A luxury bag is a pretty hefty investment – and you’d expect them to last you for a long time after forking out a mini fortune to get them. However, you can’t just leave your bags on a shelf or cupboard and expect them to stay the same (after all, humidity is the worst foe for any leather product). You have to give your investments a little extra TLC.
Here’s all the proper bag care practices you need to know to extend the lifespan of your branded bag!
1. Stuff and bag it up to maintain your bag’s shape
The next time you stow away your bag, you may wish to consider stuffing it with some newspaper first. The stuffed newspaper will prevent the bag from folding and creasing, helping it to retain its original shape. We highly recommend wrapping the newspaper with a layer of tracing paper first though (a precautionary step to prevent any ink or dirt from the newspaper transferring on to the insides of your bag). If you dislike the idea, just swap the newspaper for butcher’s paper.
When storing them, try not to hang them up as it might wear out the straps. Instead, keep the bag in the cloth dust bags it comes in, cover it well before placing it in a box. No dust bag? An old pillowcase will do too! They will help keep out the dust and minimise contact with moisture in the environment. Do take it out of the storage for a check every few weeks and air it to halt the growth of mould!
2. Spilling the tea on spills
It’s a hazard that we have to deal with when we bring our luxury bags out for a whirl. Though unfortunate, it might happen even when we are being really careful. Do not use sanitising baby wipes to clean them, even if you have some on hand. These wipes contain alcohol and oil which are bad for your bag. Go for water-based cleaner wipesinstead (e.g. ColorWash’s Soft Cleaner Wipes).
If you’ve already given them a good ol’ wipe and the stains aren’t really budging, it’s time to bring them in to a professional. Whatever you do, do not attempt to remove the stains with home soap or cleaners you have laying around the house (these products do some serious damage to the leather).
3. Dry it down
With the weather being a tad finicky, it’s hard to tell when you and your bag will be caught in a downpour. As soon as you’re out of the rain, wipe off water droplets with a soft, dry cloth. Next, stuff them with old newspapers (who knew that newspaper would be so handy)! The newspapers will help to absorb excess moisture.
Protip: Never expose leather to direct high heat or direct sunlight. This will dry up the natural oils found in the leather, which causes cracks to form.
4. Treat yo’ leather
The most basic of basic practices: buy a good leather conditioner and protective spray or wax. A good conditioner moisturises and softens leather products to prevent drying and cracking. The protective spray or wax (whichever you fancy), should work in tandem with the conditioner to help keep stains and moisture at bay.
Special leathers such as suede do require specialised products so do make an effort to do some research first before making any purchase!
5. Packed like sardines… not!
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t store your bags next to each other. Some bags are coated with enamel and wax which may melt and stick to other surfaces when exposed to heat over a period of time. Do leave a little space between all of them when you’re storing them!
Pro tip: Avoid storing them in any plastic or vinyl as these materials trap moisture in them.
6. Combat against odour
Don’t rush to put your leather bag away upon returning home. Leave them out in a cool, dry spot or under a ceiling fan and let them air for a few hours. A little too late for you? Don’t fret, odour removers can be used but harsh solvent-based or aerosol odour removers should be avoided as it can harm the leather and cause discolouration.
Alternatively, you can place an open container of baking powder inside your bag, store your bag into a dust bag or pillow case and leave it for a day. The baking powder should absorb any lingering smells.
7. Enforce the no touching and rotation rule
Strictly no touching your bag when you’ve just applied hand cream or lotion. Do it and you’re kind of just asking for grease stains.
Also, the more you use one bag, the more worn it’s going to be. To keep your handbags looking new (for as long as possible), swap them out on occasion.
And there you have it! If you’re going to invest in something you might as well invest a little more time and care too – luxury bags are things to be cherished after all.
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