By Natalie Schutz
October 5th, 2019
You love your designer handbags and they are are a style investment that you want to last for years to come. Handbags like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Gucci and others are expensive bags that can be damaged fairly easily. Follow this guide to make sure you give your babies the proper love they deserve. If you take care of your luxury handbag well enough, they can actually appreciate in value and be worth more than you originally purchased it for.
If well taken care of and maintained, designer handbags can last decades. Sadly, there’s a lot of wrong information around about how to properly care for your bags and one mistake can immediately drop the value tremendously. For example, we have heard people use a Magic Eraser on their Louis Vuitton handbag to try to remove a small transfer mark and it made it look much worse than before.
Designer handbags utilize many different types of leather, canvas and many other materials so each react differently to certain elements. Certain Louis Vuitton and other designer handbags will hold up better if you get caught in a surprise rain storm. The Louis Vuitton Neverfull Damier Ebene has a fairly water resistant canvas but you still want to avoid getting the leather straps wet. We all know that accidents and unplanned weather can always happen but here are 10 tips to help make your luxury bags last longer.
Let’s dive straight in.
1. Protect Your Bags from Moisture
It may be inevitable that your designer handbags sometimes encounter rain or moisture but try not to make it a habit. If you live in a damp climate like Seattle or Miami, you may want to invest in a purse poncho for that unsuspected shower. The cold weather also brings dampness and conscious efforts have to be made to protect your bags. Try to check the forecast before you go out and if you think it will rain or snow, use a bag that is less vulnerable. Vachetta Leather is known to have a big enemy in rain.
2. Store Your Luxury Handbags Properly
Try to store your bags in cool, dry places preferable around 68 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Preferable, your designer bags should be stored in dust bags. However, we know how much you love looking and admiring your beautiful accessories. Why should one hide beauty anyways?
Store your bags away from cold areas like attics or garages as moisture can quickly destroy your bag. Also, always avoid direct sunlight and NEVER LEAVE YOUR HANDBAG IN YOUR CAR OR YOUR TRUNK. We can’t stress this enough but if you want discoloring or leather melting, just please remember to always let your bags sleep in your house.
Be mindful of the straps and structure of the bag as well. Certain bags can be damaged irreversibly if not fully able to breathe. Never lay heavy items on your bag, as they can damage the structure of how it sits or make cracks or creases. If any of this happens, your bag immediately loses a lot of value.
Pro Tip: Use bubble wrap or handbag pillows to stuff your bag and keep the structure in new condition.
3. Tackle Stains Immediately
The rule of thumb here is the longer you wait, the worse the stain. Accidents always happen but always have an extra baby wipe in your purse to clean a small stain before it dries.
Different bags all have different leathers, canvases and other surfaces so we don’t want to tell you one certain thing will work for you to remove a stain. Watch some of our other videos to see how you can remove pen ink stains carefully with rubbing alcohol or how baby powder can help tackle oil stains. The baby wipe is usually the best bet for most substances and surfaces. Do your own research before applying anything else to your bag.
Pro Tip: Every woman should always have a pack of baby wipes in their purse whether they have a child or not.
4. Keep Your Handbags Away From Pets and Young Children
We have heard many disaster stories of children and pets ruining our bags but after all the anger, we still love them. I have personally had the experience of my dog “marking his territory” over one of my very first Louis Vuitton handbags I have ever owned. This was the one and only time I had ever left my bag on the ground in my room but I will assure you all that it will never happen again. Please learn from our mistakes to make sure you always keep your luxury handbags out of reach of curious hands and paws.
5. Switch It Up With Your Style
Sure you have a favorite bag, but you don’t want to overuse it to a point where you’re sick of it. You also don’t want it to look more weathered than Clint Eastwood.
Try to swap between different handbags in your closet from time to time. Rotating using your designer bags keeps them all in better condition. Switch it up based on your outfit or occasion. Certain handbags are meant for casual day to day fun and other handbags can elicit a stunning pop of color to your evening gown. Change your bags based on the season, climate, and outfit choices.
6. How About a Handbag Organizer?
Handbag Organizers are a great choice to save the interior of your bag. They protect your bags from unexpected spillages while affording you more pockets to store your belongings. It is also extremely common for pens to open in the bottom of handbags and mark ink throughout your bag. A handbag organizer can block pen marks and many accidental spills.
7. Use Products, but Only Use The Right Ones.
Don’t use chemicals on your handbag without knowing or testing how it will react. There are a lot of leather cleaning products but not all will be meant to use to clean or maintain your bag. Read all instructions thoroughly and try to test the product on a similar leather besides your bag first. Always use a very small amount to begin with as you don’t know how anything will react to the leather.
8.Handle with Care
This may sound obvious but treat your designer handbags with the love it was created with. You paid good money for that Louis Vuitton or Chanel Handbag, so don’t ever put in on the floor or a surface you haven’t test touched yet. Be careful with how you open or zip your handbags to avoid ware. Keep your hands washed to avoid greasy residue but also try not to touch your bag with wet hands either.
The hardware on your handbag can be very vulnerable to scratches and tarnishing too. Just ultimately try to be aware of your surroundings to avoid accidents.
9. Avoid Odors Like Smoking and Mildew
Many different odors can linger on for a while and those smells can immediately decrease the value of your handbag. The hardest smell to eliminate is a bag of a cigarette smoker. If you smoke around your handbag, it will stay that smell for a long time. Even if you may not notice it, those around you who don’t smoke will definitely notice it. If you ever want to sell this bag in the future, most second hand websites will not purchase it from you or will offer much less.
There are several other odors such as body odor and pets that can make your bag stink. Two things that can help restore the smell back to normal are baking powder and coffee grounds. Don’t place either of these directly into your bag but rather in the vicinity. There are also other odor eaters available online such as this one on Amazon.com.
10. Avoid New Clothes Before Wearing Your Handbag
This is one of the most important tips of all. Besides cracks, the one thing we notice the most that lowers resale value is dye transfer. This is very common with new jeans transferring part of the color on your bag when it rubs against it. This can be very hard because you may unconsciously wear a new piece of clothing and not think twice about anything until you see the first transfer stain.
Never touch the leather patina like handles with dirty or greasy hands! If you are out to eat, make sure to wash your hands before you grab your purse to leave. Grab a napkin or two to cover the leather before you place it on your shoulder or wrist.
There you go, these 10 (+1) tips will keep your designer handbags glowing for ages. They can be a good investment and actually be worth more than what you originally purchased them for. If interested in learning more, see our other article on 5 Louis Vuitton Handbags That Can Be Great Investments.