When it comes to luxury bags, the expectation is that they will last for many years to come. Hence, the steep price tag. Unlike trendy high-street buys, designer handbags can transcend multiple seasons. This is what makes them a good choice for an investment. But keep in mind, the money you spend on a luxury bag doesn’t necessarily equate to its lifespan.
Handbags, no matter their value, will either age beautifully or look worn and damaged. If you carry one daily, it will surely be subject to its fair share of wear. Granted, the high cost ensures a certain level of quality, but you still must look after it if you want it to stand the test of time. We’ve gathered insider tips on extending the life of your favorite bag.
1. General Upkeep
- Find a reliable handbag clinic in your area for general care. Consider this as a “spa” visit for your designer handbag. Some treatments you could get include moisturizing leather to protect against crack and permanent damage.
- Cleaning a leather handbag can be tricky. The place to start is with prevention. Only use a reputable protection cream to wipe the surface of your luxury leather bag. Apply it from day one and at least once every two to three months. This layer will prevent staining, grease penetrations, and all sorts of issues later.
- For a quick wipe-down, just use a damp cloth. However, a professional should give your piece a thorough clean every two to three months to keep it in top condition. Don’t try to remove old ink stains yourself. They will likely be stubborn and will need expert care.
2. Keep Moisture Out
Never throw away the tiny packet of silica gel that comes with your purse. It works by absorbing some of the moisture in the air. When the weather gets cold, it could bring in a dampness that can lead to mold growth.
If by chance your bag has become moldy, take it out of the dust bag. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe it and let it air dry for 24 hours. You might want to consider investing in a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth on both your clothes and bags.
3. Get Rid Of Stains
Let water stains on your bag dry naturally. For serious stains, let a professional handle the job. If your suede bag has minor marks, use a white eraser. Start at an inconspicuous edge of the bag first and see if it doesn’t spoil the shade of the suede.
4. The Key To Proper Storage
Don’t store your designer bags in a haphazard way if you want to keep them looking like new for a long time. If possible, stuff them with acid-free tissue and store them in their original boxes. If space is an issue, set some of your sweaters and soft tees inside the bag to keep its shape and save space.
Never fill your high-end bag with newspaper since the ink can transfer on to the lining. In addition, wrap chain link straps before storing them inside the bag so they don’t mark the leather. Place your bag in the dust bag in an upright position. If it has top handles, lay it flat and make sure they don’t touch the body of the bag.
5. Avoid Color Transfer
Your bag may come with a tag that warns about potential color transfer. If there’s no such tag, test it with a white handkerchief. Whether you wipe it wet or dry, you’ll know almost instantly if the bag has color transfer issues. Pay extra attention to colored leather.
If it comes in contact with a damp surface, it can bleed and mark your clothing. Same goes for suede and patent leather. Normally you shouldn’t have to worry about this issue, but to stay on the safe side, you can use leather-protectant products. Make sure to check with the manufacturer of your bag before using any of these products.
6. Traveling With Your Bag
Some people place their bags on the floor when at a restaurant. It’s best to avoid that unless the piece has protruding metal feet. Buy a small hanger that fixes on to a table, so you have a place for your bag. If you are traveling, try to keep your dust bag at hand. Put your bag inside if it must go through a security check. This is to keep the leather from being exposed to a dirty conveyor belt.
7. Take Care Of The Interior Lining
For roomy bags, use an insert or purse organizer. Loose items like pens and makeup, if left open by mistake, can ruin the interior lining. Store liquid makeup in a small cosmetics pouch. Never overload your bag. Doing so will not only distort its shape, but also damage the leather.
8. Increase Resale Value
With more people getting into selling their pre-loved items, preserving your beloved bags becomes even more important if you intend to sell in the future. You might be tempted to rip open the box after purchasing a handbag, but try to keep it together. Don’t trash the tissue paper and keep the receipt. Having these items around will help you get the best resale value. Collectors often overlook rare and premium handbags that have substantial condition issues and missing items. With proper upkeep and all the accessories still intact, you’ll have an easier time reselling your beloved bag when the time is right.
When it comes to the wardrobe department, high-end bags are usually the only real investment we’re willing to make. Since a piece can cost a lot of money, making sure it’s a forever item is a must. Taking care of one may be tricky, but with the right protection and regular cleaning, it should keep looking like new.
If you have luxury pieces you want to sell, take them to Biltmore Loan and Jewelry for appraisal. We offer the best rates for popular designer brands. Call us today at 480-991-5626 (Scottsdale) or 480-705-5626 (Chandler) for more information.