8 tricks to ensure your handbags will last for years

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Different handbags. Image from http://ow.ly/Yv6ep

We all have a favorite handbag. One that we may or may not have spent a considerable amount of money on, but it’s always that bag that you want to dish out for that evening date or that early business meeting. Have you ever ruined one of those ‘favorite’ handbags and you can even recall how you did it? Well many of my friends admit to not even knowing how they ruin their bags, they just notice how one day they are out of shape or the color starts to fade. So how can you keep your handbag looking great for a long period?

Different handbags. Image from http://ow.ly/Yv6ep
Different handbags. Image from http://ow.ly/Yv6ep

1. Protect your bags from objects and surfaces that may scratch or mark the finish.

This particularly includes where you keep your bag. Most ladies just dump their bags on the floor once they get home saying that ‘the floor is clean anyway’. This also means you avoiding the habit of putting your bag on the floor, especially in restaurants. Most cafes nowadays have hooks under their tables to keep bags safe and clean. If you can’t find the hook, place the bag on our lap or on a neighboring seat.

2. Always handle your handbag with clean hands.

Lotions and oils can transfer to either the handles or the body of the bag. Always make sure you give them a quick wipe especially at the handles, the bottom and the corners. Baby wipes usually work for general stains. For leather bags, be cautious of the ones with alcohol or chlorine for they can be damaging to the leather. Feather Factor will give you a few tips.

3. Also avoid over cleaning your bag.

Constant washing and wiping of the bag will lead to general destruction of the bag. Clean it only when really necessary to maintain its cleanliness and general shape as well.

4. Overstuffing.

This goes to the ladies who see it fit to put sandals, food, and a change of clothes, perfume and hairspray all in a bag that is meant to carry a journal, purse, tablet and phone, inclusive of their charges. Try not to overstuff your bag as this may cause stretching, ripping of the lining or deformations in the material. If you need to carry all these things then find a bag that is meant for that particular purpose.

5. Give them a break.

Try not to overly abuse your accessories. If you keep going to work, church and for that hiking trip with the same bag then it definitely won’t live long. Try rotating your bags to give them time to air out. Remember also to empty the bag but don’t leave it completely empty. Have stuffing (old but clean rags put in a clean paper bag) and put them in the bag to help maintain its shape. Keep your bag away from storage in direct sunlight, and do not allow it to come in contact with alcohol or solvents.

6. As for leather

Firstly, use a stiff bristled brush (an old toothbrush works well) to knock off any caked-on dirt. Next, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe your leather and remove any surface grease and grime. Finally, apply a small amount of water and a dab of mild laundry detergent to a cloth (you may find it useful to use a spray bottle for this – it ensures that you don’t use too much water or soap), and gently clean all areas of the leather that remain dirty. For salt stains, white vinegar instead of water will work wonders. There are some great tips here on how to clean leather.

7. Keep makeup in a small separate makeup bag

Always put your makeup in a separate bag. This avoids spillage of products into your bag. It also helps keeps them in one place to avoid going through your entire bag to look for your eye pencil. Also always clean your makeup before putting it in your bag.

8. Don’t put pens on the inside of your bag without caps on. I am actually very guilty of this. Once I use my pen I just throw it in my bag without returning its cap back on. Due to the heat outside and inside the bag, the fluid in the pen expands and the ink leaves blot stains everywhere. Also, don’t store uncapped pencils in your bag or you will end up having numerous pencil stains inside the bag that are hard to clean.

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