When you finally buy that designer handbag that you have been admiring from afar, you will likely want to ensure that your fashion investment stays in good shape for as long as possible. One easy way to damage a high-quality designer bag is through the use of improper cleaning techniques. To avoid this preventable damage, you must pay careful consideration to the materials used to construct your handbag and select cleaners and cleaning methods proven to remove dirt and grime without damaging the bag’s tender surface.
Protect your prized purse. Take precautions to ensure that you have to do as little cleaning as possible. Place your bag in a dust cover when it is not in use. Use a purse liner to protect the delicate interior. Keep your bag off the ground by investing in a table-top purse hanger to use when you are out in public.
Clean oil stains with cornstarch. Oil can wreak havoc on leather. If oil should touch your bag’s surface, dab on some cornstarch. This thirsty component will soak up the oil and leave your bag’s surface unharmed.
Use an eraser for pen or pencil marks. Before cleaning your entire bag, focus on pencil and pen marks as these stains are more difficult to remove from the bag’s surface. Purchase a white art eraser and gently run the eraser across the pencil or pen mark to remove the blemish. Do not scrub the eraser hard against the surface, as doing this will likely result in discoloration. Inspect the bag carefully to ensure that you have removed all these marks before continuing with the cleaning process.
Clean the entire exterior of your bag with a cleaner specifically designed for use on leather. Apply the cleaner with a non-abrasive cloth and rub in small, soft strokes. Do not scrub at the bag’s surface as this could change the color or texture of your bag. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on your leather cleaner bottle, as specific directions for use vary from product to product and failure to follow these directions could result in damage to your prized purse.
Use a mild detergent to clean the interior. With a gentle hand soap or dish soap, spot treat any areas of dirt inside the bag. Apply this detergent by moistening a cloth and placing a small amount of the soap onto the cloth. Rub the soapy cloth directly on any stained areas to remove the dirt. Rinse away the soap by rubbing the spot again with a cloth that contains water only.
Allow purse and liner to dry naturally. Do not use heat or any other drying method as doing so can result in damage.
Condition the leather. Purchase a leather conditioner, and use this conditioner to treat the leather and ensure that it remains soft and supple.
Eliminate odors with baking soda. If the interior of your purse smells, place a small container of baking soda inside and allow it to sit for several days. The soda will absorb the noxious smell and ensure that your bag is clean as it can be, both inside and out.