How to care for your leather bag

Investing in a premium leather handbag may feel a bit daunting – especially in Sri Lanka where humidity levels make us feel sometimes like we’re living underwater. However, all you need is a little confidence and knowledge on how to take care of your handbag so that you can make sure it will hang around as long as you.

So let’s begin with educating ourselves.

Your bag’s leather, just like your skin, will age, get wrinkled, and may even get spots. This is all part of the aging process of what is an organic material, and therein lies its charm – it’s what gives our bag character and what makes each piece unique.


"María" Bag by ENCUIRE

So how do we care for our bag?

  1. Always store your bag in the dust bag it comes with. These simple cotton bags allow for air to circulate, and protect it from dust and humidity.
  2. If you’re going to store the bag for a while, stuff it with paper (not newspaper as the ink may rub off on it) so that it retains its shape, and keep it in its dust bag in a dry place. As an added step, you can purchase silica bead packets and include one in the dust bag, then close. Be aware though that you should change these packets every month or so.
  3. When using your bag, always use a pouch for your makeup in case of accidental spillage.
  4. To clean your bag, use a cotton cloth to remove dust. If the leather is suede, you can use a scotch brite sponge to brush it, or a brush with fine bristles.
  5. If your bag gets wet, dry it off with a cotton cloth then hang to dry in a well-ventilated place.
  6. You can use a makeup remover wipe to gently and carefully remove small stains. If you do it too brusquely you risk taking the color off your bag, so little by little is the key, focusing only on the part with the stain.
  7. After many years of use, if your bag’s leather has lost its elasticity and it seems dry and rigid, you can carefully apply Nivea cream on the bag. Apply the cream on a towel and then apply all over the bag, making sure it goes on uniformly.

What NOT to do:

Don’t expose the bag to direct heat, continuous sun or rain. If your bag gets wet, don’t use a blow dryer or any other direct heat source as this will make the stain worse.

Don’t put your bag away in a box or plastic bag in dark damp places where the air won’t circulate – this is what can cause mold build-up.

Don’t put anything on top of the bag or leave it folded as this may cause the bag to deform.

Don’t use abrasive cleaning agents, detergents, rubbing alcohol, or other cleaning products as these may cause irreparable damage to the bag.

What to do if your bag gets stained with grease, wine, juice or some other liquid that doesn’t come out.

Nothing! This is part and parcel with owning a leather bag. The adventures and experiences you have with your bag may leave their mark– but that’s ok. Your bag will still look cool and unique and will have the added bonus of reminding you of a life well-lived!  

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