Our bags have the potential to be much-loved and adored items, yet knowing how to take care of designer bags is essential so that they remain in tip-top condition.
Designer bags can be an investment, with exceptionally good resale value, but only if you look after them! However, as the pack horses of our modern lives, they have a tough job to do.
How do you take care of your designer bags so that they stay preserved, looking pristine, and potentially earn you a good payment when sold second hand?
At Reliked, we know a thing or two about the life and hardship of designer bags (we see them in all manner of conditions!), so here are our top tips for ensuring your bag lives well!
Top tips for how to take care of designer bags
1. Rotate, swap, and change it up
Yes, bags are for using. But if you use the same bag day-in-day-out then you’re expecting a little too much of even the sturdiest and most robust carrier. Instead, always use your designer bags interchangeably so that no single bag suffers from overuse. This way it will last for longer and be in pristine condition when you really want it to be.
2. Lotions and potions
If you’ve just slathered on some moisturiser, or have just applied foundation and not yet washed your hands, keep your mitts off your bag! In short, if your hands aren’t clean when you touch your bag, you transfer the dirt. This is particularly problematic with oil-based lotions which can stain.
3. Empty it!
It’s easy to come in from the day and pop your bag up on a hook still full of all your bits and bobs – well, don’t! When you’ve finished using your bag for the day, empty all of your handbag staples into a dedicated basket ready for next time. Then, open up the bag, turn upside down, and shake out any dust and debris.
4. Store them properly
When not in use, designer bags need to be stored with care. Remove any long straps, roll them up, wrap in acid-free tissue paper, and pop inside the bag. Then stuff the bag with more acid-free tissue paper – not too tight, but so that it retains its shape. The bag should then be placed inside the dust bag you got with the bag and then stored upright (generally not hung) and without other items on top or wedged against them. Keep them in a dark place and out of direct sunlight.
5. Wipe it down, if suitable
Not all designer bags should be wiped (e.g. suede), but unless you’ve had instructions to say otherwise, then you can use alcohol-free baby wipes to gently clean the bag from time to time.
6. Act fast with stains
If you’ve got something on your bag, act quickly to try and prevent or undo damage. How to deal with it depends on what it is. For example, with water, sometimes simply blotting and allowing the bag to dry naturally is enough. Whereas for pen marks, the gentle use of a white eraser may work. Crushed white chalk can work on food stains – you let it sit on the stain for around 12-24 hours and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.
7. Zap the smell
If you’ve had something in your designer bag which has caused an unpleasant smell that’s lingering, we’ve got two tricks for you. One is to create a pack of bicarbonate of soda and pop that inside the bag for several days. Tumble dryer sheets also work remarkably well!
8. Layer up
So often the damage to the inside of the bag happens because not enough care was taken with the contents. A great tip is to place the contents within other containers. For example, cosmetics should never be loose in your bag, but stored within a waterproof makeup bag or pouch. Lipstick is a nightmare to remove from bag fabric! Pens should be lidded (not the click variety) and ideally within a case. All liquids, no matter how reliable your water bottle, should be kept within a plastic bag or additional container.
9. Use care products as appropriate
Sometimes you can take steps to protect the fabric of the bag (depending on what it is made from). For example, sprays such as Scotchguard can help your bag to better weather the storms of life. Always read the instructions carefully and test on a tiny non-visible area first.
10. Give it some TLC
It depends on the bag’s fabric as to how best to care for it, but most designer bags will benefit from some regular routine maintenance. For example, leather bags benefit from leather cream from time to time. A suede brush can be used to buff up your suede back to its gorgeously soft self.
11. Think about your clothing
It’s not just a case of matching your bag to your outfit. Think about how you carry the bag and make sure there won’t be any zippers, embellishments, or scratchy jewellery that could scratch the fabric.
12. Get help
Obviously if you use your bag then there are chances that it will show signs of wear and tear. If you’ve got a tear, a tricky stain, or broken fastenings, we really recommend using a professional repair service rather than trying to fix it yourself. There are experts at this, so let them take over!
With a little care and the right effort, you can ensure that your designer bag looks pristine throughout its time with you, so that it always looks as good as new. And if its life with you has ended, influencers can sell their good condition designer bags with us – the better the condition, the higher the resale value!