How to clean & condition your designer leather bag?

This Hermès BIRKIN 30 Bag Emerald Green Crocodile Palladium is listed for nearly £69,000 at the moment, so with something like this under your wing, you might want to stick to a regular cleaning and care routine.

When you buy an expensive leather handbag from a well known designer, it’s not just something that makes you personally happy, but it’s often also an investment. It’s possible to buy a Hermès Birkin handbag and sell it for more at an auction few years later, for example.

There is a catch though – it needs to be in an excellent condition, so it’s crucial to know how to clean, condition and store your designer bag.

Most of the designer handbags are made from real leather, be it a cow hide or soft lamb leather, and that makes them very sensitive to water and oil staining. A leather handbag that is not looked after can start to look dull and dry.

 

How to clean your leather handbag:

EVERY DAY:

When you get a new bag, make the effort of giving it a quick wipe with a dry cloth, every day, when you bring it home. You won’t believe how much difference this makes. Just a second of your time means that the bag will be free of dust and hopefully some other particles it could have picked up.

REGULARLY:

& when your bag needs a bit more TLC:

STEP 1:

First you need to clean the dirt and dust that is on the bag with a cleaner that is designed for the specific type of leather that your handbag is made of.

The best way to find out which cleaner to use for your handbag is… ask the costumer services of the designer of your handbag. I know this is obvious but it’s really crucial that you know what their recommendation is. You might have also been given this information when you bought your bag.

Here are some links for some of the well know handbag designers’ costumer services so you can consult them, they will not mind you contacting them, after all they want you to come back for more:

Chanel –  contact Chanel Costumer Services via an online form here.
Vuitton UK Costumer Services – for product care, contact their Client Service on +44 207 998 6286 or visit one of their stores. More info here.
Hermès USA – Call 1-800-441-4488 and more care and repair info is here.
Bally UK Costumer Services Contact clientservicesUK@bally.ch or call them on 0800 1851 181

Mulberry Costumer Services UK – Doesn’t offer a cleaning service but can advice you on the best way to clean your bag:  +44 (0) 1761 234 273 or enquiries@mulberry.com
Coach Costumer Care – Don’t offer a cleaning or refurbishing service, but make a Coach Product Care line(Leather Cleaner, Leather Moisturizer and Fabric Cleaner) that can be used on their handbags. Email uk.customercare@coach.com with further questions

It needs to be said that handbags made from crocodile skin – such as Birkin Hermès handbag should not be exposed to water at all, and it’s recommended that you leave the cleaning to Hermès specialists.

STEP 2

Pay extra care to the hardware parts of your bag – the handle, locks etc, as some common cleaners could tarnish them.

ONCE A MONTH – CONDITION:

Conditioning your designer handbag is an important step in caring for it. Don’t skip it. It will protect your handbag from dust and staining.
Treat your handbag as you treat your own skin – you need to moisturise it to prevent drying of the leather which could result of wrinkles and flaking – and you certainly don’t want that!

How to condition a leather handbag:
1) Using a soft, dry cloth, and a little bit of conditioner, gently run this over your handbag. Mink of Netsfoot Oils are particularly gentle and suitable for leather handbags.
2) Leave for 10 minutes and then wipe any oil that has not soaked in the leather.
3) The handbag will now need to be left to dry out properly.

+ the very important WATERPROOFING

Bright coloured (not natural) shade of your designer handbag might look trendy but the way they are dyed with tannin, makes them very sensitive to water. Getting soaked in the rain is one of the worst thing that can happen to your bag. It will not be happy!

If that happens, make sure you remove any residual water as quickly as possible with a paper towel, put loose paper inside the bag and leave to dry naturally.

To keep water off your bag in the future, it’s a good idea to use a spray protection.

For example this Collonil Waterproof Spray is made by Mulberry‘s and sold in Selfridges.

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