Last updated on December 28th, 2022 at 10:30 am
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Okay, so you saved up and bought the designer items you love. Congrats!
It’s now the maintenance phase and time to find out how to take care of designer bags.
You spent so much money on them. The last thing you need is for your bags to be worn out too quickly.
These tips will help you store your designer goods in tip-top condition (yes, even pre-owned bags).
How to Take Care of Designer Bags #1 – Use Dust Bags
When I was younger, my mom gave me a hand-me-down black Balenciaga bag. I thought I lost the purse because I moved around quite a bit after Boston. It turned out to be in one of my boxes in HK.
To my horror, the bag wasn’t stored in its rightful place inside the dust bag. Instead, it was sitting on a pile of folders and notebooks. The corners of the folders scratched up the bag badly.
The bag was practically ruined (no surprise there).
What was my younger self thinking?
After that, I truly understood the importance of dust bags.
Dust bags come with your luxury handbags for a reason. They protect against dust, dirt, and scratches when they’re not being used.
I eventually sold the bag but it was at a much lower price than it was worth because of my ONE decision.
Learn from me and don’t make this same mistake.
2) Storing Your Luxury Handbags Well
New designer bags will either have tissue paper or air pockets stuffed inside the bag already.
Don’t be so hasty in throwing them out. This blank tissue paper keeps your bag in shape.
Whenever your bag is stored back on the shelf, make sure the paper is stuffed inside. Enough for the bag not to deflate but also not too much so it looks like it’s about to burst.
For pre-loved bags, you might have to get your own tissue paper since not all purchases come with it.
Make sure there’s no ink on them. Things like old newspapers are a no-go because the ink can bleed onto your bag interior.
The next step is to make sure your stuffed bag is sitting in an upright position on your shelf. There should be a little space between each bag. Think about how they are displayed at designer stores except it’s covered with a dust bag.
For people with limited wardrobe shelf space, there’s the option of buying bag hangers.
Bag hangers have a hook like a regular hanger. Within each hanger, there are a few compartments (I prefer zipped ones) so that there’s space to put your bag inside.
Using a bag hanger will allow your luxury purses to still be sitting in an upright position. It’s also a great way to save space.
Do not flatten out the designer bags and put them on top of each other. This is a commonly made mistake. You will lose the bag shape.
Do not hang your bags up on a hook like a coat either. It puts a lot of pressure on the leather and handles.
3) Use Dehumidifier Pads
People who live in North America or Europe generally don’t have to worry about this (they can let their bags sit out in the open. Just make sure it’s not in direct sunlight. It can damage the leather) but if you’re living in Asia, think about investing in dehumidifier pads.
Hong Kong is an extremely humid city. It’s common for things to grow mold and this includes your leather bags.
Dehumidifier pads can prevent that and they’re not hard to find. They’re pretty much at any home goods store. They’re not super expensive either.
Put these dehumidifiers near your bags to prevent mold. It is not recommended to put them inside your bag in case they burst (it hasn’t happened to ne so far, thank god, and I would like to keep it that way).
The dehumidifier pads last for months but you know it’s a sign to switch to a new one when they’re all watery.
Check on them a few times a year. While doing so, you can also develop a good habit of inspecting your bags. If there is mold, you can quickly take action.
How to Take Care of Luxury Bags #4 – Get Professional Help
When our bag is dirty or scratched up, we often turn to Google for fast answers. However, I would recommend not trying most of these DIY tricks floating around on the internet.
Bring your bag to a professional to get the issue fixed.
Technically, you could save money fixing it yourself but how confident are you in your abilities?
For most of us, our experience cannot compare to a leather professional. Take it to the store instead of doing it yourself.
It shouldn’t be often that you’re visiting a repair store if you follow these tips on how to take care of designer bags.
If you accidentally mess things up, you’re going to have to pay even more to get it fixed.
5) Apply Leather Cleaner and Protection Cream
Another tip on how to take care of designer bags is leather care.
Leather care includes a leather protection cream or conditioner and a leather cleaner.
(For non-leather bags, there are products for cloth bags as well.)
