When you first acquire your bag it is a good idea to treat the surface with a protective treatment such as Scotchguard. This will provide a protective coating that will make the handbag resistant to liquids, spills and stains. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and all warnings prior to use to be sure that your handbag is made from a material that is safe for the product to be applied to. It’s probably a good idea to test a small part of the bag that may not be as visible to ensure a good outcome.
A soft cloth is a good choice to dust a handbag. For a smudge or spot a slightly damp towel can be used only if you spot check in a hidden area first to be sure that no discoloration or damage is caused when the area dries. Always allow your handbag to air dry if you have cleaned it or have been caught in the rain. Using a blow dryer or clothes dryer will cause heat damage. Taking the handbag to a professional for cleaning is a good idea for tough stains.
The old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true when caring for your handbags. Using some common sense strategies, you can keep your handbag from being damaged.
Always use clean hands when handling your handbag. Avoid handling just after applying beauty products or hand cream. If you have to go out in bad weather consider switching from your very expensive leather handbag to one made of a fabric that is more durable such as canvas or nylon.
Avoid setting your purse on the floor in public places such as restaurants, theatres and restrooms. Besides dirt and spills there are germs, microbes and bacteria that could be carried home and transferred to your bed or counter top.
If you will be storing your handbag in a drawer, on a shelf or in a file cabinet while at work be sure that there are no sharp edges that would scratch or otherwise damage it. You might consider slipping it into a pillowcase or handbag storage bag for protection. You could also pad the area by lining it with a towel or soft cloth.
Storing your handbag properly is another way to keep it in tip top shape. When not in use it is important to stuff the bag to help it keep its proper shape. Paper or material can be used but bubble wrap is the best option as it does not attract moths or moisture. Many handbags come with their own protective storage bag. If not, handbag storage bags can be found in retail stores both online and in your community. A simple and cost effective alternative are cotton pillowcases. Keeping your handbag covered when not in use will keep dust from sticking to it and damaging the finish.
For long term storage it is a good idea to remove the straps or loosen the buckles in order to keep them from developing permanent indentations. These indentations would be unsightly if you decide to change the length of the strap or the handle in the future. If your purse has a chain handle be sure to store it with the handle tucked inside the handbag to prevent scratches.