The Croc Doc Shop
Vintage Alligator/Crocodile Purses, etc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I restore my old alligator purse?


  First remove all dust and dirt from the skins with a slightly damp soft cloth. Then stuff the purse with tissue paper till it is in its smooth original shape. Now here is my best kept secret. My favorite product for restoring skins is Pledge furniture polish. Trust me, it works like a charm. Shake up the can and spray a very thin layer over the entire purse then rub it in with a soft cloth, (never use a brush) , then buff, buff, buff....the more you buff, the shinier it gets!  If you do this once a month the skins on your bag will stay in beautiful condition.

     If the corners are rubbed and the glaze is worn, here is a great tip. Take some clear nail polish and brush a tiny bit on the worn corners, then using your finger wipe it off immediately. This will save you from having to reglaze the entire bag.

    If the skins are very dry on your bag, do not use oils or shoe creams. This could cause the scales to dry and peel off. It is very important to hydrate the skins gradually. So on very dry skins, I suggest that you use a thin coat of solid Kiwi shoe polish, (in the color of the skins or neutral). Using a soft cloth, (never use a brush), apply a thin coat, rub it in, wait for it to dry, then buff. If the skins on the purse are in good condition, I highly recommend Meltonian shoe cream. It is top of the line and will leave your purse looking pristine. Just follow the same directions, apply a thin coat with a soft cloth, rub it in, and after it dries, buff away!

     Also be sure to keep the purse in a dust cover. Dust is the main reason for dryness, and dryness is what causes cracking in the skins.

      NEVER use Crazy Glue or Super Glue to try to repair cracks or broken handles. Once you use either of these products on your skins....consider your purse trashed!

How can I tell the difference between alligator and crocodile?


It is very hard to tell the difference, but if you look very closely at most crocodile skins, you will see tiny dot indentations, which are actually hair follicles.

How can I tell the quality of an alligator/croc purse?

I always first look at the skins. The finest alligator/croc skin purses are made from the skins of the underbelly. They have a very beautiful symmetrical pattern.

If you have any other questions about the care or maintenance of your vintage alligator handbag, CLICK HERE and ask the Croc Doc!