So you´ve taken the plunge and bought that new Fendi bag; you´ve showed it off to all your friends and have countless outfit ideas you just know will look great with it. But what about cleaning your bag? Or storing it? These are two decisive aspects that could either lower or raise your bag´s resell value, when the time comes to part ways with it.
To help you out, we´ve collected a few fool-proof ways to ensure your bag will look brand new for years to come. As a little disclaimer however, we should add that all of these tips are just that, tips, and when in doubt it´s always imperative to consult a professional in the matter. Be sure to always, always, search into detail about the material your bag is made of since some of these tips can actually damage and not enhance your bag if done on the wrong fabric.
Flawless leather on gorgeous designer bags doesn´t just happen naturally, it has probably already been “conditioned”. The same way you would moisturize your own skin, leather bags should be moisturized to ensure the material stays supple and crack free for as long as possible. That being said conditioning is only something you can do at home if your bag is made out of smooth leather (If your bag is Lambskin leather, for example, we would recommend consulting with a professional first). Start by making sure your bag is as free of dirt as possible, try using a soft brush and gently stroke the leather clean. After that, take a half dried make up removing wipe, and start by rubbing it in evenly onto the surface of your bag. Finish off by using a clean cloth to wipe away any excess product, and you´re all done! We can´t stress enough the need to know your bag before you condition it. Conditioning at home is fine as long as your bag is Chanel caviar leather for example, but won´t work if your bag is a lambskin Chanel. On that same note, it will work just fine on Louis Vuitton bags as long as it´s not the vernis leather.
Stains are inevitable in day-to-day use, but there are ways you can ensure they make the least amount of damage possible. (Before you start, always be sure to spot test a patch in a non-visible area of your bag)
- Oil marks on a leather bag: Dust the stain in corn starch and let it sit while you sleep, when you wake up the next morning, the mark will be long gone. If you can still see traces of the stain, repeat the process until you´re satisfied with the results. This method is particularly useful on stains that have set in the corners of your bag, you can works these out by taking a toothbrush and gently pushing the starch into the stain and repeating the processed over a few days until the stain is completely gone.
- Oil marks on a suede bag: You can remove it by taking a suede block in a white or a neutral color, and rubbing it on the stain. It works just as well as an eraser would, but for suede.
- Stains that won´t budge: Find a shoe polish that matches your bag (make sure your bag is made of leather, this tip will not work on other materials), and buff the area with a small amount of the polish.
- Unwanted odors: Your favorite brand of cigarettes and luxury handbags don´t really go together, so if you find out your bag is starting to smell, placing a handful or baking powder inside a container with no lid and letting it sit in the interior of your bag should do the trick. Be sure to placing your bag inside a dust bag or a pillowcase while the baking powder does its job, after 24hs all smells should be gone.
Make sure to always keep your items neatly stored inside your bag. Cosmetics should be kept in its appropriate makeup bag, and cash and loose change should always be stored in a wallet. Stains on the inside of your bag could lower your items resell value just as much as stains on the outside could. That being said, if you do happen to see your favorite bronzer implode inside your designer purse, a few make up removing wipes will do the trick in no time.
Another great way to prevent damage on your bag is by not wearing light colored bags with dark colored clothing. Color transfer is real, and fixing it is almost next to impossible even for an experienced cleaner.
As a final insider tip on preventing damage, be sure to never, never touch your bag after you´ve put hand cream on. We speak from experience when we say that your bag (in our case, a glorious white LV Alma which was almost ruined beyond repair) will end up with horrible grease stains if you do.
Be sure to store your bags in place that are not high in humidity since too much moisture, or even sunlight can cause leather – along with suede and fabric - to fade. Keeping the dust-bag and/or box your item came in originally is also a great way to keep them safe from harm. If you didn´t keep your dust-bag, or if you lost it, you can always use a soft, natural fiber pillowcase. Be sure to never use plastic bags to store your bags, since it can cause the material to scratch.
To make sure your bags don´t lose their structure or break the zipper, be sure to not overstuff it when storing. It´s also a good idea to keep you stuffing inside a second dust-bag when placing it in your handbag, this will ensure the lining and leather are not ruined when taking it out. Last, but not least, always double check that the chain straps (or other metal accessories) are safely tucked inside your bag when being stored; delicate material such as lamb skin are very easily damaged by metal rubbing against it.
We´re always more than happy to help, so don´t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have about keeping your new bag pristine. You can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org, Instagram at @beccasbagsboutique, or on Twitter at @beccasbags.