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How To Fix Sticky Leather Bag?

How To Fix Sticky Leather Bag? Find Out Here!

Our Ultimate Guide To Fixing Sticky Leather Bags

If your new leather furniture has become sticky or your leather bag has had a spill and become sticky, you might be wondering how to get rid of this sticky buildup and get your leather item back to new.

Leather bags usually become sticky due to direct sunlight, spills or over conditioning, luckily most of these causes can be remedied easily with a few steps.

Fixing Sticky Leather Bags

We’ve put together a great guide below which will help you identify why your patent leather items have become sticky and how to fix them, as well as a few maintenance tips to help you out.

What Is Patent Leather?

First of all, it’s a good idea to identify if your bag is made from patent leather items since these often suffer from a common stickiness problem. 

Patent leather items are made out of high-quality leather which has a layer of gloss to give it its glossy shine and is a very smooth leather often found on shoes and handbags.

Unfortunately, overtime this layer of gloss can wear down due to a variety of reasons making it sticky patent leather which is not so fashionable.

Causes Of Sticky Leather & How To Fix It

If your patent leather item has become sticky, you might be wondering how to fix it and restore your leather to its shiny smooth finish.

To remove the stickiness of patent leather you will need to first identify the source of stickiness. We’ve listed some common causes and remedies down below.

Body Oils 

Body oils, soaps and other toiletries can be transferred to your leather sofa if you are not careful. Overtime this buildup from our skin can cause the surface of our leather bag or sofa to become very sticky.


To fix body oils making your bag sticky we would suggest using a natural leather soap to clean the leather all over with a cloth then allow it to air dry on the affected areas. 

Once you’ve cleaned your leather you will then need to re-condition it in order to restore the natural oils that were lost.

There Is A Spill

Any spillage of liquids like coffee or milk can cause buildups on patent leather leaving a sticky residue over time. This is especially true on natural leather because the pores soak up any of the liquid, unlike faux leather.

If you have a family home we would suggest choosing fake leather items to avoid kids spilling liquid on the valuables.


To help with spills making your leather sticky we would suggest taking a clean cloth which is slightly damp to clean up the spills as soon as you can, it’s important to not let liquids sit for too long on a leather item.

If it’s a big stain on your leather bag you might want to use some mild saddle soap and warm water to help get rid of the spill and any residue.

It’s Over Conditioned 

Although leather conditioner is important to keep a leather item soft, you don’t want to end up applying too much otherwise it can make the surface sticky.

This is because the pores in the leather item will not be able to soak up the excess conditioner.


We would recommend washing your leather bag with some leather soap and sticking to a schedule of once or twice a year for conditioning your leather. Always wipe off any excess with a clean cloth and follow instructions according to your leather conditioner.

The Sun

Keeping your leather bag or leather item in front of heat sources like the sun can seriously damage leather over time, leading to discolouration and wear-down. Sunlight on leather can also form a sticky residue due to the natural oil buildup on the surface.


To stop sunlight on leather from making your bag sticky, always store it in a cool and dry place which is airy. You can also use a protective spray for your leather, especially for UV rays.

Tips For Maintaining Your Leather Condition 

To stop your leather fibers from becoming clogged and sticky you should ensure you are maintaining your leather properly, not just using a leather cleaner occasionally.

Maintaining Your Leather Condition

We’ve listed some essential tips for keeping your leather bag in the best condition down below.

  • Avoid your leather bag getting wet – Water spills on leather do not mix well and can cause your leather material to swell up, leading to damage. Avoid taking your leather handbag out if it’s raining.
  • Never over stuff your leather bag – Packing too much into your leather bag can damage it and make it overstretch, it can also cause your leather bag to become misshaped.
  • Clean it – It pays off to wipe your leather bag down when you can with a clean cloth, this stops stains and dirt build-up on the material. You can also use a leather soap for the job, never clean your leather bag with alcohol since it can damage the material.
  • Keep it stored well – As we already know, sunlight can cause the leather to become sticky. Therefore we would suggest being mindful of where you store your leather bag, it should be an airy place with no humidity and out of direct sunlight. We suggest wrapping the bag in paper rather than putting it in an air-sealed bag.
  • Make sure to condition – Conditioning your leather bag should be done occasionally with a high-quality leather conditioner to keep it smooth and stop the bag from drying out due to the sun.

What Should I Clean My Leather With?

If you’ve decided to clean your leather to try and get rid of the sticky surface then you might be wondering what you should clean your leather with if you don’t have a leather cleaner on hand. 

We’ve listed some great mixes to try out below.

  • Leather saddle soap and mineral spirits – Leather saddle soap is an excellent mild soap to clean leather with, simply rub it over the material, then go in with a mineral spirit to take any more dirt off.
  • Vaseline – Vaseline can be a great cleaner for leather, simply start by applying a thin layer then take a mineral spirit and apply it over the top to finish the cleaning.
  • Olive oil – Olive oil can be a great natural oil to clean and soften leather, simply put it on a cloth and rub over the material for a few minutes until all the areas are covered.
  • Vinegar – White vinegar mixed with water can be a great mild cleaner for sticky leather or to remove any stains. Simply dip a cloth into the water and use it to get rid of stains, leather with vinegar might smell though, which is the only downfall.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sticky Leather

What should I do if I spill milk on leather? 

If you spill milk on leather we would suggest cleaning it straight away, do not rub it in, instead take a damp cloth, ideally with some vinegar to get rid of the smell. 

How do I fix a torn leather bag?

You can fix a leather bag with some patches and a pin, you can also try a leather conditioner and sealer to hide the cracks.

What should I do if the leather gets too wet? 

If the leather gets wet make sure to dry it as much as you can with a cloth and allow it to air dry to avoid swelling, never put it under a direct heat source.

How do I get the rust off leather?

You can try to get the rust off leather by using water and vinegar with a cloth and leave it to soak on rust patches if the affected area is large, a thin bristle brush might also work, avoid scratching the leather.

How do I avoid scratching a leather bag?

Make sure you store it in some loosely wrapped paper or packaging, avoid it being airtight otherwise it can trap moisture in the bag which can lead to mildew growing in the bag.

Should I cover my leather bag?

We do recommend covering your leather bag if you are leaving it in storage, if you’re out with your bag then use a protective spray to help seal it and protect from the elements.

Last Words

To conclude our guide, leather bags get sticky when they get wet, body oils build up or you put too much conditioner. Most of these problems are easily remedied by cleaning your leather bag with some mild soap and maintaining it well. 

What Should I Clean My Leather With?

Try to store your leather bag well out of direct sunlight and in an airy location to stop moisture and humidity from building up inside of the bag.

Julien Beaubien

Julien Beaubien

Julien here. Traveller, a fan of leather bags and a blogger. Put all those together and you have I started the site as a medium for my ramblings. Over time, I grew to realise, people actually like them. So now, I am out to help and educate (while entertaining people!).

1 thought on “How To Fix Sticky Leather Bag? Find Out Here!”

  1. Hi,
    I have a pair of patent leather,it looks nice however, it is sticky when I touch it. I have used : “ Rife so in total from Saphir” brand for patent leather but it didn’t work. Any idea or help would be much appreciated.

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