Top Tips on Keeping Designer Handbags in Perfect Condition
Here's how you can protect and preserve your favourite designer bags for years to come
16 May 2023
Want to maintain your handbag's lustre and looking like new? With regular attentive care, your bag will look like it's in mint condition
Whenever we buy something new, especially something that costs quite the dirham, we always want to keep it in its best possible condition. A designer handbag is widely known as a great investment, as its resell value will most certainly increase over time. Because of this, ideally you'd want to extend the lifespan of your investment piece and keep your handbags looking pristine for years.
How you care for it will play a significant role in its value, with serious buyers and collectors usually possessing an eagle eye on any sign of wear and tear.
To keep your beloved bag from looking dull and stained, these are our top tips on how to care for your designer handbag. Whether you plan to resell it or hold onto it forever, you'd want to keep this guide in mind.
1.) No designer handbag care guide fits all
You may hear suggestions on how to clean and preserve your piece, but it's important to note that not all handbags are created the same way.
Find out what material was used to make your item, because it may require specific instructions to clean and maintain it.
If you own a handbag made of patent leather, it comes with the responsibility of preventing colour transfer.
DON'T let a patent leather bag rest another surface or handbag, otherwise the colours will transfer onto each other and its incredibly hard to get off. Using rubbing alcohol or petroleum jelly might help, but it's not a guaranteed fix.
DO store the handbag in a dust bag or pillowcase.
Designer bags made with coloured leather can dull over time.
DON'T keep them in direct sunlight.
DO store them somewhere dark. When cleaning, some of the dye might get rubbed off - it's best to gently use a damp paper towel.
Protect your leather bags from cracks and other damages using special moisturiser. We recommend using the Leather Honey Conditioner (AED 147.50) - this leather treatment received over 3,000 glowing reviews on Amazon. It provides a protective barrier to your leather bag's surface, prolonging its condition.
For Kelly and Birkin bags, do not keep the lock for too long - the metal can scratch on the surface and create a dark mark on the leather.
On top of being quite delicate, suede bags are susceptible to fading when under direct sunlight.
DON'T let it come in contact with liquids, including water or oil.
DO use a suede brush for cleaning, or a soft-bristled toothbrush.
When reselling your designer bag, the embellishments are telltale signs of how well you cared for it. To keep them from catching on to surrounding items, wrap any dangling pieces, crystals, or chains in some tissue paper when storing in a dust bag.
2.) Store them with care
Avoid hanging your bags on hooks and knobs as doing so will ruin the shape of the handles, nor cramming it in a tight space. When not in use, it's best to store it away in a closed, dark cupboard.
Before doing so, make sure its cleaned out and empty then stuff the main compartment with acid-free tissue paper, bubble wrap, or a small pillow to keep its shape. Never store your handbags in vinyl or plastic.
Once stuffed, store your bag in its original box, placed in a breathable dust bag as well. If you don't own a dust bag, you can use a cotton pillowcase with a neutral colour to avoid colours transferring.
The handbag should lie flat and must not be pressed down.
3.) Rotate your handbags
One of the best ways to preserve your handbags is to alternate which one you'll use for the day.
Give your bags a break by rotating them at least every week by investing in pieces that are suitable for daily use and in statement pieces for special occasions.
4.) Be mindful of where you place them
Try not to place your bag on the floor, on your desk, near heaters, or in direct sunlight. Doing so prevents dirt, accidental stains, colour fading, and damage. Heat can also cause leather bags to dry, resulting in heartbreaking cracks.
While at work, placing your designer bag on the desk comes with its own hazards - including coffee spills or an accidental swipe of a pen that can cause a permanent ink mark.
5.) Clean your bag regularly
Whether its brand new or passed down from your grandmother, regular cleaning is a must as it not only protects your bag but ensures it keeps its best possible condition. For a quick wipe down, a simple damp cloth will do the job.
Designer pieces will usually need a more thorough clean using a specialist product or professional every 3 months to keep them looking good.
Avoid using baby wipes or any "home remedies" for cleaning because many of these products will have varying ingredients that may cause colour loss or cracking.
6.) Be careful of what you put inside
Storing makeup directly inside your handbag is a recipe for tears. The combination of the hot UAE weather and moving around with your bag could result in your lipstick uncapping, melting, and ruining your bag's interior. It's strongly recommended to always keep your cosmetics in a pouch.
Yes, the UAE is warm and you'll find yourself reaching for a bottle of water frequently, but you wouldn't want to put liquids in your bag. If you must carry liquids in your beloved designer, store them in a separate pouch to avoid leaks from damaging your bag and its contents.
7.) Don't put off making repairs
Don't wait until the last minute to book your designer handbag for repairs. At the first sign of tears or other damages, visit your local leather repair shop or seamstress to work out what to do.
Some of your bag's local branches might offer a service where you can bring your piece in for repairs. Best to leave it to the professionals to take care of.