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Caring for your luxury handbag: 5 tips to keep your most prized possession looking pristine

From storing it carefully to quickly removing stains, here are some of the best ways you can look after your designer handbag.

By LLM Reporters  |  March 14, 2022
Looking after your designer handbag

It’s often said that a woman can never have too many handbags, and when they’re of the luxury, designer variety, this couldn’t be more true. The perfect piece to finish off any carefully curated outfit, there’s no denying that the latest ‘it bag’ can be a major investment, but because you’re paying for quality as well as a well-known name, you can be sure that it will last you for years to come. Classic bags, in particular, are a wise choice, as they will never fall out of favour, and will see you through all types of occasion long into the future, but it’s essential that you take good care of yours to ensure that it lasts the distance.

Just like clothes and shoes, luxury handbags require a little TLC to keep them looking their best and to minimise wear and tear. So, if you’re on the verge of treating yourself to a brand new must-have bag, then take note of these five tips for keeping it as pristine as when you bought it, shared with us by the experts at luxury fashion re-commerce site, BrandRated.

Know your leather

Gucci bag
It’s important to research what type of leather your handbag is made from so that you can read up on how to care for it best. Image credit: Pixinoo/Bigstock.com

All luxury handbags are not created equal, and can be made from different types of leather. The most common types include patch leather, cowhide and lambskin leathers, while vegan handbags are made from faux alternatives. It’s important to research what type of leather your handbag is made from so that you can read up on how to care for it best – as what works for one of your prized accessories might not be right for another.

Practice regular maintenance

Luxury handbag
To keep the exterior looking clean, wipe down regularly with a baby wipe, but be sure to avoid wipes that contain alcohol to avoid damaging the leather. Image credit: tinx/Bigstock.com

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your designer bag at its best. The insides of handbags can quickly begin to gather dust and debris, so take some time on a weekly basis to empty them out, turn them upside down and gently shake them out. To keep the exterior looking clean, wipe down regularly with a baby wipe, but be sure to avoid wipes that contain alcohol to avoid damaging the leather.

Store it carefully

Yves Saint Laurent bags
Put your bag away carefully when not in use, taking care to stand it upright and stuff it with tissue paper to prevent creasing and preserve its shape. credit: Sorbis/Bigstock.com

While it can be tempting to display your favourite handbags on the shelves of your walk-in wardrobe, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to fading. Most handbags come with a dust pouch for safe storage, so make use of it and put your bag away carefully when not in use, taking care to stand it upright and stuff it with tissue paper to prevent creasing and preserve its shape. Doing so will also minimise oxidation, which can cause leather to decay more quickly.

Remove stains and spillages immediately

Chloe bags
For pen marks, try rubbing gently with a white eraser – but if the mark is too deep then you’ll need to take your bag in to be cleaned professionally. Image credit: Sorbis/Bigstock.com

It’s important to remove any splashes, spillages or other marks from your handbag as soon as they occur to prevent permanent staining. There are several effective removal techniques you can use for surface stains, depending on the cause – crushed white chalk can be applied to food stains and left overnight, then wiped clean in the morning. For pen marks, try rubbing gently with a white eraser – but if the mark is too deep then you’ll need to take your bag in to be cleaned professionally. Likewise, water spots should be blotted gently and left to dry, before being removed by a professional.

Protect the interior

Protecting the interior of a bag
Avoid allowing perfumes and hand sanitisers to roll around freely in your bag, as these may also cause permanent damage

Handbag interiors are often prone to stains and spillages from makeup, pens and other items too, so avoid carrying them loose and place inside a small makeup bag or pencil case to ensure there is always a buffer. Avoid allowing perfumes and hand sanitisers to roll around freely in your bag, as these may also cause permanent damage – and always ensure that lids are on tightly and replaced after use – even if you’re in a hurry.

The bottom line

Remember – a luxury, designer handbag is an investment piece that won’t just last you a lifetime if cared for correctly, but could fetch you a sizable sum should you decide to sell it later on – so taking the time to care for it correctly is essential for preserving its value. Not only that, but it will ensure that it continues to get you noticed for all the right reasons and present a polished and professional image that will garner respect.