15 Hacks For Cleaning Your Designer Bags

After spending a small fortune stacking your wardrobe with the fanciest designer bags, we are willing to go the lengths in making them last.

We understand how delicate it is to care for leather bags, that is why we have contacted professionals in designer handbag care and restoration, to provide you with the best methods to take care of your merchandise. With this article, you won’t need to worry about searching for “dry cleaners near me” to carry out the cleaning process for you.

Is it necessary to protect your handbag?

Leather is a not a random bag material but a skin and needs its own kind of skincare regime too, so you should protect your bag from day one, and this can be achieved by regular cleaning. Making use of helpful tools and tricks to prevent signs of wear also keeps your bag looking new for as long as possible. You can keep your bags well structured in storage using a bag pillow, and also avoid them touching the floor with the use of a handbag hook which folds out to fit on tables and bar areas.

What to use in protecting your bag

At the very least, you will need a makeup bag and a pen lid. Interior stains often occur when you stuff your bag with makeup brushes, a smashed powder and lipsticks without lids. And because of the high oil content, makeup and ink are some of the most challenging stains to remove, and you should take care of the inside of your bag as much as the outside. You can purchase a Stain Cover for insurance. 

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How frequently should your bag be cleaned?

This solely depends on how often you use the bag. The more it is exposed to the elements, the more it needs cleaning. A bag used every other day should be cleaned every two to three months. However, special occasions and weekend bags need only be cleaned every six to nine months to keep the shine.

Cleaning your handbag at home

For those of us who just can’t hand over our bags to a specialist to be cleaned each month, there are many possible steps you can take to keep your bags clean in your own homes.

  • Make use of a cleaning solution to clean the inside of the bag.  
  • After drying for a few minutes, apply the protection cream. Be mindful of corners, handles and frequently touched areas. Leave the bag to dry for 10 minutes then buff out any excess. 
  • The entire process doesn’t take more than 15 minutes, but can big bank on future restoration treatments. It also retains bag value, giving you your money’s worth.   
  • For bags with a  light-colour or absorbent leather, repeat the process to take care of the easily soiled leathers.   
  • If you can’t do the whole bag because of time, focus on main areas like the handle..

Removing liquid stains

Liquid stains are the most common issues fixed here Master Dry Cleaners. Mostly being made of lightly treated leather, most handbags are very absorbent. Handbags especially are prone to stains from rainwater, beverages, perfume leaks etc.

If your handbag gets in contact with any of these, there are some steps you can follow to reduce the staining and minimise the damage.

  • Blot the stained area immediately to absorb as much of the liquid as you can.
  • After removing the excess liquid, blot the stained area with a damp cloth or tissue using warm water.
  • Avoid cleaning from the inside to the outside, instead clean the other way round, preventing the stain from spreading. 
  • Advance by dabbing the stained area with a dry cloth to absorb left-over water or cleaner. Do not rub the stained area or risk spreading the stain.
  • Leave to dry in a warm room. Never apply heat directly to the stained area, or this could spread it.
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If the stain persists, contact us at Master Dry Cleaners for a quote.

Always remember to:

  • Stick to a proper cleaner. Never make use of baby wipes, vinegar or any other ‘home remedy’ to clean your bags. The active chemicals may damage the colour, dry the leather out, create a build-up of grease in the leather or any other unforeseen complications.
  • Spot-test a cleaning method before practical use, preferably on the inside of the bag where it won’t be noticed.
  • Treat them immediately. It is best to give your stained bag to a professional immediately. If you can’t, try a special ink removing product, following the instructions and sticking to the procedure.
  • Seek professional care for old and stubborn stains.

Removing Odours

The first step to removing odours is eliminating bacteria, thus, the bag needs to be cleaned thoroughly inside and outside. 

  • Make sure you have the right products for all the materials used for your bag.
  • If possible, pull the lining out of your bag and clean thoroughly.
  • Clear out bacteria in the pockets.
  • Focus on handles, and anywhere oil may have been absorbed.
  • After cleaning, finish with protection cream on any leather on the bag (we offer scented rich leather smell that reduces unwanted odours). On fabrics, you can use a fabric freshening spray but avoid saturating the fabric, or you may risk the bag getting warped or end up damaging the leather or metalwork.

The “Don’ts” of Handbag cleaning

  • Do not use water on grease stains; they should come off of leather surfaces easily.
  • Do not use saddle soap, they are strong, and you risk discolouring your bag.
  • Do not leave your handbag in direct sunlight, it causes fading and damages the leather.
  • Do not hold your handbag after applying hand cream, this may cause grease stains.
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Do you prevent or repair damage on the hardware?

A bag could sustain hardware damages due to excess stress in the straps or details. This happens when you overfill the bag or use it to carry heavy items. Handbags are merely fashion accessories and should not be used for excess weight.

If you struggle to close your turn locks, then you have too much in your bag. This exerts unnecessary pressure on it and could scratch or break the metalwork. The more the pressure, the quicker it’ll break. Polish your metalwork to keep it fresh, but avoid getting it on the leather. Be extra careful with custom hardware as they are harder to replace.

We can help in sourcing or replacing a vast range of damaged metalwork, but we are unable to source for branded pieces, so ensure you are careful with branded metalwork elements. 

Storing your handbag the right way

  • Stuff your bag when not in use. This helps keep its shape.
  • If you have a dust bag, use it. They help keep your bags dust-free.
  • If you don’t have a dust bag, you can make use of an old pillowcase – JUST KEEP IT COVERED! 

For a professionally cleaned handbag, do well to contact us at Masters Dry Cleaners and our team will be glad to provide you with dry cleaners next day service. We are just a call away. 

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