How to clean a leather backpack

How to clean a leather backpack - Learn more at


A good rule of thumb is to clean and condition your leather backpack ever few months. You can use your own judgement of when you think your leather backpack is too dirty and needs a little extra love. It’s always a good idea to get into the habit of cleaning and maintaining your leather products and a leather backpack is no exception. This will keep your backpack looking it’s best and will also prolong the life of the backpack as regular maintenance will prevent leather brittleness that causes cracking.

How to clean a leather backpack - Learn more at



  • A toothbrush or other soft haired brush
  • A soft & clean cloth
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner (optional)


Follow manufacturer instructions: Does your leather backpack have cleaning instructions? Sometimes there are special care instructions you may need to take into consideration. Check your backpack manufacturer’s website or call their customer service phone number if you are unsure.

What type of leather is your backpack? This cleaning guide is for genuine leather and is not suited for patent leather or suede backpacks.

Cleaning Leather backpacks

1) Use a toothbrush to brush off dirt from nooks and crannies

Use a toothbrush or other soft haired brush, like a horsehair brush, to brush off loose dirt from seem lines and the bottom of the backpack where dirt tends to accumulate.

2) Use a leather cleaner

You can purchase a leather cleaner made for purses or boots on your leather backpack. Before using a leather cleaner make sure you have wiped off any excess dirt from the backpack. Use a soft cloth (an old t-shirt will do) to gently wipe off any dirt off of the leather. 

Make sure to follow the instructions on the leather cleaner label for additional details.

3) Condition your leather backpack

This step is optional but is highly recommended for preventative care.

Use a leather conditioner to condition the leather after cleaning it. A leather conditioner will leave the leather on your backpack hydrated and supple. It will also add a coat of protection against dirt and staining.

Avoid conditioners made for leather saddles as these can stain your backpack. Instead opt-in for a leather conditioner made for leather purses and shoes.

4) Let your backpack dry

After cleaning and conditioning your leather backpack make sure to give it at least 24 hours to completely dry before using it again. It’s important to let the leather dry completely before exposing it to the elements.