A handbag is normally a planned purchase. Women tend to splurge more on handbags than on any other wardrobe component. It is because, good handbags tend to last long. This brings us to why and how we should take care of them.
Protect the Material: Handbags are usually made of leather, leatherette, fabric, silicone etc. Now each of these materials need a different kind of handling and care. Ensure your bags always have the dust cover on them while not in use.
You want to avoid over-cleaning your leather handbags because a build-up of chemical products will also contribute to the destruction of your bag. Spot clean with water as necessary.
If your handbag is made of leather then you might want to invest in a Leather Cleaner, which is an affordable leather-safe option that will keep your bag clean and looking like new.
- Store Them Properly: They’ll last longer if stored the right way, ideally in an upright position in their dust bags or a cotton pillowcase. Never store them in plastic or vinyl, which traps moisture inside. Stuff your bags with scarves, sweaters, or acid-free tissue paper, or use a handbag insert made for this purpose. Cross the handles over each other to avoid wear on the bag and unclip any removable straps for long-term storage. Leaving handles with heavy hardware to hang on the sides of your bag when not in use will put added stress on the handbag or may cause tearing so make sure that you always zip or fasten your handbags and then overlap any handles on top of it.
Remove Stains Right Away: The first step is to know what type of stain you’re dealing with, as that will dictate the removal method. See specific techniques below!
- Food stains: Crush white chalk and let it sit on the stain overnight. Brush off with a clean cloth in the morning.
- Oil stains: Put cornstarch on the stain immediately, rubbing it in to create heat from friction, which will help the oil absorb. Brush the powder off with a clean cloth after you’ve rubbed it in—don’t let it sit on the stain.
- Ink stains: If the stain is fresh, use a white eraser to immediately erase the spot, without applying too much pressure so that the color doesn’t come off. If the ink is already set, you’ll need a professional. An eraser also works for dirt stains.
- Water stains: Blot water stains, let them dry naturally, and bring your bag to a professional for removal.
Odor removal: Keep a plastic bag filled with baking soda inside your handbag. Zip the handbag or place it in a larger bag that seals if it doesn’t zip. Keep the baking soda in the bag for one or two days to absorb the odor. Another option? Place a couple of dryer sheets in the bag for a few days.
For stains and wear and tear beyond your handbag maintenance skill set, take it to a handbag repair professional. Most shoe repair professionals also work on handbags. They’ll treat it for you, clean it, and restore color as needed. If your bag doesn’t have metal feet on the bottom, it’s wise to have those installed, as they’ll protect it from scratches and dirt. Do your best to keep away jewelry and zippers that could scratch your bag’s metal hardware.
- Protect The Lining: Use pouches to store cosmetics and liquids, which will protect the handbag lining from spills and keep you organized to boot. Avoid click pens at all cost, opting for pens with caps instead. Better yet, put those in your pouch too, in case of dreaded ink leaks.
Practice Routine Maintenance: Here are a few best practices when it comes to daily handbag maintenance:
1. Avoid handling your bag if your hands are dirty or have lotion or cream on them.
2. Keep your bag out of direct sunlight.
3. Rotate which handbag you carry regularly so that they don’t wear out too quickly.
4. Use a suede brush to clean and revive suede.
5. Regular use of a leather moisturizer will keep the leather supple and free of cracks.
6. Wipe your bag down on a weekly basis (when in use) with a soft cloth.