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Old 28.08.2012, 18:26
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smelly leather - what to do?

I bought this very nice bag in Spain, handmade of raw leather, just what I had been looking for and for a very fair price. So here I thought I had made a good bargain but when we arrived home it turned out the bag smells - actually it stinks like hell and therefore it is pretty useless for normal occasions, only in queues and overcrowded places it would come in handy.

Does anyone have a good idea what to do? We have put newspaper in to take the smell away and I also used a shoe deodorant which both have helped a little, but still not to my satisfaction.

I could swear it smells like a camel....
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Old 28.08.2012, 18:43
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

If you read about the tanning process, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather_tanning

maybe the leather was not rinsed enough? I suggest soaking it iimmersed in water for several days, but I have NO experience!
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Old 28.08.2012, 18:46
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

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If you read about the tanning process, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather_tanning

maybe the leather was not rinsed enough? I suggest soaking it iimmersed in water for several days, but I have NO experience!
Actually that could be the case. But I'm hesitant to soak it in water, might ruin it totally in the end. Though I do know that stains in leather can be washed with soap and water, just like skin.
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Old 28.08.2012, 19:04
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

I've heard that genuine leather bags often do smell bad when they are new, so that's probably a good thing, the smell of course, is not.

Maybe sprinkle the inside with baking soda and or dry tea leaves, these are both good at absorbing odours, then leave it somewhere that it can safely air.

For the outside, you can always go to a saddler or motorbike shop and pick up some leather soap, that should help as well, good luck with your new bag, give it some time and you should be able to use it.
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Old 28.08.2012, 19:16
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

Landi sell leather soap.

I really feel you need to wash it, inside and out. If you read the link, the tanning process uses a lot of soaking and drying. I reckon if you fill it with large river bed stones, sink it in a large bowl of water, and soak it for several days, and then dry it, it won't come to any harm. Try and avoid straining it when wet, as the leather might then stretch and become miss-shapen.

http://www.howtogetridofstuff.com/odor-removal/how-to-get-rid-of-leather-smell/


.

Last edited by Sbrinz; 28.08.2012 at 19:34. Reason: added link
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Old 28.08.2012, 19:25
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

Wouldn't a leather cleaner be a better and safer option?

Or, I found this...

http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-t...leather-smell/
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Old 28.08.2012, 19:27
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

Lots and lots of advice if you Google. Bonne chance.
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Old 28.08.2012, 19:32
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

Definitely don't soak it in water. Does it just smell very strongly of leather or does it stink of something more horrible? Also, what color is it?
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Old 28.08.2012, 19:38
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

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Definitely don't soak it in water. Does it just smell very strongly of leather or does it stink of something more horrible? Also, what color is it?
The link above states,
Vinegar, Ammonia, and Baking Soda Treatments

Here are other ways that you can use to remove the smell from leather items:
  • Soak the leather in a weak solution of water and distilled white vinegar.
  • Mix together household ammonia and water to make a weak ammonia solution, and soak the leather item in it.
  • Place a liberal amount of baking soda inside a pillowcase or zip-lock bag big enough for your leather item to fit. Allow the leather to sit in there overnight.
  • Make sure that after you use these odor-removal treatments, you clean and condition the leather. (Tips on how to clean leather)
You need to get rid of the smell, not cover it up. Or you can wait until it goes away.
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Old 28.08.2012, 19:43
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

One of my friends bought a new leather bag, I absolutely loved it but it stank so badly of farm. He, who'd had it for about a month had become used to it, so there's the chance that you won't notice it..... Anyway I don't have any useful advice but googling... bonne chance!
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Old 28.08.2012, 19:51
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

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Definitely don't soak it in water. Does it just smell very strongly of leather or does it stink of something more horrible? Also, what color is it?
It's brown and it does smell like...... camel poop. On the one hand it does not smell like chemically treated leather, but on the other hand this is very annoying, I can't take that bag anywhere.
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:05
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

Have you read Sbrinz's link on leather tanning:

