How to care for your leather bag

Leather bags are beautiful. And that has several reasons. One of them is that they live along with you. They experience your experiences and they get traces of use through time, which shape the bag, gives them their own story and their own identity. Which makes them more beautiful as they age. But, in order to make sure your bag ages well and lives a long and healthy life with you, you have to take care of it. After reading this article, you know what to do to nourish your bag so it maintains its beauty a lifetime.

Disclaimer: please note that no rights can be derived from the tips given in this article.

First things first: which type of leather are you dealing with?

There are several types of leather that whirl around in the business of bags. And the first thing you need to know before taking care of your leather bag, is which type of leather you are taking care of.

At Laauw, we worked with two types of leather thus far. Nubuck leather and Full Grain leather. The Tbilisi Collection for example, is made from Full Grain leather. Other collections, such as the Madrid Collection and the Collab Collection with Nikki Marinus are made from the sanded Nubuck leather. To make sure you don’t rub the different type of leathers the wrong way, we’ll handle each type of leather differently. And to guarantee a protective layer before you start using it, we developed a Leather Protector Spray which can be used for the protection of both types of leather.

If you do not know what leather the bag is made from, ask the brand or store where you bought the bag, they will certainly give you the answer.

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Our Leather Protector Spray protects Nubuck, Suede and full grain type leathers.

Nubuck leather

The Madrid Collection and most collaboration collections are made of Nubuck leather. Underneath we will tell you how to care for you Nubuck leather. If you’re not sure which leather your bag is made from, feel free to ask.

Pre-use treatment for Nubuck leather

Nubuck is a top grain leather type which is sanded before it was used. This means, alike Suede, its surface has an open structure. This gives the bag its unique, soft look and feel. But it also means that it is more sensitive to soaking up water or dirt.

We recommend you to treat the leather with a leather protector pre-use. In order to help you with that, we developed a Leather Protector Spray for you. With Nubuck, it’s important that you don’t use any oils or moisturizers containing a lot of grease, because that can make the leather lose its soft touch and even its colour.

Always test the protector on a small and inconspicuous area of the leather for colour fastness before using it on the entire bag.

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Nubuck leather protection

The Retiro and Sevilla from Madrid Chapter II are made from Nubuck Leather.

Taking care of Nubuck leather

Be a friend to your bag, make sure you take care of your friend from time to time. If dust piles up on the bag for example, make sure to just wipe it clean with a – really lightly – damped cloth.

And if you’re not hanging out with the bag for a while, separate in good terms and make sure to stuff it with something (like a pillow or an old teddy bear for example), so it will be in the right shape when you use it again.

In the long term, you can repeat the same treatment you gave the bag pre-use. Spray the bag with the Leather Protector Spray around twice a year to make sure it will keep its protective layer.

Last but not least, not that it’s very likely that you will, but don’t leave a Nubuck leather bag straight in the sun for several hours. This may cause discoloration of the bag. We don’t want that.

How to clean Nubuck leather

A spill can occur of course. If a spill is still new and fresh, just take a lightly damp cloth and clean it of by padding the stain.

Is there still a part of the stain that didn’t come off or the stain has already dried up before you notice it, the next step would be covering the stain with a layer of baking soda. Let it sit for a few hours (or preferably overnight). If the soda changes colour, it means it soaked up a bit of the stain. Lightly brush the baking soda off and continue the process until the stain is gone.

In the event of these ways of treatment not helping; go to your local leather professional.

Full Grain leather

The Tbilisi Collection is made from Full Grain leather. Underneath we will tell you how to care for you Full Grain leather. If you’re not sure which leather your bag is made from, feel free to ask.

Pre-use treatment for Full Grain leather

With its high density and stiffer structure, Full Grain leather is far less sensitive to dirt and water than sanded leather structures such as Nubuck and Suede. Nevertheless, the Full Grain leather definitely needs some pre-use treatment as well.

We advise you to treat the leather with Leather Protector Spray pre-use. This will protect the bag against food, drinks and other spills that the bag may come across. For the Full Grain leather, the same protector can be used as the one for Nubuck leather.

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Full grain leather protector

The Fabrika from the Tbilisi Collection is made from Full Grain Leather.

Taking care of Full Grain leather

Through time and use, full grain leather can dry out and lose its shining appearance and suppleness. To make sure it doesn’t, it requires a bit of effort from the user.

Say twice, or maybe three times a year, the Full Grain leather bag benefits from a caring massage with the use of a moisturizer. This will keep the bag from drying out, and prevent a dull look or cracks in the grain. You can use the usual shoe polish you might already have, or go ahead and buy one here.

After each polish, make sure to spray the leather with the Leather Protector Spray to make it appealing to people and appalling to dirt for the coming months.

How to clean Full Grain leather

Of course, even if the leather is taken care of really well, it can always find a dirt stain along the way. With every type stain – dirt, grease or any liquid – the golden key is padding the stain with a damp cloth and a little bit of soap.

If that doesn’t help because the stain has been dried up too much already, try covering the stain with a bit of baking soda and let it sit overnight. If the baking soda has changed colour, it means some of the stain has been absorbed by it and you can redo this until the stain is gone.


Take care of your bag with our special developed Leather Protector Spray. The funny thing with taking care of your leather bag is that you will actually start loving the bag more and more. Which has two simple reasons; #1: you will see the beautiful result immediately when you clean or polish your bag, and #2: When you take care of something, it will grow on you and you will start loving it even more.

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Enjoy your leather Laauw bag (even more from now on).

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