How do I Care for Eel Skin Handbags?

by Pete Campbell ; Updated September 28, 2017

Handbags made of eel skin are durable, but require occasional maintenance to protect the quality.

handbag image by Cristian Ilie Ionescu from

An eel skin handbag can be the perfect accessory for that snazzy outfit, but not if the bag looks beaten up and aged. Bags made of eel skin generally are quite durable, but like any product can fade over time and after repeated uses. Fortunately, regular maintenance can ensure a top quality shine for your bag. Applying a thin coat of colorless shoe wax regularly is an easy way to protect a bag's sheen and ensure it keeps looking great for years to come.

Eel Skin Handbag Care

Monitor the quality of the handbag as time passes.

Apply a thin layer of colorless shoe wax if the bag begins to look faded or damaged. Apply the wax with a clean cloth, and make sure every part is equally covered. Be sure to cover the entire bag with the wax to ensure an even shine.

Wipe any excess wax off the bag after applying it. Make sure the layer of wax is thick enough that the bag retains its shine, but not so thick that the bag feels tacky or slimy.


  • Generally, the eel skin makes the bag quite durable, but watch to see if the skin begins to dull, fade or become damaged from day-to-day use. Liquids should not damage an eel skin handbag. Just let it dry, and the original color should return. Spilled oil can be removed from eel skin handbags by applying rubber cement to the spot, letting it dry and then peeling it off. Multiple applications may be necessary. Ballpoint ink stains can be rubbed off with a clean finger or a pencil eraser.

Photo Credits

  • handbag image by Cristian Ilie Ionescu from

About the Author

Pete Campbell has written professionally since 2006. He has covered culture, sports, literature, business and politics. He has been published in a wide range of publications, including the "Wall Street Journal." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Notre Dame.