There’s nothing more exciting than getting a new handbag in your collection. The joy at seeing it for the first time, the feel of its quality and craftsmanship, the story behind it… it’s hard to keep the smile from your face.
Caring for your handbag correctly can keep the smile on your face for longer, as not only will your bag continue to look great, but its resale value will remain.
Washing your hands before handling your precious bag will ensure that grease, oils and makeup are not transferred onto the material. Particularly with lighter coloured handbags, clean hands are a must; there’s nothing worse than getting foundation marks on a cream handbag!
It’s so tempting to leave your bag on the table at home (or even on the bedroom floor!); but keeping your handbag stored in a clean and tidy environment can help it to remain looking newer for longer.
Boxes (not plastic), dust bags and bag inserts can help to keep the shape of your handbag whilst it’s empty and also prevent it from becoming dusty.
Refrain from storing leather bags within a plastic box, as a natural material leather needs a breathable material such as cotton to protect it. Storage should always be in a dry area that’s free from damp.
The quality of the inside of your handbag is just as important as the outside when it comes to resale, so instead of dropping pens, makeup and elements loose into your bag, consider investing in smaller interior bags for each and even a handbag insert to prevent any spills or marks from reaching the lining.
If you do get any marks on the interior, try to deal with them quickly to prevent long term staining. Consider the material of the interior when choosing how to clean it, and refrain from using chemicals.
It can be quite difficult when you’re out and about to avoid your handbag from touching the floor or a dirty surface. Some restaurants offer stools for your bag; alternatively you can purchase a hook which goes under the table to hold your bag off the floor. These are great for using on public transport too. The base of your handbag is often where the most wear and tear is seen, which can impact its resale value.
If you love your bag and frequently use it, then wear and tear will occur. Investing in restoration and genuine repairs can keep your handbag in top condition for longer, without impacting its resale value. Some luxury brands offer refurbishment services, or their sales assistants will be able to guide you on recommended restorers.
As a general rule, keeping your bag away from heat, harsh sunlight and chemicals will increase its lifespan, as will having it professionally cleaned annually. However, different handbag materials require different care.
Satin is an extremely delicate fabric and unfortunately prone to stains. It’s advised to refer to the luxury brand for removing any stains or speak with your local dry cleaner. Never use chemicals on the material and refrain from using a high heat to dry it.
Store your satin bags wrapped in acid-free tissue paper, surrounded by cotton (a small pillowcase would suffice), in a cardboard box.
A little tougher than satin, marks on velvet bags can be removed with a soft brush and warm soapy water. Dab the material, rather than scrubbish at it to avoid damaging the bag. Storage of velvet bags is similar to satin bags, use acid-free tissue paper, wrapped in a dust bag and then placed in a cardboard box. Avoid plastic storage, as the material needs to breathe.
Another consideration with velvet bags is to avoid wearing dark clothing with light coloured velvets as the colour could transfer to the bag’s material.
Pale canvas bags are renowned for picking up colours from darker fabrics such as denim jeans, due to their natural fibres. Canvas bags are easier to clean than other materials though, mild soap watery and cloths can be used to clean small marks from the material, whilst specialist dry cleaners are the better option for larger stains.
As with other materials, canvas bags should be stored in dust bags and cardboard boxes, away from direct sunlight.
A favourite with Chanel Bags, caviar leather is a type of grained calfskin leather that is more hardwearing than other leather types. To remove any marks from the leather take a soft cloth and gently rub in a circular motion.
Never leave the bag exposed to moisture and avoid prolonged artificial lighting to prevent damp and discolouration. With lighter caviar leather bags, consider the clothing you’re wearing, as darker colours may stain the leather.
The shiny mirror-like finish of patent handbags can be deceiving as it’s actually one of the hardest finishes to keep looking new. This material is vulnerable to scuffs that can leave black marks, as well as dulling, so it’s advised to wipe the bag with a gentle cloth after every use to keep them sparkling.
Colour transfer is also common with patent leather, so they should be stored in their dust bag.
Bags made from the hides of animals such as pythons, ostriches and alligators are some of the rarest pieces and should be treated as such. Consider a temperature controlled environment for storage, frequent leather conditioning and avoiding moisture to keep these investment pieces looking as good as new. For handbags of this calibre, specialist cleaning is advised.
On the pre-owned market, the difference between a well cared for handbag and an under-loved bag can show in its resale value, particularly when it comes to luxury handbags. Browse our range of pre-owned designer handbags to find your next investment piece.