How to Take Care of Your Designer Bags

red designer bag

We want you to enjoy your designer handbags for a lifetime, whether they are handbags, backpacks, tote bags, or other items. They must be appropriately cared for from the time they are created until they are in your arms. Especially if we are talking about your favorite luxury bags.

We’ve all experienced the beginning with a scratch, sometimes an unattractive wrinkle, or even a minor stain. The purse you once cherished gradually degrades, and before you realize it, all that’s left is a shell of what it once was. Everyone is guilty of neglecting the maintenance of their handbag, but if you’ve ever had to part with a luxury bag you adored, you now realize how important it is to properly maintain them. No matter if it’s a designer investment or a more budget-friendly model, any handbag in your collection deserves a little care.

Your most priceless items will remain gorgeous for years to come with the help of our helpful advice. You may learn everything there is to know about handbag care here, and the best ways to keep your purse in shape, as well as cleaning and storing ideas.

As women’s handbags come in a variety of materials, we have outlined the care needed for the most common textures:

red quilted handbag

How to Look After Your Leather Bags

1. Day-to-Day Care

The most important part in caring for your leather products is the daily maintenance. You may prevent excessive wear and tear and add years to the life of your accessories by adhering to a few straightforward rules:

  • Leather can stretch since it is a skin. To keep your handbag, purse, or wallet in its natural shape, try not to overfill them;
  • Spend some time each week using a soft cloth or brush to remove dust and stains; make sure to not overdo it, as this can create threadbare parts that will be visible;
  • Don’t hang your bag by the handle as it can crack and stretch;
  • When you’re out and about, take precautions to keep your purse away from sharp objects, elaborately embroidered clothing, and thick jewelry;
  • Get yourself a bag liner that will protect your designer bag from dirt and spill inside your purse. This will add some extra compartments as well;
  • Avoid getting your leather bag wet – even the drops of rain can cause stains due to the acidity in the water.

2. Deep cleaning and regular maintenance

Every once in a while you will notice that your leather bag is overall dirty or has some spots and stains. Or that there are some threads that need fixing. Or the is a scratch or crack. Here is what to do:

  • To clean your leather bag, use an emulsion by combining warm water and dish soap. Dip a delicate cloth into the mixture, wring it dry, and use it to gently wash the leather surfaces. To remove the soap, wipe the area with a fresh, damp cloth. Use a towel to dry. This will work perfectly on water stains and scuffs as well;
  • For though stains, use professional maintenance products only (not the ones sold in the supermarket). These can be found in specialized bags shops or online. Although a bit pricey, these leather cleaning products will surely pay off;
  • Polish your bag with professional balm to refresh the look. For black and dark leather, if you need a fast refresh, you can try to polish it with a hand cream. This is something I learned from my Grandma and works both on leather shoes and bags. First, test on an area that is not visible. If it works well and the coloring doesn’t change, use on the entire bag. Place a small amount of hand cream on a piece of clean and dry gentle cloth and softly rub it in the leather until it is all absorbed. This will give a new look of your bag. Don’t do it too often, only when the leather begins to look dull;
  • Repair any threads that are sticking out as soon as you see them. If you wait, chances are that the loose stitching will open up. Normally, you would need to take the bag to a professional for this repair;
  • The same applies for any cracks or holes in the leather itself. Thin and shallow scratches can be taken care of at home using a balm with a matching color. For deeper ones take the bag for repair. A good craftsman can correct it in a way it blends with the design or is barely visible by using leather fillers, for example;
  • Wash the lining: even if you have a handbags liner, you will need to wash the inside of your designer handbag eventually. Turn the lining inside out and wash it under warm running water or use a small wash basin. You will not be able to clean the lining that is close to the stitching with the leather. Take extra caution not to wet the leather in any way. Use dish soap or detergent. Rinse very well and hang to dry in a way that the lining hangs below the bag (the bag itself is at the top) and no water drops slide to the leather.

dolgi gabbana

 

3. Storing your leather bag

The appropriate storage is just as important. Here are some tips to ensure your designer bag will look just as good when you take it out, as when you placed it away.

  • Store the leather bag away from direct sunlight or heated places (near a radiator, air conditioning, etc.);
  • Place it in a closed compartment, and away from any excessive smells;
  • If the bag has chain straps or other larger metal parts, wrap them in wrapping paper or clean cloth to prevent scratches or imprints on the surface;
  • Always use a dust bag. This will keep the dust away (obviously), but will also prevent your bags rubbing into each other. If you store all your bags in the same place, it’s quite probable they will touch each other. This may cause your white designer bag to get some extra color, and not in a good way, if it’s sitting for a long time next to a black leather bag, for example. If your handbag doesn’t come with a dust bag when you buy it, you can use a cloth bag without coloring. Avoid plastic bags as they leave a smell and prevent the ventilation of the leather;
  • Stuff your purse with wrapping paper. The paper is best to be white or without coloring at all (just it’s natural light-wood color). This will keep the shape of the bag for longer and it will not look slattern  when taken out. This applies also to the small items, such as clutches and crossbody bags;
  • As we mentioned above, don’t hang your bag. Not advisory for a daily routine, nor for storage. This will ruin the handles and will cause the bag to look worn out.

