How to Clean a Patent Leather Purse


Dida asked: How do I clean a patent leather purse? The purse is white. The stain is gray. It may be caused by some dye.

Patent leather purses make beautiful accessories for all kinds of occasions. The versatile look and design allow them to express every personality. Fortunately, they’re easy to care for. Follow the guidelines below for general cleaning as well as tackling common stains that may occur.

General Cleaning (Fingerprints, etc.)

You Will Need:

  • Windex
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Clean Patent Leather:

  1. Generally, patent leather requires simple care.
  2. Wiping it off with a cloth moistened with water is a quick and easy way to clean off fingerprints and general dirt.
  3. If the dirt levels area heavy, apply a small amount of Windex and wipe it away with a clean, soft cloth or paper towel.
  4. Buff with a soft cloth when dry to restore the shine.

Removing Stains

You Will Need:

Steps to Clean Patent Leather:

  1. If the dirt is actually a stain, it will likely require more advanced cleaning products.
  2. There are patent leather cleaners available at shoe stores that are designed to remove dirt and stains more effectively than water alone.
  3. Follow the application instructions on the package for correct use.
  4. Buff the area when finished with a clean, soft cloth to restore the shine.
  5. Pen marks are another common problem with purses. Moisten a cotton ball or cotton swab with a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
  6. Use it to gently rub the ink mark away.
  7. On some purses, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work well to remove marks and stains. However, use them with caution and always test a small area first. Some purses will lose their finish from the sponge.
  8. 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.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Patent leather picks up dyes and colors from other fabrics (such as clothing, etc.) easily. Avoid allowing your purse come in constant contact with other clothing, etc. that may have dyes that transfer easily.
  • To remove scuff marks from patent leather, rub them with a soft cloth moistened with milk.
  • With any cleaning effort, watch the patent coating to ensure it is not being removed. If removed, it will result in a dull spot.


  1. Linda says:

    I have a bright yellow, patent leather handbag. My friend got some type of dye transfer on it, and I have tried everything to get it out! Does any one have any suggestions?

  2. Gigi says:

    Try a Magic Eraser.

  3. Donna says:

    Witch Hazel astringent on a wash cloth cleaned my black purse. It is mostly alcohol. Good luck!

  4. Lisa G. says:

    I have a Bally patent leather bag. I wiped it down with leather cleaner and now it is sticky. I tried Pledge. What can I do?

  5. Melanie says:

    Lisa G.,
    Just a mild dish soap should be sufficient – use a soft cloth and water to clean it. This article might help: How to Remove Stickiness from Leather Furniture.

  6. Mackagerl says:

    My light pink patent leather has turned yellowish. How can I clean it and make it pink again?

  7. Danielle says:

    I have a gray patent leather Coach handbag that appears to have yellow highlighter on it…how can I remove it? It shows brightly in sunlight. I have tried dish soap, Lysol, baby wipes, Windex, nail polish remover, white vinegar and alcohol…Please Help!!!

  8. Christina says:

    I tried white spirit, vinegar, lemon juice, fairy liquid, an eraser; nothing has worked getting a mysterious blue stain off my blush patent clutch bag. What should I do? It’s irreplaceable.

  9. Melanie says:

    It sounds like it could be a dye stain – either from a blue liquid or possibly from blue denim dye transfer. Rubbing alcohol is often used for removing dye stains. You can also try patent leather cleaner, or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, but be sure to test the eraser and other cleaners on a hidden area of the purse first to make sure the patent coating is not removed.

  10. Donna says:

    I have a FURLA cream colored patent purse.
    I’ve only used it about 4 times — and when I took it out of the storage bag I keep it in, I noticed that a pinkish-like hue has appeared on both sides where the strap is sewn to the body of the purse. It appears to be within the patent leather.
    I haven’t attempted to clean it — as it’s an EXPENSIVE purse — any advice you can give me of how to remedy this???
    It’s really stressing me out.
    Your reply will be GREATLY appreciated.
    Thanks a MILLION!!!

  11. Elizabeth S. says:

    I have a white patent leather purse that has a dark stain on it from a black jacket and I’ve tried everything to get it out!!!!! Please help. :(

  12. Nancy A says:

    I got water stains on my patent leather shoes. The shoemaker said they can’t be removed. Has anyone tried on their own and succeeded?

  13. Erin says:

    I have a pair of taupe colored patent leather Kate Spade wedges. After wearing them only once, the next day there was a strange orange colored stain on one of the heels. I’m not sure how to remove it. Anyone know how to clean a stain from patent leather without damaging it?

  14. Yvonne says:

    I have a Kate Spade orange patent bag stained with black marks left by another leather black bag. Any suggestion how I can remove such stains?
    Alcohol and milk didn’t work either.

  15. Melanie says:

    You can try the method in this article: How to Clean Black Leather Stains off a White Leather Couch. WD-40 is usually safe to use on patent leather, but test it in a small hidden spot first to be sure. Be sure not to let the spray get in any seams of the shoes though.
    Source: – How to Clean Excess Glue from Patent Leather Shoes

  16. Aaron says:

    My grand mother has a Coach hand purse and it has newspaper staines on it. She has tried everything she knows, like fingernail polish remover and something called saddle soap. I’m just looking for some advice. Thanks.

  17. Twinkle says:

    I had a black cardigan and I was wearing my peach leather bag with it. The colour came off and went on my peach bag. The straps have turned blue. The whole bag has slightly turned dark blue at some parts. What do I do?

  18. Coach Disaster says:

    I bought a white patent leather purse from a woman and didn’t see the condition of the purse; it was dark out and it was in a bag. Also, she just showed me the top. I should have paid more attention. Well, anyway, the purse has dark spots like mold stains or dye; I’m not sure. Is there anything I can do about this?

  19. Maria says:

    I have a lime green Michael Kor’s purse and I somehow got ink on it. Any suggestions on how to get it off? Thanks.

  20. Melanie says:

    The solution for pen ink is in Steps 5-6 of the Removing Stains section. (It is to use a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol on it.)

  21. Noemi says:

    I have had a red patent leather GUESS satchel for 3 years; it doesn’t have any stains on the exterior, but the lining inside is stained with spilled power foundation, which makes the lining look muddy and really dirty. How can I clean the lining? Also, because I’ve had the purse for so long, the leather isn’t stiff anymore and for lack of better words, it slouches instead of standing straight up like when I purchased it. Does anyone have any advice on how I can clean the inner lining and what can I use to stiffen the leather again?

    Check it out! We’ve answered your question about how to remove makeup from a purse lining! Yay!

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