CNA – Big-ticket luxury bags are supposed to be designed and made to last a lifetime. Yet some of them arrive prematurely at the finish line – and it could be because of what you’ve been doing to it.
The way you store your bag plays a critical role in their lifespan. So if you have plans to pass on that gorgeous Bleu Brume Hermes Kelly to your daughter, read on to learn how to sidestep some common mistakes many of us make when storing handbags.
It is never too late to cultivate good habits, your daughter will thank you for it.
NOT CLEANING YOUR BAG AFTER USE
Not putting your bag on the floor doesn’t make your purse pristine clean. The first and possibly most important step to proper bag storage is cleaning it.
After each use, it is necessary to clean the bag both inside and out. If your purse is made of leather, wipe the exterior with a slightly damp cloth or an alcohol-free baby wipe, followed by a dry cloth. For untreated leather or suede bags, dust with a dry cloth. On the inside, use a lint roller or a handheld vacuum cleaner to get into hard-to-reach places.
OVERSTUFFING YOUR PURSE
You’ve heard that filling up an empty bag helps it retain its shape. But how much is enough? All you need is to stuff your bag enough for its structure to be supported. Under-stuffing can cause the bag to crease permanently while overstuffing can stretch out the material.
It is recommended to use purse pillows or acid-free paper as stuffing. But never use newspaper as the ink can transfer and stain the lining inside the bag.
LEAVING HARDWARE EXPOSED
Exposed hardware can leave marks on your bag. Chains, zippers, rivets and buckles that are left to sit against the bag can leave indentation marks.
Wrap chain link straps in soft tissue or cloth and place them inside the bag so they never get a chance to leave marks on the leather. Also avoid placing your purses too closely together as exposed hardware can scratch or leave marks on the other bag that is pressed up against it.
NOT PROTECTING YOUR BAG
Ideally, store your bag in its original box. But if space is an issue, place your bag in a dust bag to protect it from unnecessary light exposure. Bags may discolour over time, especially if exposed to prolonged light. If you don’t have a dust bag, a cotton pillowcase or a cotton tee will also work.
HANGING YOUR BAGS
Bag handles are not designed to endure sitting on hooks or hangers for extended periods of time. By so doing, you’re, in fact, hastening the wear and tear of bag handles. Over time, the bag will eventually lose its shape. You’ll be doing your bag a favour by placing them upright on a flat surface – either on a shelf or inside drawers.
TOSSING OUT THE SILICA GEL
The tiny sachets of silica gel that come with most bags are meant to absorb excess moisture in the air so don’t be quick to toss them out. They are your saving grace for keeping leather bags free of mould.
If your purse does become mouldy, wipe it down with a soft dry cloth and let it air out for a day. If that doesn’t do the trick, take it to a professional for deep cleaning.
NOT AIRING THEM OUT
Your bags need to get out from time to time. Make it a point to take them out of their boxes or dust bags once a month for some air and while they are out, give them a once-over to ensure that they are free of mould.