Leather, suede or high-gloss finish handbags – all of them need proper care. The type of material is determining the manner in which you keep your handbag clean and get rid of the stains.
A few DIY cleaning possibilities can give you excellent results. You will need several basic ingredients and kitchen staples to restore that old leather and to give your handbag a second life.
A high-gloss finish/varnish handbags: can easily scratch, it needs proper care and specific cleaning products. To keep your bags and shoes shiny, pad them with cotton wool soaked in skimmed milk and then polish them with a flannel cloth.
Most handbags are made of genuine leather. Natural leather can get stained easily. You are taking proper care of your leather shoes, do the same for your handbags.
Wax-based cleaning products are the best ones for leather bags. You will also need a piece of soft fabric to apply the product with. Refrain from buying cleaning products that contain alcohol and applying those directly to the leather – such products will potentially cause a lot of damage.
A soft piece of white fabric soaked in cow’s milk (this is better than colored cloths to avoid color migration) will help you get rid of everyday dirt and the buildup on the leather. Go over the entire bag and do a bit of rubbing on the dirtiest spots. Allow the bag to dry and rub it once again with a clean piece of fabric.
Flour and starch can be used for oil stains – these will draw the oil out of the leather. Leave the starch on the stain and wait for it to absorb the oil. Remember, flour and talcum have the same effect on oil stains on fabric.
Suede is a bit more demanding when it comes to cleaning. To keep the bag in good condition, get in the habit of giving it a thorough brushing (using special suede brush) immediately after you come home. The brushing will remove dirt and dust that will otherwise accumulate in the suede.
Any kind of moisture and wetness should be absorbed immediately. You will otherwise end up with a very unpleasant stain on the suede. When dealing with a stain, refrain from using water and cleaning products. You can try scraping it off with a knife. A rubber can be used effectively to get rid of any remaining dirt.
There are special suede brushes you can use after you are done with handbag cleaning. These will keep your beautiful handbags in a really good condition for many years to come.
If the handbag gets wet, to avoid staining the suede use a dry cloth to absorb any excess water and leave it to dry overnight, away from direct sources of heat. Once dry, brush the bag gently with a special suede brush.
To revamp an old hide handbag, rub its surface with cotton wool soaked in cleansing cream, this will eliminate the dirt and make the leather soft and shiny again.
For dirtier spots, add a few drops of lemon juice that can later be removed with a white cloth. Then wipe the bag over with neutral cream polish.
Leather and Fabric Handbags:
Handbags made of fabric can be cleaned with dishwashing liquid. Rub it into the spot with a soft sponge. Rinse gently and wash thoroughly with water. If necessary, repeat the procedure once again. Getting started immediately after the bag was stained will deliver much better results than trying to deal with an old stain.
To clean the leather part, use a special polish, then apply a layer of neutral shoe polish or use a color that will match the leather.
Do a spot test before trying any DIY cleaning option on your handbag. You can try the cleaning liquid on a small part of the bag’s bottom or in any other place that is inconspicuous. There should be no discoloration or change in the appearance of the material that the handbag is made of.
Always store your bags in their original boxes. Putting paper inside will maintain the shape of your handbags. Make sure that they are placed in a dry, well-ventilated place. Delicate fabrics and suede should be kept away from jeans and other colored clothing items. Color migration is a real possibility, so make sure that your beautiful handbags are protected.
If possible make sure you store AND bag it in a dry place and try to change the model, once a month, to combat usage. And, one last tip, avoid keeping suede or delicate leather bags next to jeans to prevent colour migration.
Fair warning: cleaning designer handbags can be risky, and if you’re not careful, it’s all too easy to transform a salvageable bag into a total loss. So, treat your bag with care and always test a new product on an inconspicuous area first.