DO wipe down your bag every couple of weeks, or spot-treat for minor cuffs & marks, with an alcohol-free, fragrance-free baby wipe. Finish by wiping with a clean, dry cloth.
DO use specialized handbag or saddle-leather conditioner once a month at most.
DO accent your bag with twilly scarves on the handles. Signs of wear tend to show up on the handles first, and twillys are a stylish yet strategic way to conceal it. Pick your favorite from top-fashion houses like Hermes and Fendi that feature vibrant colors and graphic patterns on the finest fabrics.
DON'T trust yourself with exotic skins or leathers. For these handbags, your safest option is to consult a professional.
DON'T treat water-spots yourself. These tend to be the most difficult marks to clean and it’s best to consult a professional (you just spent your hard-earned money on this piece–make sure it’s treated right!)
DON'T try to rid your handbag of any odors with chemical sprays like Febreeze. Go for dryer sheets, charcoal bags or baking soda.
DON'T WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T put your handbag on the floor! Floors create both sanitary issues and cleanliness issues.
DON'Thang your handbag. Whether it’s on a door or those nifty purse hooks at restaurants. This will stretch out the handles!
DO vet your repair shops. While your neighborhood repair shop may work wonders on your shoes, they may not have experience with all types of leather or luxury craftsmanship. Seek out a handbag specialist or specialty repair company.
DO research according to your bag brand. Your handbag’s brand may actually have its own cleaning, repair or refurbishment options, some of which could be offered at a much lower fee than your usual repair shop. However, you should note that these services can differ drastically in pricing.
DON'T expect next-day service. Your handbag is a piece of art, so repairs, refurbishments and/or thorough cleanings will be done meticulously. It may take a few weeks, or even a several months, to complete. For example, if the leather on your vintage Birkin cracks, it may be sent on a restorative, extended trip to the Hermes Spa in Paris, a specialty location.
DO use bag shapers and organizers. There are several easily accessible models on the market ranging in all prices and sizes to suit your handbag whether it’s a Louis Vuitton Speedy or a Birkin.
DO keep everything your bag comes with. For storage, place your handbag on its side in the dust bag and/or box and re-stuff it with its original tissue or plastic to keep its shape. You may also use acid-free tissue paper or insert pillows.
DON'T store your bag anywhere that gets direct sunlight. This may cause fading or color transfer that will discolor and damage your bag.
DON'T store your bag anywhere that experiences extreme temperatures (hot or cold). This may compromise the shape and the leather or fabric. Keep it in a dry, climate-controlled environment.
DON'Toverstuff your bag with tissue paper or other inserts for storage–it will end up losing its shape. Stick with the amount of “stuffing” your bag originally came with.
There you have it! As long as you treat your bag with care and take a little time for maintenance, you will have a truly timeless accessory. Plus, if you decide to let it go one day for another savvy fashion-lover to find, these tips will optimize your bag (and its profits) for resale. Now that’s what we call a win-win.