Handbags: how to clean and care

How to: old fashioned tips to remove dirt and stains from your beloved handbags.


A high-gloss finish/varnish handbags: can easily scratch, it needs proper care and specific cleaning products. To keep your bags and shoes shiny, pad them with cotton wool soaked in skimmed milk and then polish them with a flannel cloth.

Leather handbags: If your handbag is made of rich, natural leather, what you need is a del icate cleansing product, as this type of material can easily stain. In this case, a soft cloth with neutral wax-based products (containing no solvents or alcohol and never to be used directly on the bag) will do the trick. Dirt caused by every day wear and tear can be removed by rubbing the leather with cotton wool or a white cloth soaked in cow’s milk (this is better than coloured cloths to avoid colour migration). Rub the whole bag, concentrating on dirtier parts, then let it dry and gently rub it over again with a clean cloth. Oil stains can be removed with corn starch. Leave the starch on the stain and wait for it to absorb the oil. Remember, flour and talcum have the same effect on oil stains on fabric.

Suede handbags: Dirt can be eliminated with a special brush but remember to use it always in the same direction. Stains can be removed by gently scraping the area with a knife and then eliminating any spots of dirt with a rubber. If the handbag gets wet, to avoiding staining the suede use a dry cloth to absorb any excess water and leave it to dry overnight, away from direct sources of heat. Once dry, brush the bag gently with a special suede brush.

Hide handbags: To revamp an old hide handbag, rub its surface with cotton wool soaked in cleansing cream, this will eliminate the dirt and make the leather soft and shiny again. For dirtier spots, add a few drops of lemon juice that can later be removed with a white cloth. Then wipe the bag over with neutral cream polish.

Leather and fabric handbags: To clean the fabric, use washing up liquid foam, rubbing into the fabric with a soft sponge. Then rinse it gently, cleaning the surface with the same sponge rinsed in warm water. To clean the leather part, use a special polish, then apply a layer of neutral shoe polish or use a colour that will match the leather.

Play Attention: Be careful to test any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area of your bag before using it.

An at least storage: always store your handbags in its original protective cloth bag and stuff it with tissue paper to keep its shape. Try to use the paper that was in it when you bought it, put it away in its original box together with silica gel packets to prevent the formation of moisture. If possible make sure you store the bag it in dry place and try to change the model, once a month, to combat usury. And, one last tip, avoid keeping suede or delicate leather bags next to jeans to prevent colour migration.


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