8 common mistakes when it comes to caring for your handbag

8 common mistakes when it comes to caring for your handbag

8 common mistakes when it comes to caring for your handbag – Whether you’ve invested in a designer handbag or you’re looking for ways to make the most out of your everyday bag collection, the experts at House of Fraser share exactly how you can maximise the lifespan of your favourite accessory.

8 common mistakes when it comes to caring for your handbag

From not cleaning it regularly enough to how best to properly store your bags, a House of Fraser expert shares the eight mistakes you’re making when it comes to caring for your bag collection.

  1. Not emptying and cleaning your bags regularly  

Our bags get a lot of use over time, so making sure they’re cleaned properly is key in helping to maximise their lifespan.

A House of Fraser expert explains: “When it comes to caring for your bag collection, clean them both internally and externally to give them a fresh look and feel, and of course, focus on the parts that are handled more often as these will have the most wear and tear. For example, the handles or zip pulls.

“A build-up of crumbs, dirt and dust can cause unwanted odours in your bags so don’t forget to give the lining a good clean too. If you use your bag every day, aim to clean it every two to three months. Empty all the pockets before gently shaking it upside down outside to make sure it’s completely emptied.”

  1. Forgetting to store items in your handbag properly  

Often, it’s the items in our handbag that can cause damage to our arm candy so making sure to store them correctly within your bag is important if you want to avoid stain marks.

The expert at House of Fraser says: “Loose pens, makeup products, leaked drinks and even perfume can all stain leather and suede handbags easily. Makeup can be a particularly tough stain to remove due to the high oil content so make sure to keep lipsticks, bronzers and blush in an enclosed makeup bag, to avoid unwanted spillages.

  1. Not treating stains straight away   

Leaving any stains untreated can make them harder to remove – and it’s the same when it comes to stains on your handbags too.

The expert says: “Whether your bag is suede, leather or patent leather, help to prevent water stains from the rain by using a waterproofing spray. Be careful to cover any embellishments and hardware on your bag with a cloth or masking tape before you spray.

“For stains, blot immediately with a clean, dry cloth or tissue. This is especially important for untreated leather bags as a damp cloth could mark the leather. Avoid baby wipes, vinegar or hash chemicals as they can cause the leather to dry out, lose its colour and even cause a build-up of grease.

“If you have a patent leather bag, you might find it tends to be less prone to stains as it’s coated with lacquer. However, ink and water stains can still cause a problem. For any water or ink marks, dab a cloth in alcohol and gently rub it in the affected area until the spot disappears. For any other stains, use a damp cloth – make sure you wring it out first – and a mild soap and rub in circular motions on the stain. This solution will help patent leather keep its shine too but for an extra glossy finish, wipe down your patent leather bag with a soft polishing cloth. Leave to dry before using a leather conditioner.”

  1. Overloading your bag  

“While tote bags or shoulder bags allow you to pile in more items, be careful when packing your crossbody bag.

“Avoid damage to your bag’s lock hardware and chain by making sure it is not overloaded. Checking it’s packed properly will help to ensure less pressure is applied to these areas.”

  1. Forgetting to polish the hardware

“It’s normal for brass and coated metal to experience wear and tear over a period of time. To help keep metal hardware looking brand new and less tarnished, pour some metal polish onto a dry towel or cloth before rubbing over your bag’s hardware.

“If you can remove your hardware, like the iconic Louis Vuitton lock, this will help to make sure the polish doesn’t come into contact with the rest of the bag, to avoid stains.

“To delicately clean hardware that can’t be detached from the bag, pour the metal polish onto a cotton bud before using this to polish the hardware for a precise clean.”

  1. Forgetting to stuff your bag  

“To help maintain your favourite handbags and designer bags in shape, make sure to keep them stuffed when you’re not using them with tissue paper. Never use newspaper as the ink could transfer onto the lining.

“For an extra layer of protection, place bags in a dust bag or alternatively an old pillowcase to help keep them protected while not in use. If you decide not to use dust covers, make sure to check on each bag every so often to dust them with a dry cloth.”

  1. Leaving heavy items in your tote bag  

“When it comes to storing tote bags, make sure to remove heavy items first to avoid the bag from stretching and losing shape. Once emptied, fold or hang the empty tote away.

“To cut down on space, fold tote bags within other bags to help keep them contained.”

  1. Not storing your handbag correctly  

“Don’t hang handbags on the back of a door or rack as this can cause the chain or handles to lose shape. Instead, place them on a shelf or flat surface, away from direct sunlight to prevent the material from fading. To reduce discolouration or marks, make sure your bags are separated from one another and not touching.

“If you’re tight on space, store each handbag in a box – just make sure to check up on them every few months to check for mould, mildew, cracking or other signs of deterioration.”

Poppy Watt

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