How to take care of a faux leather handbag

Faux leather may look really beautiful and may resemble genuine leather. In addition, it is a vegan material that doesn’t come from animals, which makes it a preferred option for many women.

However, faux leather is not as durable as the patent leather, and needs extra care to last longer. The quality designer bags from reputable brands will last longer than the cheaper faux leather options. Although some of the maintenance of the leather and the faux leather bags overlaps, there are some differences. We will outline the full list of Do’s and Dont’s for the faux material.

1. Day-to-Day Care

black handbag

Below are our tips for your daily routines in order to keep your handbag looking good as long as possible:

  • Faux leather can also stretch, especially if you place a sharper object that is putting pressure on it, so avoid doing it;
  • Each week, or more often if needed, clean the surface using a soft cloth or brush to remove dust and stains; again, don’t rub too much as the coloring may come off;
  • Don’t hang your bag by the handle as it can crack and stretch;
  • Even more than the real leather, the faux one is subjective to scratches, so be cautious with sharp objects, metal detailing and chains;
  • Buy a bag liner to keep spills and dirt out of your fancy bag, and as a bonus get extra pockets;

2. Deep cleaning and regular maintenance of faux leather handbags

To take good care of your faux leather bag, below are some helpful tips:

  • To clean your faux material bag, use baby wipes and gently clean the purse. Use a paper towel or clean cloth to dry it;
  • Same as with the leather bag, repair any threads that are sticking out as soon as you notice them;
  • Thin scratches that have not damaged the surface may be concealed with a coloring balm of the same hue;
  • Unfortunately, deep scratches, cracks and holes are almost impossible to repair well; and it will be quite costly so may not be worth it unless it’s your very favorite bag;
  • Wash the lining: despite a handbags liner, you will need to wash the inside of your fashion bags. Turn the lining inside out and wash it under warm running water or use a small wash basin.  Be careful not to wet the bag, although it’s not as crucial as with the genuine leather. You can use a blend of water and soap. Rinse very well and hang to dry with the bag at the upper side.

3. Storing your faux leather bag

For faux purses, the appropriate storage is even more crucial. If stored incorrectly, the bag can be damaged to a point where you’ll need to part with it.

  • Perhaps the most important piece of helpful advice is to stuff your bag very well with wrapping paper. If the bag remains folded during storage, these folds may turn into cracks in time, which is irreversible. In addition, these folds may never fully recover after it is taken out;
  • Store the purse away from smells, direct sunlight or heated places;
  • Wrap any chains and metal decorations to avoid harming the surface;
  • Use a dust bag from natural materials (not nylon ones);
  • As we mentioned above, don’t hang your bag. Not advisory for a daily routine, nor for storage. This will ruin the handles and will cause the bag to look worn out.

Taking care of Your Suede HandBag

The softer, napped underside of the leather is called suede. As opposed to leather, suede is porous and absorbent. This is why it rapidly reveals stains from liquids and dirt. Thus, it’s crucial to remember that care for suede differs greatly from caring for more traditional leather. The good part is that with minimum work you can get maximum reward when it comes to suede care. We’re going to provide some helpful cleaning and storing advice.

suede tote bag in brown

1. Everyday care of suede bags

For the daily use of your suede handbag we suggest the following important points:

  • As suede can very easily get stained even from drops of water, always use an umbrella if going out on a rainy day. Rain can also alters the grain pattern of the bag; 
  • If the suede gets wet, immediately wipe it with a white cloth. This way the cloth will absorb the moisture and will minimize the possibility of stains;
  • On a weekly basis sweep the bag with a suede brush – this will remove dust and will freshen up its look. If you don’t have a suede brush, try using a toothbrush;
  • Again, be cautious not to hang the bag by its handle to avoid ruining them;
  • If the suede bag is in lighter colors, it should not be in contact with other bags and clothes of intense colors to avoid it getting colored;
  • For totes and shoulder bags, as well as backpacks, get yourself a bag liner – it will protect the lining and your belongings can be easily moved from one handbag to the other.

