You have just bought a leather saddlebag and you have no idea of how to clean it? No problem, you are reading the right article. Let’s start by saying that Ends Cuoio only uses premium vegetable tanned leather that ages very well. However, atmospheric conditions (wind, rain, snow etc) can increase the signs left by time and use. That is why it is very important to take care of every leather accessory installed on a motorcycle.

Cleaning a saddlebag

The first thing we have to make sure of is having a bucket and a soft cloth. Fill the bucket with warm water and use the cloth to gently remove dirt from the bag. Please remember that this is a very delicate step. We have two tips for you:

  • Water does not need to be hot, it needs to be comfortably warm for your hands. Anything warmer can ruin the bag.
  • Do not friction the bag surface with the cloth. If there is a dirtier are, pass on it a couple of times more.

Once the bag is clean, let it dry. Let’s bust a myth on how to dry leather products: do not blow dry it! Let it dry in a dry area (humidity is bad for your bag) and do not place it under direct sun light.

Waxing a leather saddlebag

When the bag is dry, is time to start the conditioning process. We only use our leather care product; however, you can use any product that is good for vegetable tanned leather and that does not have chemicals in it. For example, multi-purpose products can do a lot of harm to leather saddlebags. We highly recommend using natural, non-toxic products: your bag will be safe and the hearth will thank you.

Please, make sure to choose the right sponge as well (if it is not available inside the kit): a soft and not grainy sponge is highly recommended. This kind of sponges will make your chances to scratch the bag drop almost to zero.

Now that we have covered products and sponges, it is time to dig into the steps required to conditions a bag: start by dripping the product on your sponge, then uniformly spread it all over the bag, stitchings included. Stitchings are an exposed part and need the right attention: there areas, matter of fact, can have an impact on water resistance. Therefore, it is important to meticulously treat them, rather than going over them with superficiality.

Key word is balance: the sponge does not need to be completely soaked with product and needs to be gently passed over the bag surface. Once the bag is fully condition, it will be time to let it dry.
As earlier: blow dryer and direct sunlight are banned. The bag needs to naturally dry in a non-humid space.

Removing  patina

Once all these steps are through, the bag starts to look like it was brand new. In some cases, however, products might leave a patina. No problems: it is normal and the procedure to remove it is super easy.

All it takes is a soft cloth: gently pass it over the bag surface and you are good to go.
Once the process is over, you can go back to enjoying your saddlebag. We recommend repeating the process once every 3-to-6 month, or whenever the bag is fully exposed to extreme weather conditions.