When you invest in a beautiful designer leather bag, keeping it forever and probably even passing it onto your kids is what you usually have in mind. Things that you don’t intend to do: get stains, scratches and generally let the leather go bad. However, it does take a bit of care to keep your luxury bags in tip top shape. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:
You know what they say: better to be safe than sorry. Caring for your leather tote starts from day one – use a good protection cream/treatment at least once every two to three months. This can prevent staining, grease penetration and so many more issues later on.
The first question to ask yourself is: how do you store your bags? Do you toss them in a heap at the bottom of the closet? Do you wrap them in something? Here’s the right way to do it: always keep them in an upright position in their dust bags or a cotton pillowcase – make sure never to store them in plastic or vinyl, because these tend to trap moisture inside. Also, stuff your bags with something to keep the shape intact – scarves, sweaters, or acid-free tissue paper, or a handbag insert work well.
Remember, the farther you stay away from home remedies when it comes to stains, the better. Baby wipes, vinegar and other DIY stuff for stain removal are not good news for your bag – many of these products have chemicals and substances in them that can cause colour damage, dry the leather out, create a build up of grease and cause so many other problems. For ink marks, your best bet is to take your bag to see a professional asap, but if that’s not possible, try a special ink-removing product for leather and follow the care instructions, making sure to condition the area afterwards and leave to dry properly. On tougher dirt, use a professional leather cleaning agent – these creams don't need to be rinsed out which means no further damage.
Caring for the lining
Makeup and ink are your worst enemies when it comes to keeping the inner of your bag clean. Always store your cosmetics and liquids in pouches so as to prevent spills and keep your bag organized to boot. Put those pens in a pouch too!
If you’ve just slathered yourself in hand cream, keep your bag a good distance from you unless you want grease stains. If you get a grease stain of any kind, simply wipe it off without using water. In addition to that, regular cleaning, even if it is just a quick wipe down is a must. Use a specialist cleaning product or even just a damp cloth + mild soapy water every 2-3 months to keep them in good condition. Invest in a good leather conditioner to keep the material supple and free of cracks – just like how you’d do for your hair!
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