You have been saving money for months for that beautiful pebble-grain leather, designer bag you have had your eyes on. You are finally ready to invest the money and make the purchase. You want this bag to be your go-to for every season. But is the money invested to purchase the bag the only investment you need to make?
Giving your bag the love it deserves and needs will ensure that it has a long lifetime. From carrying heavy items inside your bag, to color transfer from your jeans, to dirt and dust; your handbag will come across a lot of wear and tear. Keep reading to learn how I store and care for my leather handbags! This is a lengthy post, but I promise you it is well worth reading to protect your handbags!
Leather Conditioner: Cadillac Boot & Shoe Leather Conditioner $7.95
Think of your leather bag like you think of your own skin. It will age with time and needs proper moisturizing. There is no way to avoid your bag from aging. However, with proper care, you can help your bag age beautifully, just like your skin. You can tell your leather bag is aging when the leather begins to crackle and appear dried out. The leather is beginning to lose its natural oil and moisture. The more you handle your leather handbag, the more it will dry out. The leather conditioner I like best is the Cadillac Boot & Shoe Leather Conditioner that is $7.95 at Nordstrom. Along with the leather conditioner, you will need a microfiber or lint-free cloth to rub the conditioner into the bag. Apply the conditioner to the cloth and rub in circular motions on your leather handbag. I like to apply the conditioner to the bag when I first start using it, as it gives it a polished look. This conditioner also works to protect your leather and exotic skin handbags!
Leather Wipes: Weiman Leather Wipes $6.87
Spills and dirt happen. In the winter months, it is common to get ashy white stains along your leather handbags from rubbing up against your car. Leather wipes are the perfect fix to cleaning off your handbag and avoiding damage to the leather. I use Weiman Leather Wipes that are $6.87 at Amazon. You may have this at home for use on leather couches and furniture, same idea. These wipes moisturize, protect, and clean your leather bags in just one easy step. There are natural oils (like in the leather conditioner) that will condition your handbag. There is also sunscreen in the ingredients for these leather wipes that will prevent drying, cracking and fa
The Dust Bag
Oh, the dust bag. Many people think it is simply the packaging the handbag comes in. Some people even toss the dust bag in the garbage or tell the salesperson they don’t need it. The dust bag serves a much larger purpose than just fancy packaging. The dust bag is used for storing and protecting your handbag. Say your handbag is white and you store it next to a black handbag for months at a time without a dust bag, your white handbag could eventually receive color transfer from the black bag. Or you are storing your brand new pebble-grain handbag and it just so happens to get placed next to that super cool studded handbag your purchased. Your pebble-grain bag is going to receive imprints and scratches from the studded bag. Storing your handbag inside the dust bag protects it from color transfer, scratches, and disfiguration. If your handbag does not come with a dust bag inside, simply ask the salesperson. If they don’t have a dust bag they can give to you, use a pillowcase instead.
The Paper Stuffing
Another important part to properly storing your handbag, the stuffing. Yes, the annoying paper stuffing your handbag comes with has a purpose too! If you check out a sales floor where handbags are displayed, you will see all the handbags are perfectly stuffed and displayed beautifully. Imagine a sales floor with handbags that were completely flat and flopped over. If you want your handbag to continue to look as beautiful as it did sitting on that glass table in the department store, keep that stuffing! Before sticking your handbag inside the dust bag fluff it up as much as you can using the paper stuffing. If you threw the stuffing away use newspaper instead. Stuffing is the key to your beautiful hobo bag keeping its shape.
Avoiding Heavy Items
With oversized crossbody’s, satchels and totes, it is common to want to fill them to the top. However, you are diminishing the lifetime of your bags handles and crossbody straps the more you jam into your bag. If you need to carry your laptop on a daily basis try carrying an additional laptop bag. If you absolutely need to place your laptop in your handbag, try removing other items you don’t necessarily need. You do not want the clasps or the snap on your designer handbag breaking. When your bag is really heavy avoid using the crossbody strap on your satchel. Typically your satchels handles are much more durable as they are attached directly to your bag, as opposed to the crossbody strap which can be fastened by a clasp.
Send It To The Bag Hospital
Whether your bag has color transfer, a broken zipper or broken handle, it does not hurt to send it for a quick trip to the bag hospital. Call the store you purchased your bag from. A lot of times department stores and designers offer free repairs and cleanings! Handbag repairs can take a significantly long time. If you are just sending your bag in for a cleaning try to do so at the end of the season so you will have it back in time for the next year. The best way to treat color transfer is to have a professional check it out. They have the necessarily tools and products to remove the stains. If they are unable to get the stain out, they may have a dye similar to the color of your bag to re-dye the bag. If you do not want your bag to be dyed make sure to make a note of this before sending it away.