Now, this is something you can do by yourself at home.
For pre-loved bags, I suggest using a leather cleaner before applying leather protection cream. The bag is probably gently used (depending on the condition you bought it in) but it’s best to do a quick cleaning anyway. There can still be dirt on it you can’t see physically.
For bags fresh out of the box, you can skip the cleaning step and go right ahead and apply the protection cream.
Test a small area first to make sure the leather cream isn’t going to damage your leather handbag.
Give it some time and wait 24 hours. Make sure there’s no discolouration. If it looks okay, then you use it all over your bag.
Do this twice a year. The leather protection cream will eventually wear off so you need to put in another coat.
If you skipped using the leather cleaner the first time, you’ll need to use it the next time, unless, for the past 6 months, it was still sitting inside the box.
Buying a leather conditioner and leather cleaner is an additional expense but it is better for the long term. These products ensure your bag is in optimal condition.
6) Be Careful of What You Put inside
Many luxury purses have either suede lining or a white fabric lining like my Gucci Soho Disco.
Suede and fabric interior can be hard to clean, especially if it’s white. It’s very tough to get out even if you get a professional to help you.
It also affects the aesthetic of the bag. With one glance, you can spot the makeup and ink stains. Ugh.
You’ve probably heard horror stories where people spilled their makeup or their pen cover fell off. It ruined their bag interior.
Be very careful of what you put inside your luxury handbag.
Don’t put your makeup directly inside your purse. Instead, place them in a malleable small pouch before putting them inside.
This provides an extra layer of protection.
For bigger bags, consider a handbag liner. You’ll also get extra pockets and storage space.
7) Avoid Touching Luxury Handbags With Greasy Hands
Do not, and I repeat, do not touch your luxury bags after you put on skincare products like Vaseline or hand cream.
Anything greasy that’s on your hands including oily food is a sign to keep your hands off.
These oil stains can inflict damage on your luxury handbags. If you’re not careful, you can easily transfer those onto your bag.
You could always get it fixed but there’s no guarantee that it will look as pristine. Also, why spend that unnecessary expense when you can be more careful using your bag?
8) Rotate Your Luxury Handbags
No matter how careful you are with your bag, you will wear it down.
Think about it.
If you use anything every day, it will age faster.
There are bags you use for special occasions then there are bags you use every day to throw around.
Which will wear down faster?
Of course, it will be the bag you use more often.
Switch up your bag with different outfits and different events. By rotating your bags, they will last longer.
How to Take Care of Luxury Bags #9 – Don’t Overstuff Your Bag
Most designer bags are small to medium-sized.
When you’re out and about, you don’t think twice before shoving something inside your bag.
With affordable bags, that might not be as much of a problem because you won’t care about them as much.
You gotta be more tender with your designer handbag. Don’t force things inside or convince yourself there’s more space if it’s looking pretty full already.
If you don’t know what can fit in your bag, spend some time at home figuring out what can fit.
I once saw a lady overstuff her Gucci Soho bag and was horrified. There were wrinkles everywhere and the bag was stretched to the max.
Once you overstuff your bag, it’s hard for your bag’s shape to bounce back, especially if it’s soft leather.
10) Baby Your Bag
When you take your bag out, don’t put your purse on the floor. Keep it behind you in your seat or if there’s an extra chair at a table, place your bag there.
Also, before using your bag, check the weather. It’s not the best time to show off your favourite accessory when it’s raining heavily.
Consider where you are going before taking your bag out of the closet.
Babying it is another way of making it last longer.
Final Thoughts – How to Take Care of Designer Bags
People often talk about the excitement of purchasing designer goods on platforms like Vestiaire Collective but they don’t nearly talk enough about the after-care process.
No matter what your future plans are with them, whether that’s passing your bags down to the next generations or selling your bags on websites Fashionphile or Vestiaire for a profit, take care of your designer bags properly.
Your future self will thank you.
Now to You – How to Take Care of Designer Bags
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P.S. If you’re looking to shop for designer bags, check out Vestiaire Collective to browse thousands of items with amazing deals!