Have you invested quite a lot of money in a designer handbag that can be easily worn after 5 or even 10 years? You are not alone. All-time classics are must-haves for sure. However, when we want to have a forever item, we want to be certain that it receives all the TLC it needs to maintain its gorgeous looks for long! So, how do we clean our precious? How do we bring the material or leather designer handbags in out “arsenal” back to life?
Taking care of leather is challenging. You could end up with a damaged (and expensive) bag that you can do nothing else but throw it away. But, scuffs and stains need to be removed, so the leather bag remains in mint condition. The key is in prevention. According to experts, purchasing a protection cream and apply once in every couple of months is paramount to protecting our bags. And, with proper protection comes less staining and fewer problems overall.
But, besides protecting our valuable possession, regular cleaning is also important. So, even if you have the time to just wipe it down while on the go, do it. All you need is a damp cloth. But, we must note that a designer bag needs some extra care from a professional from time to time. Or, if you don’t want to hand your baby over to a complete stranger, you can buy specialist cleaning products and use them every couple of months.
That said, here are some golden rules/tips that could save the day!
♥ Use warm water and a couple of drops of mild liquid detergent (soapy water) and wipe your bag once a week with a soft damp cloth. That way, you won’t let dirt accumulate on the outside of the bag.
♥ If you notice a stain, better avoid using vinegar, baby wipes or any other home stain removal or cleaning solution because you may do more harm than good. These products have substances that could discolor the bag, dry the leather out, and much more.
♥ Like with any stains, ink marks should be addressed immediately, if you want to stand a chance. Your best option when that happens is to take your bag to the emergency room, meaning a professional the soonest possible. Alternatively, and if you keep an ink removing product somewhere in the house, is to use it. Make sure you follow instructions like a Bible, though, and always condition the leather after the treatment. Allow to dry properly and don’t rush it.
♥ For old ink stain, any attempt to remove them will probably end up fruitless after they have dried out. When left untreated for long, these types of stains tend to become too persistent. In this case, take your bag to a professional.
♥ For other stubborn stains use a professional leather cleaning agent. These don’t need rinsing, hence don’t cause further damage to your bag. They are more expensive than other products, but they totally worth it because of the results they produce.
♥ Always use a product intended for the use you want it and the material you want to use it on. For example, if you are cleaning a suede interior with a general leather cleaner you won’t achieve the same staggering results as with a cleaner specifically designed for suede. This is because suede is more fibrous than leather.
♥ When you are not using the bag, keep it stuffed. You will help maintain its shape for long.
♥ Don’t try to remove a grease stain with water, because you will damage the leather (wipe off the surface) and make a bigger mess than before. Needless to say, try to limit the creation of grease stains yourself. This means that if you have just applied hand cream, wait until it is completely absorbed before you hold the bag.
♥ Before you use a new product on your bag, always spot-test it on the inside of the bag or any other area that is unseen to avoid unpleasant surprises.
♥ Some bags come with a dust bag. If yours did, use it by all means. Their main purpose of creation is to keep the handbag dust-free when you are not wearing it. Now, if you don’t have a dust bag, don’t worry. An old pillowcase will do just fine!
♥ Never leave your bag in direct sunlight or you will soon notice that the leather is damaged, and the color has faded.
♥ Another common mistake we all do is wear a light-colored bag with dark clothing. This habit could ruin the color of the bag because the dark dye from our clothes could transfer to the bag. And, our experience has shown that such stains are a nightmare as they are very difficult to remove.
♥ If you own an expensive handbag, maybe you want to consider buying Stain Cover. That way, when and if your bag gets messy, you will always have an alternative or some compensation to ease your pain!
♥ Another reason leather bags are discolored is the use of saddle soap. Many believe it cleans and nurtures leather but, in fact, it’s not. It is actually too strong for that material.
♥ If you have tried everything at home and you still have stubborn stains, try buffing small amounts of shoe polish over the affected area. Only make sure you match the color of the bag with that of the polish for an even result.
♥ If you notice a foul odour coming from the bag, try to identify the cause of the nasty smell and choose the appropriate odor remover. Be careful, though, because products that contain aerosol or harsh solvents might damage both the color and leather of the bag. So, always spot-test before use.
♥A tried homemade remedy that actually works on removing smells is baking soda. Carefully place an open container of baking soda inside the bag and then place the handbag into a pillow case (or dust bag). Leave at least overnight. In the morning, all bad odors will be gone. In the rare cases they don’t, leave the bag in the pillow case for 24 hours. That will work for sure!
♥ Always wipe with the grain of your bag to prevent damaging the leather.
Finally, if you still can’t get the result you are looking for then you can depend on the handbag cleaning experts at Love Your Shoes to get your favourite handbag(s) looking as good as new in no time! Check out our website here – handbag cleaning! Our prices are affordable and our quality is the best in Canada!
We hope to serve you soon!