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Lifestyle, Tips & How To’s

How to Clean Leather Golf Bags Without Ruining Them

 June 1, 2022

By  Tim Parry

Golfing is fun and an enjoyable sport. However, your equipment is more likely to get dirty quickly when golfing. Everyone wants to stay neat and well-kept. So, whatever the material of your bag, you will need to clean it. Therefore, you may need to know how to clean leather golf bags. There is a lot of gunk and dust deposited on your golf bag and other golf equipment while you are at the golf course. But golf bags tend to be forgotten, so if you want to clean your golf bag, here is a guide.

How to Clean a Leather Golf Bag

Leather is a naturally occurring polymer, and polymers are extremely tough substances. An example of a polymer is plastic. Therefore, maintaining your leather bag will require you to pay special attention to the material and take care of it.

Materials Needed

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Paper towels\soft rag
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A small cotton wool
  • Sealant
  • A spray bottle

Step One: Empty the Bag

The first and obvious thing you need to do is empty the bag. Ensure that you have removed everything to avoid ruining any pieces of materials that you may have forgotten inside. Next, empty all the pockets thoroughly.

Step Two: Vacuum

Because leather is sewn together rather than molded, dirt and debris are likely to become caught between the stitches.

Suck up as much dirt as possible from those hard-to-reach locations in your bag and outside pockets using the narrower nozzle attachment with most vacuums.

This will make things easier in the future and eliminate the bulk before you begin cleaning with liquids.

Step Three: Dry Wipe

Wiping with a dry paper towel or a dry rag ensures that you remove all the other remaining debris from the inner pockets. Wipe the golf bag on a flat surface like a table or anywhere to make wiping it easier.

Step Four: Wipe with Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is one of the safest substances on leather as leather is delicate and cannot handle bleach. In addition, leather is a natural polymer, and harsh chemicals can easily break it down.

Therefore, you can gently use a mild substance like rubbing alcohol to wipe the leather bag. To do that, dip a small piece of cotton wool in the alcohol and use it to wipe the bag.

Step Five: Wipe the Interior

Wrap a small cotton rag or a microfiber cloth around a spoon and use it to wipe the interior of your bag. The spoon will help you gently maneuver the rag within the interior of the leather bag to remove any loose dirt.

Step Six: Air Dry

As already discussed earlier, leather does not like harsh conditions. Therefore, once you clean the exterior and interior of your leather golf bag, you'll need to dry it. First, however, ensure you dry it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

You can also dry it using a cooling fan; note that you cannot use an air conditioner. Anything with a drastic temperature change will cause shrinkage. Also, remember that this drying method will take a while, so cleaning your golf bag should occur when you don't plan to leave the house.

Step Seven: Spray with a Sealer

Sealing your leather golf bag helps protect it from absorbing dirt and other debris. This also prevents the weak spots from wearing out. Sealing protects such areas and prevents wearing out.

To apply the sealer, use circular motions to rub it on the entire bag. If you have a soft brush, you can use it to apply the sealer. The edges are crucial, so pay enough attention to them.

Step Eight: Let the Sealer Dry

Allow a few hours for the leather golf bag to dry after you've finished applying it. Please do not expose the leather to direct sunshine to dry it, as this can cause damage. Instead, place the leather bag in a cool, well-ventilated room to allow the sealant to dry. Examine the leather to see when it is completely dry.

Test the sealer by rubbing your fingertips across the leather surface. If it doesn't feel sticky, the sealer is dry.

Types of Leather Grades

Leather is graded differently, and you may like to know how these leather grades differ. This is important as the variations impact the quality and performance of the leather.

a). Full Grain Leather

The hide's outside arrangement, referred to as the "grain," is visible in this leather cut; it hasn't been sanded or cleaned to remove any flaws. On full-grain leathers, only the hair is usually removed. The grain often contains finer, densely packed fibers, resulting in an extremely robust, durable surface and can resist heavy use. This is the leather grain used to make high-end products like the best leather wallets for women, belts, and shoes.

b). Top Grain Leather

This cut is similar to full-grain, except the top layer is sanded and buffed to remove defects and inconsistencies. As a result, the leather becomes softer and more supple with various colors and finishes.

While this sanding improves the appearance, it also takes away a lot of full-grain leather's strength and water-repellent properties. Top grain leather is soft and used in making handbags, shoes and wallets.

c). Genuine Leather

Genuine leather can come from any layer of the hide and is treated on the surface to make it look more consistent and "corrected." It can be sanded or buffed to remove surface flaws, then dyed (or spray painted) or stamped to give it a final surface appearance.

d). Split Grain Leather

Split grain leather is a layered cut of leather taken from the hide's lower levels of top grain. It's frequently found above the flesh on the lower layer of the hide. Also, below are the greatest top grain and full grain cuts. It does, however, offer us a usable leather material.

Split grain leather's natural surface is not as solid, tight, or functional as full grain and top grain leather. As a result, it's frequently utilized in leather finishes dyed, embossed, or have their surface altered somehow.

e). Bonded Leather

Bound leather is similar to scrapple or hot dogs in that it is made up of leather scraps that have been finely shredded and bonded to a fiber mesh or sheet using polyurethane or latex. As a result, the percentage of leather in the mix might vary substantially (from 10% to 90%), affecting the ultimate product's practical and aesthetic features.

Bonded leather is frequently painted to add color, and it can also be pressed/embossed to simulate a specific grain or leather style.

How to Care for Leather Products

Once you decide to buy a leather golf bag, you must be willing to learn how to care for it. So, here are a few tips for you to help take care of that high-quality bag.

a). Proper Storage Matters

When our leather bags aren't in use, we keep them in a sheer dust bag to protect them from the majority of the natural factors that can destroy them. Unfortunately, leather does not like the sun. You should also stuff them with bubble wrap or parchment paper to keep their regular shape.

Also, if you live in the tropics, you may need to be a little more cautious when caring for your leather golf bag. Storing the bag in the middle or lower cabinets is better as the top ones tend to be very warm. The high temperatures could make the leather bag dry.

b). Condition It

Your leather bag, like your skin, has to be moisturized and conditioned regularly. Without a good conditioner, the fabric may dry out and break over time. The conditioner would also contain stain-repellent characteristics, which would reduce the likelihood of stains on your baggage. You can also use acrylic leather paint to increase the lifespan of your leather bag.

c). Keep Leather Away from Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals tend to ruin the leather. Therefore, if you have one of the best leather golf bags and want it to last, you need to stay as far from harsh substances as possible. Also, regardless of the cleaning method, you choose and whether or not it's a white golf bag, ensure you only use a mild stain remover if it has stubborn stains.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Clean a Golf Bag

1. How do you get the smell out of your golf bag?

Nobody likes a smelly golfer, and it's not only your shoes and clothing you need to be concerned about. If a golfer's golf bag isn't cleaned properly and regularly, it can emit some unpleasant scents.

After your bag has been completely washed, you can apply any natural spray-on aroma or air freshener to give it that fresh scent. When rubbed directly onto the surface of a leather bag, essential oils can give it a lovely smell and a nice gloss.

2. How do you restore an old leather golf bag?

An antique leather golf bag can be restored in a few ways; using a leather conditioner is usual. A conditioner is available at most sports goods stores. Simply use a cloth to apply the conditioner to the leather and rub it in. To prevent the bag from getting dry and brittle in the future, you may want to use leather protection.

Tim Parry


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