How to Clean and Care for Your Briefcase: Maintenance Tips for Longevity

How to Clean and Care for Your Briefcase: Maintenance Tips for Longevity

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It’s your first meeting kicking off a stacked week. You open your briefcase in search of a pen and paper, but you have to navigate around gum wrappers and old receipts. Finally, you get your hands on a notebook. As you dive back in to fish out that pen, you knock your cortado straight into your bag and watch in helpless horror as it soaks your bag and the conference room carpet. Now you’re uncaffinated, you’ve made a mess, and it’s only Monday. 

Oof. Sound familiar? Hopefully not. But if your briefcase is your constant companion, your bag could likely benefit from a little TLC, whether you’ve spilled your coffee on it this week or not (yet, at least). 

How can you keep your briefcase looking sharp on the outside and squeaky clean within? We’ll cover all you need to know about how to clean your briefcase. First, let’s brief you on why briefcase maintenance is worth your time.

Reasons to Maintain Your Briefcase

Honestly, it’s tough to make time to clean your bag. Life is hectic, and briefcase maintenance is easy to put on the back burner. Still, there are noteworthy benefits to keeping your bag spiffy. 

Here are three key reasons why to keep your bag in good repair:

  • Look professional – Your appearance, including the state of your briefcase, will affect your reputation at the office, on a sales call, and pretty much wherever you go. Keeping a well-maintained briefcase will help you establish a reputation as a serious professional.
  • Stay organized – Regularly removing unnecessary clutter from your bag will simplify your daily routine, helping you find what you need more quickly and contributing to a smooth day at the office. 
  • Maximize briefcase longevity – Maintaining your briefcase ensures you’ll get the most out of your investment by keeping it in good repair for longer. 

Here are some briefcase maintenance tips to help you look your best, keep your professional life running smoothly, and extend the life of your bag:

Holding Briefcase

How to Clean and Maintain Vegan Briefcases

Vegan briefcases are made from engineered materials like nylon, waxed canvas, and bio-leather. The method you use for cleaning your briefcase will depend on the fabric. It’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommended cleaning methods.

Let’s go over a streamlined weekly briefcase maintenance routine. 

Weekly Briefcase Cleaning Routine

Taking just 15 minutes at the end of each week to give your bag a little care can go a long way.

Here is a 5 step routine to do at the end of each work week to keep your bag clean:

  1. Remove all contents – Take time to discard any trash and put away any unneeded items. You may need to shake out any crumbs or dust in the garbage. The liners of some bags can be pulled inside out to help you remove small debris. 
  2. Inspect the bag for damage – Take a careful look at the inside and outside of the bag, checking for any loose stitching, tears, or stains. Make any needed repairs or find a place to do the repairs for you. Pro tip: If the bag is under warranty, the manufacturer may repair the bag for you.
  3. Wipe down the exterior – Use a damp cloth (we recommend microfiber) to lightly wipe down the outside of the briefcase.
  4. Wipe out the interior – Use another lightly damp cloth to wipe out the inside of your bag. Make sure to prop the bag open and let it air dry fully before zipping it shut or repacking it with your belongings. 
  5. Reorganize your bag – Set yourself up for Monday morning success by organizing your belongings in the most logical and easily accessible way. 

What if you noticed any ugly stains on step two?


How to Remove Stains From Your Briefcase

The briefcase stain removal process will vary depending on the material of your bag. Some stains may come out with water alone, while stubborn stains might need a little help from a cleaner.

You may consider using one of these cleaning agents to remove briefcase stains:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Club soda
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Mild dish soap
  • Mild laundry detergent

Again, this is an excellent time to consult any manufacturer’s recommendations for stain removal.

Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to test a new cleaning agent on an inconspicuous part of the bag and wait a few minutes to ensure it doesn’t react badly with the briefcase material. 

Remember to use a non-abrasive cloth or sponge to avoid damaging the bag. You may upgrade to a soft-bristle toothbrush for tougher stains on heartier fabrics.  

What about leather briefcases?


How to Care for Leather Briefcases

Leather requires a different approach than manufactured products. Briefcases made from leather can be sensitive to excessive water and some cleaning agents.

Here are HGTV’s recommendations for cleaning a leather bag:

  1. “First, empty all the pockets and shake the [bag] upside down to remove dust and debris. Turn the lining inside out and clean using a lint roller. If you cannot pull out the [bag] lining, vacuum using the fabric brush attachment.
  2. To clean the leather, mix a solution of warm water and dish soap.
  3. Dip a soft cloth into the solution, wring it out and wipe the exterior surfaces of the [bag].
  4. Use a second clean, damp cloth to wipe off the soap.
  5. Dry with a towel.

Note: Warm, soapy water will also remove water stains and scuffs.”

You may also want to apply a leather conditioner to your bag after cleaning to protect it from damage.


More Briefcase Care Tips

Beyond cleaning and organizing, what else can you do to extend your bag's lifetime?

Here are just a few more briefcase care tips:

  • Store your bag carefully – Avoid chucking it in the coat closet or stuffing it under your desk. Instead, store it in a safe place to keep it dry and protect it from spills or damage.
  • Pack your bag thoughtfully – Aim to minimize the contents of your bag and avoid overstuffing it. The bag’s handles and straps, and your chiropractor will thank you later.
  • Secure liquids and food items in a plastic bag – Avoid leaks, stains, and messes by protecting any toiletries or food in plastic bags. 

Any briefcase needs regular care. Still, you can start on the right track and save time by investing in a durable briefcase. 


Most Durable Briefcase Brand

xSuit has engineered a super briefcase. Our new line of briefcases features ballistic nylon and bio-leather. These vegan materials are more resistant to scratches, scuffs, and peeling than standard nylon or animal leather. 

Beyond water-resistant fabric and zippers, these ultra-durable bags have three times the shock absorption and one and a half times the stress tolerance of briefcases from industry leaders. We’re confident these briefcases can take a beating and still look as good as new for years – even a decade – to come.

Order an xBriefcase today. That way, the next time you spill you’re coffee, your bag is just a quick wipe away from letting you carry on with the rest of your day.