3 Simple Steps To Remove Colour Transfer, Dirt, and Stains on White Leather Luxury Bags
14 September 2020

3 Simple Steps To Remove Colour Transfer, Dirt, and Stains on White Leather Luxury Bags

White leather bags are so chic and classy, but a lot of the time, we are deterred from making that purchase because we are told that they’re are a “bad investment” because they’ll dirty easily, turn yellowish over time. Oh and for those of us who love wearing denim or dark clothing, they’re considered a nightmare because there is always a huge risk of colour transfer. I mean, you’d probably shriek with horror when you see the dreaded patch on the back of your white leather bag, because some of the colour from your dark clothing has rubbed off onto the back of the bag, due to friction.

Well, guess what? In todays guide, we’re here to teach you how to lighten  (and I say lighten instead of remove, because depending on the type of leather, some stains or colours may have been absorbed into the leather) the stains on them, and you can even try this on white Chanel lambskin leather.  Now, let’s get right into it, shall we?

You’ll Need

  1. Alcohol-Free and Fragrance-Free Baby Wipes
  2. Dry microfibre cloth
  3. Eraser that’s new and white. DO NOT use a coloured eraser

Okay, before we continue, I know you’ve probably read how some have used baking soda or vinegar or even Jif/Cif cream with micro crystals, but personally, we wouldn’t recommend it because they will be too harsh on the leathers. After all, leathers are skins too, and if you wouldn’t use Jif/Cif on your own skin, why use it on your bag?

Step 1: Baby Wipes

Note: Before you begin, please ensure that your baby wipes are alcohol- and fragrance/scent- free. Baby wipes for “sensitive skin” cannot be a substitute if they’re not free from alcohol and fragrances. Both Pureen and Huggies (the Natural Care, Pure, or Clean Care ranges) are perfect for what we are about to do, but also, do read the labels carefully as some ranges from these brands may contain traces of alcohol and/or fragrance. Some independent organic brands have alcohol- and fragrance-free baby wipes too.

Take a sheet of baby wipes and gently rub over the entire bag, including the straps, clasp, and hardware. Once you’ve done that, you should pay extra attention to the areas where you’d like the stains removed.  Apply only gentle pressure in a circular “buffing” motion. Remember not be too heavy-handed or vigorous when you rub or else you’d end up ruining your bag instead. You’d notice the leather getting slightly matte and darker due (saturation) to the moisture from the baby wipes. This is normal – do not panic! You’d also notice that the stains or marks become more prominent after doing so, but don’t worry, you didn’t make it worse.

Leave it for a few minutes.

Step 2: Microfibre Cloth

After about 5-10 minutes, grab a clean microfibre cloth and use the same light buffing circular motion and go over the stained areas first, and the proceed to use the same method for the rest of the bag. As the bags corners are more “fragile”, use a light dabbing motion instead of buffing, and ensure you do not rub the corners with the cloth.

 naturally. It is important that you do not use any artificial heat (i.e. hairdryer, or leaving it out in the sun, etc.), to speed up the drying process. The drying process may take a couple of hours, or even an entire day, depending on the climate. Ensure that it’s completely dry (i.e. no longer damp to the touch), and that the leather is no longer dark like when it came into contact with the moist baby wipes while you were wiping it down, before moving onto our final step below.


Note: depending on how soiled or dirty your bag was, and the length of time in which the dirt has built up, it may not be completely gone after the first try, but it will, over time, get lighter after a few of these cleaning sessions. Also, this is what I have experimented with, and found it to have worked. Discretion is advised. I shall not be held liable for any damage that occurs.


Step 3: Eraser

Once you have ensured that the bag is completely dry, grab your eraser. It’s of utmost importance that your eraser is brand new and white so to minimise risk of smudging, and colour transfer (if the eraser is coloured), respectively. At this point, I’d like to clarify, that this is a regular white eraser, and not the “magic eraser”. What I’m about to say next might sound really bizarre, but trust me, it has worked for me, along with some other friends whom I’ve helped with removing stains, including stains on Birkins and Chanel lambskin. However, discretion is advised, and if you’re worried, you should try it on an inconspicuous corner first, before proceeding on to use your eraser over the rest of your bag.

Gently erase the area with excess dirt, stains or colour transfer. Ensure that you Use gentle pressure only. You don’t want to remove the top layer of the leather, or cause the leather to flake by rubbing too hard. If your dirt marks are pretty dark, be patient, keep rubbing and dusting with some breaks in between, and alternate between different areas – Don’t keep rubbing on the same area for too long. Stop when it starts to feel a little too warm to the touch. After erasing, you’d begin to notice the the area has lightened. Once you’re done erasing, grab your dry microfibre cloth once again, and gently go over the entire bag with circular “buffing” motions, and voila! 

Now, depending on how soiled or dirty your bag was before cleaning, and the length of time in which the dirt has built up on your bag, it may not be restored to its pristine state after the first try, but, over time, it will get lighter after a few of these cleaning sessions (provided you don’t stain them again between cleaning sessions!).

Now, with this guide, I hope you won’t shy away from buying that beautiful white bag you’ve been eyeing!


Note: these steps have so far worked for my friends and myself, and are “taught” to you lovelies in good faith. I shall not be liable for any damage that occurs.


Illustrations by @weimun_draws