How to Clean Your Suede and Leather Bags?

Designer handbags may be the stuff that dreams are made of for some avid bag collectors. While others prefer brand new ones, some bag lovers do not mind getting their hands on pre-loved designer bags — especially rare or hard-to-find ones.

If you desire to tote one of these pre-owned beauties, then you will certainly make sure that they stay in top shape once you get them. Below are some of our sworn-by and time-tested hacks that will help you care for your pre-loved babies.

Pre-Loved Precautions

It’s indeed fortunate that there are now trusted brick-and-mortar or online shops where you can buy, sell, or swap luxury pre-owned goods. You can shop for authentic pre-loved designer bags, jewelry, eyewear, and other accessories at the comforts of your own home through online channels.

There are also by-appointment-only boutiques so you can shop at your leisure. This arrangement also works to your advantage, so you can have your exclusive time to browse and buy without worrying about an avid crowd snatching the pre-loved Birkin you’ve been eyeing.

Whether you’re looking to add another item to your luxury collection or simply want to offload some pieces from your closet, pre-owned shops can be the right havens to do so. With more attention given to sustainability nowadays, opting to invest in quality pre-used pieces not only gives you more value for your money, it also helps in saving the planet.

On top of being a sustainable choice, top-notch shops also assure you of their excellent authentication process, so you go home with only genuine pieces. Moreover, having these luxury goods vetted and examined by experienced bag experts and state-of-the-art AI computer technology will make the sale even more rewarding.

Ensuring that your handbag stays in good condition should be a priority. When it comes to premium items, the amount of time, money, and energy in keeping them in pristine condition will work to your advantage. Not only will you get to use it over a long period, but you can also get a higher resale value should you decide to let go of it someday.

While there are bag clinics, who can help you with deep cleaning, restoration, or repairs of your pre-owned designer bags, the key to preserving your prized handbags starts with you. Here are some helpful hacks that you can do to ensure that your bags stay in tip-top shape:

1. Invest in the right products

Just like you take care of your skin by using the best skin care products, you should also make sure that you use the correct products to care for your bags. Doing so will make a world of difference in preserving its original condition.

You can ask the store where you brought it from if they use a specific product designed to clean your particular bag. They may also have some insightful tips on using the product or recommended care kits that are best suited for your piece.

It will also help if you can also do your research. For example, not all leather cleaners will work with all kinds of leather. Sometimes, you need to choose a leather cleaning product based on the nature of the grain. Check if your bag’s leather must be cleaned with cream, cleaner, or protectant. Usually, less is best when applying products on leather to keep the hide as close to its natural state as possible.

2. Clean regularly

Using your bag will undoubtedly expose it to the elements or to situations where it can get dirty.

Different materials will require different cleaning methods as well. For example, nylon will need to be hand-washed with mild soap, gently rinsed with water, pressed with a clean towel until almost dry, and air dried for at least a couple of hours.

If you don’t have time to do a full clean, you can focus on cleaning main areas such as the handles and clasps. Give those a quick wipe to keep them looking fresh. Avoid using baby wipes since these may contain chemicals that can damage your bag.

Regular cleaning will help maintain its condition but be careful not to overdo it. Cleaning too often or putting too much product can also wear it out.

3. Hang it not

When using or storing your precious handbag, avoid hanging it. Doing so can deform the handle or the strap. Instead, place it on a shelf or flat surface. Place them in an upright position and avoid having each bag touch each other, especially when they are not placed in dust bags or their original boxes.

When storing, remember to zip them close or fasten them together. Make sure that you also overlap handles over them.

4. Avoid the light

Letting your pre-loved designer handbag sit out in the light for too long can cause discoloration. Being exposed to humid conditions can also encourage mold growth. To avoid this, it’s best to keep your luxurious handbags away from too much light exposure.

Store them in a clean, dark place. If you can invest in an air conditioner and dehumidifier, then that would be best to keep your bags looking fresh. It’s also good to air them out regularly.

5. Keep dust away

Dust bags were made for good reason, so it’s best to use them to store your bags in. Aside from protecting your bags from dust and too much light, these also keep your bags from touching each other.

Avoid using plastic poly packs for bag storage, especially leather ones. The plastic can cling to the bag material and damage it over time.

6. Get a liner

To protect your bag interior, getting a bag liner will be helpful. This will prevent scratches, stains, and marks from damaging your bag. Unfortunately, items like lipsticks, pens, or snacks can also ruin the inside lining, so if you can’t get a bag liner, it is best to stash your things in pouches or bag organizers.

7. Keep the bags in shape

Structured bags can stand on their own, although they may still need some dense stuffing to prevent them from bottoming out. Soft-structured bags need to be stuffed as well to prevent creases and a deformed appearance. However, remember to avoid overstuffing them as well.

You can use acid-free tissue paper, clean white towels, or ink-free newsprint or packing paper as stuffing. Some bag collectors also use customized pillows as bag fillers.

It’s in the Bag

Pre-loved designer handbags are investments that can stand on their own in terms of value.

However, they should be used with care and maintained properly so you can enjoy them for a longer time. Heeding the hacks enumerated above will help you keep them in good shape, so whether you decide to resell or keep them, their value will remain.

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