Once the hair was removed, the tanners would bate the material by pounding dung into the skin or soaking the skin in a solution of animal brains. Among the kinds of dung commonly used were that of dogs or pigeons. Sometimes the dung was mixed with water in a large vat, and the prepared skins were kneaded in the dung water until they became supple, but not too soft. The ancient tanner might use his bare feet to knead the skins in the dung water, and the kneading could last two or three hours.
It was this combination of urine, animal feces and decaying flesh that made ancient tanneries so odiferous.[citation needed]
Children employed as dung gatherers were a common sight in ancient cities. Also common were "piss-pots" located on street corners, where human urine could be collected for use in tanneries or by washerwomen. In some variations of the process, cedar oil, alum or tannin were applied to the skin as a tanning agent. As the skin was stretched, it would lose moisture and absorb the agent.




I imagine in southern Spain and north Africa, camel poop would be just the thing
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:09
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

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The link above states,
Vinegar, Ammonia, and Baking Soda Treatments

Here are other ways that you can use to remove the smell from leather items:
  • Soak the leather in a weak solution of water and distilled white vinegar.
  • Mix together household ammonia and water to make a weak ammonia solution, and soak the leather item in it.
  • Place a liberal amount of baking soda inside a pillowcase or zip-lock bag big enough for your leather item to fit. Allow the leather to sit in there overnight.
  • Make sure that after you use these odor-removal treatments, you clean and condition the leather. (Tips on how to clean leather)
You need to get rid of the smell, not cover it up. Or you can wait until it goes away.
That's great. But I think it depends on what it is. It may well lose it's shape and color. I wouldn't just assume everything made of leather can nor should be soaked in water.

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It's brown and it does smell like...... camel poop. On the one hand it does not smell like chemically treated leather, but on the other hand this is very annoying, I can't take that bag anywhere.
Ew. I would leave it out for a while and see what happens. I have some stinky shoes (the leather! They don't stink of feet!). They are suede and it's more of simple strong dyed leather smell. But little by little the smell has dissipated. I leave them out, not in the closet. Sadly they weren't that cheap.

Also try the leather soap, testing a corner of the bag to be careful it doesn't change the color, if you really like the color. You'll probably need a combination of treatments and time. At least before you dump it or soak it.
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:16
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

I wonder if they still do it the way they did in medieval times? The leather looks raw to me, so maybe the color is natural and not tanned. As I said, it's not the smell you are used to when buying leather products here, that's all chemicals but not the real smell.
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:17
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

The leather making process uses many "soaking in water" stages,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather_tanning

if you treat the bag gently it should keep it's shape, what can go wrong?
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:18
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

Am I missing something I have leather handbags and purses I love the smell of them they don't smell of poop
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:21
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

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Ew. I would leave it out for a while and see what happens. I have some stinky shoes (the leather! They don't stink of feet!). They are suede and it's more of simple strong dyed leather smell. But little by little the smell has dissipated. I leave them out, not in the closet. Sadly they weren't that cheap.

Also try the leather soap, testing a corner of the bag to be careful it doesn't change the color, if you really like the color. You'll probably need a combination of treatments and time. At least before you dump it or soak it.
It has been out ever since we returned, it was unbearable in the house, and MG's SIL also kepps putting newspapers in to get the smell out.
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:37
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

I know this might sound a bit odd, but have you tried filling the bag with cat litter?
I know that you can use that to get rid of the smell from trainers, so it might work with this bag too.....hopefully. (And then you can pass it on to some kitty owner afterwards)

Good luck!
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:38
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

,,,,,,the litter that is.....not the bag!
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Old 28.08.2012, 20:38
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Re: smelly leather - what to do?

Leather goods bought in Spain are often made from cheap imported camel hide from Morocco, across the water.

If it smells of camel poop, then you can probably guess which part of the beast the hide came from ..... looks like you're lumbered; - just take care if you use it on a visit to a zoo ..... you could well attract unwelcome attention.
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