2. cleaning and maintenance of Suede purses

As the suede is stained more quickly, and at the same time the material may absorb the filth, it’s crucial to maintain more often and not leave dirt to layer up. Here are some useful tips:

  • As with canvas bags, providing the bag with some coating by applying a protection spray will lower chance of color transfer and less water absorption;
  • For suede bags, one of the most important accessories is the suede nail brush. Use it to brush off dust, to remove small stains and freshen its look. Don’t rub too much at the same spot, as this will ruin the surfacing and may cause the color and texture of the spot to change. If you are to brush several suede bags of different color, wash the brush beforehand to avoid color transfer;
  • For larger or more enduring stains you can try using a specific suede rubber. These rubbers feature a rough edge for cleaning suede handbags and a softer side for dusting off and polishing leather;
  • Special suede cleaners are available on the market for spots that neither the rubber nor the brush could remove. Be careful not to use water-based cleaners. We advise to consult a professional in this case;
  • Maintaining the color: there are some suede color sprays on the market. However, if it is not the classical black color, using such a spray may result in noticeable color difference. We recommend you take the suede bag for a re-dye to a professional. They can even dye it in a darker color if you decide for a change;
  • Once in a while, use a small scissors to trim the suede. Just cut out any threads that are really sticking out. Don’t cut to close to the base of the filament;
  • When needed, wash the lining of the bag in warm water and soap. Turn it inside out and gently wash only the accessible part of the lining – remember, that usually it’s bottom is the one that gets really filthy.

3. Storing the Suede bag

  • As suede is prone to absorbing humidity and odors, they need to be stored in a dry place;
  • Use a dust bag from natural material to keep it clean;
  • Keep the suede bag away from direct sunlight as this may cause the colors to fade;
  • As suede bags are usually unstructured, stuff your bag with white wrapping paper to maintain its shape;
  • Store away from other colored accessories;

Caring for Your Canvas Bag

Canvas, the substance from which the bag gets its name, is one of the three main categories of textile known as “plain-woven cloth.”  Being a natural fiber, the canvas needs little maintenance to last a long time, unlike synthetics, which are made to be stronger and more durable. Although this fabric has long been used in the fashion business, it is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to its environmental friendliness. As every other type of cloth, canvas does get dirty over time. To protect and maintain your favorite canvas bags, use the helpful hints below:

Gucci designer hand bag

1. Day-to-Day Care of canvas

For the everyday care of your fabric handbag we suggest the following:

  • As fabric can easily absorb smells,  avoid leaving the canvas bag in the kitchen or in smelly places during the daily wear;
  • If the handles are made out of leather, don’t hang the bag on them; instead, place it on a shelf, in a closet, etc.
  • The canvas bag should not be in contact with other bags and clothes of intense colors, as the canvas may absorb some of the coloring; this applies to your clothing when you wear the bag, so always mind your outfit if you want to preserve your bag;
  • A bag liner for the larger bags to avoid spills and dirt on the lining is always an excellent idea.

2. cleaning and maintenance of the canvas bag

The canvas gets dirty and stained more easily than the leather, be it genuine or faux. And cleaning it may be tricky. Below we have outlined the Do’s and Don’ts for the proper upkeep of your handbag.

  • One of the best things you can do for your canvas bag is to give it some protective coating by applying a waterproofing spray. If you use the bag regularly, it’s advisory to apply the product twice per month;
  • Always check the bag’s tag for information on how to clean this particular piece;
  • It’s always a good idea to test the detergent on a small and concealed are of the material;
  • Cleaning minor stains or marks may be done with a laundry pen or with a white cloth slightly wet with warm water and mild soap. Gently rub the dirty area and wipe the soap out with a damp cloth. Don’t rub too much or the coloring may change or the material may get frayed;
  • For tough but small stain spots try using a toothbrush to rub the dirty area; again, wipe away the soap with clean cloth;
  • If your canvas bag has larger stains or needs thorough cleaning, we recommend taking the bag to a specialist – they can do miracles!
  • Bags that are made solely of canvas can be machine-washed. Usually, this will be indicated on the label, together with the advisory temperature. If this is the case for yours, we recommend washing the bag by itself to avoid color bleeding from or to it;
  • Some handbags may be appropriate for hand-wash only. Usually, these are bags with screen prints, painted images, sewed or glued charms, and embroidered motifs.
  • Don’t wash your canvas bag in the washing machine if it has any parts of leather or it’s a luxury bag – these need a special care by a professional, or you’ll risk damaging it;
  • Don’t use bleach – it will create spots even on white canvas;
  • Never tumble-dry your handbag, even if it is suitable for machine washing;
  • Maintaining the lining: as with the other bags’ materials, despite a handbags liner, you will need to wash the inside of your canvas bag. Turn the lining inside out and wash it under warm running water or use a small wash basin. Pay attention not to wet the bag, although it’s not as crucial as with the leather. You can use a blend of water and soap. Rinse very well and hang to dry with the bag at the upper side.

3. Storing your Canvas bag

  • As canvas is susceptible to absorbing moisture and smells, they need to be stored in a dry place;
  • Even more important for canvas bags is not to be stored in plastic, as this may lead to molding over time;
  • Always use a linen or cotton dust bag, as it’s harder to get dust out of canvas handbags;
  • Don’t leave your bag on direct sunlight as this may cause the colors to fade;
  • Stuff your bag with white wrapping paper to maintain its shape;
  • Store away from other colored bags or clothes;

We hope these tips for caring for your designer bags are helpful and will provide some extra years to your favorite ones!

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