More than ever, handbags have become one of the main components of a wardrobe but as they are used they become increasingly worn and tired looking. Taking care of your handbags will ensure that your handbags remain looking good for many years.
Protecting your handbag
Protecting your handbag from spills and dirt is crucial and a product such as Scotchgard Fabric for fabric panels will do the trick. The same can be done with Scotchgard Suede and Nubuck which are perfect for repelling water and oil for suede. There are many products available to protect leather and these can be applied using a clean white cloth followed by a dry cotton cloth to buff the leather. These products should be used regularly on handbags but ensure that you test all new products on a small patch on the bag to find out whether it causes discolouration.
Store them correctly
Ladies handbags often get thrown into the wardrobe, forming a huge pile and this is a sure fire way of decreasing the lifespan of your handbag. If you store your handbags correctly, in an upright position and in pillowcases or dust bags you can be sure that they will last a lot longer. Materials such as plastic and vinyl hold moisture so do not store your handbags inside these materials. Fill the bags with materials such as acid-free tissue paper or a purpose made handbag insert. Unclip removable straps and cross handles over each other to avoid wear on the bag.
Getting rid of stains
Understanding the type of stain you are trying to remove will help you to use the correct method. For food stains, covering the stain with crushed white chalk overnight will draw the stain out allowing you to brush it off with a clean cloth.
For oil stains, putting cornstarch on the stain as soon as possible and rubbing it in to create heat will help to absorb the oil. Once you have rubbed it in, brush with a clean cloth but it is important to remember to not let it sit on the stain.
For ink stains, if they are fresh they can be removed using a white eraser but do not apply too much pressure as this can cause the colour to come off. If the ink has been absorbed already it will require a professional to carry out the removal of the stain.
Protecting the lining
Storing your cosmetics and any other liquids in pouches will ensure that the lining of you bag is protected from spills. Pens that click rather than pens with lids can cause real problems as the ink can leak, ruining the lining of your bag.
Keep metal looking good
Jewellery and zippers can scratch any metal areas on your handbag so try to keep them away. Cleaning metal-ware can be done using a magic eraser as they are great for cleaning up grubby and tarnished metal.
Get into a routine
Looking after your bag does require a small amount of daily maintenance:
- Do not handle the bag if your hands are dirty or have oil or cream on them
- Keep the bag out if direct sunlight
- Use different handbags to ensure that they have a rest, this will help to keep them looking good
- Suede bags can be brought back to life using a suede brush.
- A leather moisturiser will keep leather crack-free and supple
- Give your bag a regular wipe down using a soft cloth
Give it the professional touch
If your bag has a considerable amount of damage that is beyond the basic maintenance mentioned above then it is time to take it to a professional. They will clean it, treat it and restore it bringing your bag back to life.
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