How to Refurbish a Black Leather Purse

by Sarah Vrba ; Updated July 18, 2017

Black leather purses are versatile and often long-lasting accessories.

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Black leather is a classic, timeless and popular material for a wide variety of purses -- from little clutches to larger accessory bags. Like a little black dress, the little black purse blends in with almost any outfit, and doesn't show wear and tear as quickly as lighter-colored bags. That go-to black purse might also be in need of a little TLC from time to time. Some simple, careful cleaning and repairs can bring a black leather purse back to its original glory.

Empty out the purse and wipe out all the interior pockets with a clean, slightly damp cloth.

Apply a dime-sized amount of detergent or gentle soap to a clean cloth. Dampen the cloth and soap with a tiny amount of water. Gently wipe over the entire exterior of the purse to remove any dirt buildup or grime.

Wipe off any excess soap with a clean corner of the dampened rag and allow the purse to dry.

Apply a black leather dye to any areas on the purse that have lost color or faded over time. These dyes can be purchased at most major stores, including many grocery stores. Apply a small amount of dye to a clean cloth and rub into the area that needs some extra color. Use small circular motions. Allow to dry completely.

Apply a leather conditioner to the entire exterior of the bag, including the handle if it is also leather. Place a dime-sized amount on a clean cloth and gently rub into the leather in circular motions. Reapply leather conditioner to the cloth as needed.


  • Always spot test any detergent, dye or conditioner on an unnoticeable area on the purse before applying to the entire exterior.

    Take a bag with extensive damage, such as large rips and tears, to a garment care professional with experience in restoring fine leathers.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.