I just had a few showers with mine then set it in front of a heater.
Ten years of wear condensed into an afternoon of shit-kicking and washing
“First I put the bag through my super-duper secret distress technique of kicking the shit out of it in my back yard. Literally… kicking the shit out of it all around the backyard. Then threw it in the washer with a little Woolite and a couple cap fulls of bleach. Finished it off in the dryer with a couple dry towels and a few dryer sheets. Came out soft, 4-5 shades lighter and the leather is soft with highs and lows in the color. Used it this weekend to run out of town.”
I have to admit that as lovely as this bag is, I’m not on board for the whole “crazy stuff done to distress something” thing. Why not just use your stuff? If you take your bag out back and kick it around and wash it with bleach and so on and so forth, you’re transforming it into a simulacrum of what you’d like it to be, aren’t you? To say nothing of using up much of its useful life, which bothers me nearly as much. Why not enjoy it as something new, then enjoy it as something old, rather than trying to create the latter state with abuse?
Use your stuff!