I get messages about how I keep my handbags clean or how I store my handbags, so I thought I would do a quick post on things I’ve learned and my tips and tricks on how to maintain my handbags throughout the years. These are things that I can do at home and require little to no extra cost.
- Store your bags upright in a cool, dark place and in their dust bag. When you’re not using your bag, it is still spending time being used in storage. Storage is essential in the longevity of your handbag; it is just as important your are careful with your handbags when you are not using them. Store bags away standing upright (and stuffed with some tissue paper, clean old t-shirt, or an actual bag pillow) to help keep its shape. Make sure it’s also in a place that is cool and away from water, as humidity and heat can damage leather. And while some people might prefer to display their bags, it is better to store them in their dust bags, just in case anything were to happen. Also, it is not recommended to store leather goods in boxes in the long run, as it doesn’t allow the leather to breathe.
- To prevent any color transfer, test clothing out on a white towel. This is a tip I learned from one of my Chanel SA’s when asking her about color transfer and light colored bags, so all credit goes to her (thanks Angie!). Take a white towel and rub it for 10 seconds on your jeans or whatever piece of clothing you are planning on wearing with your bag. If there is dye transfer, then it will most likely transfer on to your light colored bags.
- Handles are more likely to show wear, so I like to use scarves to protect them from wear and tear. For handheld bags, the handles are more likely to show wear because you are constantly touching it with your hands. Your hands naturally have oils on them and over time, those oils will build up on the handle. Also to go along with that, your hand creams, lotions and other residues can also build up (I am guilty of this as I can be too impatient to let my lotion dry before reaching for my bag). As a precaution – and also a way to jazz up your bag – consider getting a scarf to wrap around the handle(s) to prevent wear. While many luxury houses sell their own version of it – Hermes with the twilly and Dior with the mitzah – you can find tons of options from other retailers (like this one and this one on Amazon).
- Tuck straps and chains away inside the bag. While it is definitely easier to just put your bag away without doing anything with the chain or strap, the extra pressure those things add to the bag may end up causing unnecessary wear in the long run. I’ve seen photos of Chanel flaps with indents on the quilts because the chains were not properly tucked into the bag. If the chain can be removed or tucked in, I would recommend taking them off or tucking them into the bag so that they are not putting any extra pressure on any areas of the bag when in storage.
- Use alcohol-free baby wipes to wipe down any surface marks you see some up on bags. I use baby wipes – alcohol-free only!- to wipe down my bags if I ever see its getting a little dirty. I go over the affected area in light circles, making sure I am not saturating any part of the bag. I also let it air dry before putting it away. I only recommend this for dirt marks. For example, I have used baby wipes on the lambskin trim of my Vanity Case after seeing a black dirt mark and it got rid of the mark completely. If there is something like a pen mark or oil stain, I recommend seeking professional treatment for your bag. When using a baby wipe, you want to make sure it is not overly saturated: it can end up damaging the bag if it is overly damp and ruin the leather.
My biggest take away on taking care of your bags is taking a little extra time to do little things to ensure that your bag looks as good as the day you got it for longer. Taking a minute or two for preventative care is the key in helping maintaining your bags.
These are things I do when storing my bags away. These are things that I’ve learned through reading forums and talking with other bag enthusiasts and on recommendation from sales associates. Hope this helped some of you out! And I also want to insert a little side note that these are just my recommendations. While I try to give advice on things I’ve learned, this is not professional advice and still do your research to make sure you are making the best choices for you (and your handbags).
Let me know if you have any tips to share on maintaining your bags!