloth moistened with milk.

3. With any cleaning effort, watch the patent coating to ensure it is not being removed. If removed, it will result in a dull spot. A patch test is always the smart way to go about it!

Patent leather products make for beautiful accessories that are versatile and fashionable- care for them intellegently! 🙂

-The Leather Laundry (


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