Freya Ostrich skin bag R19 0777 – Via Veneta by Via La Moda
So, you’ve saved up and finally purchased a top quality leather bag. But, how do you clean and care for it correctly to ensure it looks it’s very best for years to come? Luckily, I have a few simple steps you can follow that will ensure your handbag/s are kept in mint condition for years to come. I asked top, local handbag brand VIA LA MODA for their insight.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR LEATHER BAG
Wipe your bag down after every use with a soft, dry, lint free cloth to remove any dirt or dust.
It’s so important to give your leather bag a feed at least once a year. And by feed, I mean a good rub down with a leather conditioner. Leather does dry out over time, so moisturising it will prevent flaking and wrinkling. Simply dab a dollop of conditioner onto a soft cloth, and gently rub all over your bag.
STORE YOUR BAGS CORRECTLY
Good quality bags normally come with their own dustbag – use it when the bag is not in use. Alternatively, you could use a pillowcase. Ensure your bags are stored in the upright position. I also always stuff my bags when they’re not in use with scarves or sock – this helps them retain their original shape. Save those silica gel sachets you find (in shoes boxes) and pop them into your bag when it’s not in use – this will ensure your bag doesn’t get damp or moldy. Remember, using the same bag everyday will wear it out, so switch things up every month.
PROTECT YOUR BAGS LINING
These days, most good quality bags come with beautifully lined interiors. Invest in a few pouches to store things like make-up and liquids – these will protect your handbag’s lining from spills and pen marks as well as keeping your bag organized. The Miche Purse Organiser (R180) is my favourite – buy HERE
‘Monique’ leather bag by Via Venetta for Via La Moda R4442
TOP TIPS AND TRICKS
- Let water spills dry naturally. Blasting them with a hairdryer will cause harm and the skin will crinkle.
- Have you and your handbag been caught in the rain? Don’t place it near a heater to dry out! Instead, stuff it with tissue paper (not newspaper, this will leave marks) and place it in a dark, warm and well-aerated cupboard.
- Remove pen marks on the leather by spraying a little hairspray (I use Elnett) onto the stain – see HERE. Don’t do this on ostrich or exotic leather skins – rather have the stain professionally removed.
- Greasy stains can be removed by sprinkling a little talcum powder onto the stain immediately, allow to stand and remove after a few hours.
- If the inside of your bag smells a tad funky, fill a small plastic bag with 3 tablespoons of baking powder and pop it inside your bag for 1 to 2 days to absorb the odor. You could also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil (I love neroli) to a ball of cotton wool and pop it inside your bag for a few days.
‘Merenga’ bag in hornback, R14 672 by Via La Moda
- Keep your handbag out of direct sunlight as it can cause discolouration.
- Avoid handling your bag if your hands are dirty or if you have lotion or cream on them.
- Don’t leave your bag on the floor – rather rest it on a table or seat. Feng Shui disciples believe it’s bad luck to leave your bag on the floor and have this saying; “A purse on the floor is money out the door”.
- Don’t overload your bag with too many items (like laptop computers etc.) – this will cause it to loose its shape and result in straps breaking.
Still haven’t found that perfect leather bag? Take a look at the beautiful options on offer at VIA LA MODA – you’ll find a great selection of leather, ostrich and exotic skin bags (all ethically sourced & produced)