I love my bags and I am especially partial towards leather bags because a good leather bag can last a long long time and stay looking good… if you care for it properly.
Here’s 5 tips on how I care for my leather bags – high end and low end.
1. Clean them with proper leather cleaner
For my more expensive bags, I use the Leather Cleaner and Leather Moisturizer from Coach. They retail for RM75 (US$10 in the USA) each for 6 fl. oz. Mine are the old packaging – they last ages! For regular bags, I use the Leather Cleaner by Amway. Works a treat on most leather from my bags to my sofa set! 😀
There is one exception to cleaning leather – vachetta leather or untreated leather. This is the light pale leather you get in the trim or straps or handles on Louis Vuitton monogram bags and on some Coach bags. If they get dirty or wet, its hard to clean because applying anything on them can change the color of the leather. What I do is just leave it. Over time, the pale leather will darken to a dark honey brown shade and all stains/marks will disappear or blend right into the new color. Looks better too in my view 🙂
2. Clean your leather bags often
Do not wait until they look dirty before cleaning your leather bags. I clean mine once every 2 weeks if I’m using the same bag for the whole duration. Otherwise, I clean them and air them just before storing them. Cleaning it often means you are cleaning off dirt and when you polish it or moisturize, you are helping to prevent dirt from sticking to it. I use a soft old cotton T-shirt to clean my bags or a microfibre cloth – key word : Soft. You don’t want your precious leather bag scratched.
3. Stuff your leather bag when storing
When you buy your new bag, have you wondered why its always full of stuffing? Do you get irritated with all the wads of paper in it? The answer is so that it holds its shape while being stored. You can do the same at home either with the same stuffing that came from the store or you can stuff it with old T-shirts or towels or even bubble wrap. This way, your bags will hold up well and you will not have those awful creases you sometimes get in improperly stored bags.
4. When storing leather bags do not squeeze them into a confined space
Yes bags can take up a lot of space when storing but please resist the urge to stuff as many bags as you can in one space. You risk creasing the leather and a creased leather bag isn’t pretty. This is especially true if its a structured leather bag – once it bends or there is a crease its gone. So store them nicely, standing up where possible. It makes it easy for you to find your bag of choice too!
5. Store your leather bags in dust bags
A good bag should always come with a dust bag. It keeps your bags dust free when being stored and can prolong the life of your bag as it will not get scuffed or scratched. Dust bags also do not scratch your bag as plastic can. If you do not have a dust bag, do not fret. Just get an old cotton pillow case and use that as a dust bag. That’s what I do! 🙂
Can you waterproof your leather bag?
You can also waterproof your leather bags by spraying a water repellent on them e.g. Scotchguard by 3M which is easily found in most supermarkets. I used to scotchguard my leather shoes, with ScotchGuard or any water repellent – it really works! Rain water just rolls right off without seeping in.
But I’d only do this with dark coloured shoes and similarly with dark coloured leather bags because water repellents can stain the leather and turn it a darker shade or change color totally. So, before you do anything to your bags or shoes, be sure to check on a small spot first before spraying your whole bag and then regretting it later. So, I do not scotchguard my bags at all – I value their bright colours too much!
Leather bags can dry out if they get soaking wet. But if its just a few drops of rain, I let it dry thoroughly then clean, moisturize and polish them. Good as new! 🙂
If you have more tips for caring for your leather bags, please feel free to share! We could all learn a thing or two from each other 🙂