Let’s face it – handbags don’t come cheap. Especially genuine leather handbags. And if you’re buying from the designer… well, we don’t need to remind you how much money you spent on that baby. But if you want to get your value out of this bag, you’ll need to take a few more steps. Here’s how to keep your leather bag looking like new:
1. Proper storage
I know when you come home after a long day, you can’t worry about anything. You might even want to throw your bag in a corner, followed by your clothes on top of it. But don’t. Not if you want your bag to retain its beauty and shape. The best practice is to not even use the same bag two days in a row. So empty it, carefully put it back in a storage bag (preferably the one it came in) and let it rest. If it’s a structured bag, you might even want to put some padding in it to keep the shape. Sound extreme? We can assure you that this is the only way to turn your bags into heirlooms.
2. Regular cleaning
It’s the worst job and it may seem pointless, but it’s not. Your bag ends up collecting a lot of lint and dirt during the day. You have to empty it and then turn it over (and upside down, if the style allows it) to get rid of it. I find the lint rollers to be very useful too – for stubborn bits. Simply roll it inside your bag to get it as clean as possible without dry cleaning.
3. Additional Protection
The weather can be tough, not only for your hair and skin, but also for your handbags. Leather is not waterproof and you should avoid carrying your leather bag in the rain. But if that’s not an option, you can use a leather protectant spray on it. This will make it more durable and somewhat waterproof. Another option you have is to use beeswax. This could possibly have an effect on the color of the leather but it will certainly protect it from the rain.
4. A good oiling
Leather can dry out over time, just like your skin. So you need a process that gives it some of its moisture back so it doesn’t start flaking. This is where leather conditioning comes in. You get a variety of products in the market which are good for your leather bags. Go for one that leaves no residue and also controls mildew. Just apply it all over, leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then wipe it off.
5. Be more careful
Eventually, it comes down to being more aware of your bag. Don’t put it on your shoulder when you have to sneak into the subway. Don’t put it on the floor if you know it’s dirty. Yes, it’s very silly to ask for another chair just for your bag and skip a train because it was too full, but it’s the little things that can cause wear and tear over the years. If you are more careful early on, you can avoid a lot of damage.