So, you just splurged on a new handbag– good for you! The most important part of an investment like a designer handbag is to take care of it so that it lasts for years to come. There are a couple of easy things you can do when storing, using, and cleaning your bag to ensure it stays like new for as long as possible.
When you aren’t using your bag, be sure to store it in an area that is away from direct sunlight or heat, so your bag doesn’t have any fading. It’s best to keep it in a dust bag that will help protect the bag from sunlight and from getting dusty or dirty.
I like to stuff my bags with tissue paper that can help remove an moisture from the bag, as well as help the leather retain its shape so the surface doesn’t warp or wrinkle.
Wear and tear will happen naturally with a bag, but there are a few things to be extra careful with while using your bag.
Be careful around dark denim jeans or other dark fabrics that may bleed onto the surface of the bag. You can always test if your jeans or something else will crock (the technical term) by rubbing white paper against it. If you can see color, keep it away from your bag!
Always have an umbrella or some way to protect your bag from rain. I’ve shamelessly carried my Louis Vuitton in a plastic shopping bag before! If your bag gets wet, gently blot with a dry cloth, but don’t rub the bag as it may damage the material.
It’s good to be slightly more careful with your designer bag while you use it. Double check the surfaces you set it on to make sure they aren’t wet. Be careful not to bump hardware against walls or doors. And think twice about what you put inside your bag (think liquids, makeups, and pens!).
You should also be careful about cosmetic products around your bag. Things like lotion, self tanner, or hand sanitizer can stain your bag as you carry it, especially if these products sweat off your hands. It’s much easier to prevent a stain than to fix it.
Keep your bag looking nice by gently wiping it with a light colored, soft cloth frequently. Most designer bag brands will tell you not to apply protectants such as mink oil or leather lotions, because they could discolor or damage the material or color of the bag. For example, these will start to remove the printing on a Louis Vuitton coated canvas.
If your bag does get stained, its best to contact a professional cleaner. Different materials react differently to cleaners, solvents, or soaps that you may try to clean your bag with. You can often make a small blemish worse by adding something to it! Some blemishes may also fade over time as your bag develops a patina.
The most important thing is to just be a little more cautious with your new designer bag. Think twice about where you set it, or what you put in it, to prevent a major headache later! Also remember that the bag will age over time, and minor blemishes will just become part of the character of the item.