How To Remove Odor & Bad Smells From Leather Bags


A beautiful, high-quality leather bag from Jokajok is certainly one of the biggest pleasures in life. That bespoke design of our premium product made from natural leather that you love to show off to the world … that truly is style right there!

However, when it comes to how to remove odor from a bag or how to get a musty smell out of leather, things could get tricky if you do not know what to do!

Some of the reasons why leather bags get that dreaded musty smell are a combination of a situation, circumstance or habit.

For instance, when your leather bag gets wet and it is not immediately wiped and aired, that smell could settle in, not to mention unwanted mildew. The same can be said if your bag gets exposed to smoke: storing it afterwards or not placing it in proper ventilation can make your favorite bag or purse even, smell.

And if you have several leather purses and store them for prolonged periods … a musty smell is sure to follow, causing frustration of how you will be able to salvage your treasured high-quality leather items!

We are a Legacy brand that creates bags out of the love of leather and also  bags that can be passed down generation to generation telling a story.

Tedd Josiah

We’ve conducted various experiments and have created a guide on how to remove odor and bad smells from your leather bag. 

Assess Where The Smells Are Coming From

Before eliminating odors from your leather bag, you should determine where the smell is coming from in the first place.

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is highly acidic, which enables it to kill bacteria and also remove smells.

To remove smells from your leather product, mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, then use a clean cloth (microfiber cloths are great for this) to wipe the leather. As your cloth begins to pick up the dirt from the leather, wring it out or swap it for another clean cloth. You can also put the solution in a spray bottle to spritz the leather , then wipe it clean with a cloth.

Allow to air dry. Place the bag outside under shelter away from direct light to air dry.

2. Deodorizing with Baking Soda

  • Fill a clean sock with baking soda. Tie off with a knot.
  • Place the leather bag and the baking soda-filled sock inside a large resealable plastic bag. Alternatively, place both items inside an airtight container.
  • Set aside. Let the baking soda work on the bag for at least 24 hours. The odors from the bag should transfer across to the baking soda.
  • Remove from the resealable bag or container. Check the odor of the leather bag; if it still smells bad, repeat the process for another 24 hours, or longer. If it smells good again, throw away the baking soda, wash the sock and use the leather bag again.

3. Professional products

Another quick and easy ways to remove bad smells from leather is to use professional cleaning products.

  • Leather cleaner is able to dissolve any dirt and grime on most leather products, and safely remove it. Apply it over the leather and use a clean cloth to remove the dirt and the remains of the product.
  • Leather conditioners help to preserve the leather and strengthen it. This is more of a preventive measure – keeping your leather well-conditioned will also keep it clean and prevent the accumulation of bacteria and bad odors.

4: Use Desiccants

Similar to charcoal odor removers, you can also use desiccants such as Silica Gels for odor removal. Silica gels with the proper sealing can be placed inside bags to remove excess moisture or musty odors. 

Desiccants, such as silica gels have the ability to remove bad smells from leather bags through physical absorption or chemical reaction. Simply place a silica gel packet into your leather bag without having to remove any contents from it to eliminate any persisting odor.

Note: Keep in mind that silica gel is not recommended in houses with pets or kids as it can be dangerous if accidentally ingested.

While our guide was designed to share the best methods to remove bad smells from leather bags, we would like to hear from you our good customers as you attempt this methods so we keep improving our products and service.

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