Ah, there’s nothing that could ruin a prized and precious designer bag like sheer carelessness. Sure, we’re humans after all, and we’re bound to err. But little mistakes like a loose lipstick rolling around in the depths of your bag, or a split fingernail scratching past your leather bag can be glaring and horrifying, especially on a pricey investment designer bag.
Based on the data we’ve gleaned from over 600 designer bags that we’ve restored in-house at the Style Theory Bags’ restoration studio, here are 10 things you should absolutely avoid around your designer bag.
#1 Makeup, lotions and perfumes
Staples in every lady’s designer bag, loose cosmetic items like lipsticks, eyeliner, perfumes, and hand creams should always be kept in a makeup pouch to avoid any accidental leaks and spills.
After applying hand creams or spritzing on perfume, avoid touching your bag immediately. Additives and fragrances from lotions, as well as the alcohol in perfumes, can discolour and stain your bag’s leather. And of course, keep freshly manicured nails away from your bag to prevent any polish smudges and scuffs on both your nails and bag!
Leather and water aren’t friends. Water can draw out the natural oils in your leather as it evaporates, and it can move dyes and leave streaks on your coloured bags. While water doesn’t leave a stain, dried spots of water can leave obvious marks on your leather.
If your bag is ever caught in the rain (that’s what designer bag raincoats are made for!), blot and dab water off — don’t wipe and spread it to other unaffected areas!
Especially a brand new pair of dark-wash denim. When you’re out with your designer bag, it’s inevitable that your bag will come into contact with the clothes you’re wearing. And, if it’s denim against a lighter-coloured bag, you might find bluish colour transfer on your bag that will not be easy at all to remove once the dye penetrates the leather.
Keeping pens out of bags may seem like a no-brainer, but with work bags that will often see a pen and notebook stashed inside, pen marks and doodles are still very common on the interior and exterior of the bags we’ve restored. If you absolutely have to, use tightly-capped pens instead of retractable pens, and try to keep them safely in a slim pen case.
#5 Hand sanitiser
What can we say — this item rose to the top of the charts of must-haves in just a short few months. With the increased frequency of using alcohol-based or water-based hand sanitiser, the risks of accidental spills, leaks, and squirts are all the more higher. Keep your bag away, or behind you, when applying hand sanitiser, and don’t grab your bag before your hands are dry!
#7 Casual, crowded places
You could be abiding a 100 per cent of the Designer Bag Care Bible, but all it takes is one careless stranger to wreck your beloved designer bag. Avoid rowdy and crowded places like bars and clubs, or at the very least, bring your most durable designer bags if you have to.
#6 Food and drink
Your designer bag doesn’t need to keep evidence of a great night out with wine spills and bolognese sauce. When you’re out eating, be sure to keep your designer bag away from food and drink, on a separate seat, or covered with a table napkin.
#8 Alcohol-based cleaners
Alcohol is a stripping agent and will pull the colour pigments out of your leather, as well as dry out and damage the leather over time. Never use pure isopropyl alcohol or alcohol-based wet wipes in an effort to clean off any stains — you’ll only damage your bag further!
Read More: How to Maintain and Store Your Designer Bags
#9 Magic Erasers
A relatively new Internet “hack” circulating within designer bag communities is the magic eraser — white melamine foam sponges you could easily grab off supermarkets. But, don’t get over-zealous rubbing off a stain with a magic eraser. While it might work for light stains, it could be at the expense of your delicate leather bag as these sponges are abrasive, and you’re basically rubbing down and thinning the delicate leather.
And the most important of all, #10 DIY leather cleaning hacks
Hairdryers, household detergents, vinegar, baking soda, baby wipes, magic erasers — well, you name it, the Internet’s got it. DIY hacks and home remedies you find on the Internet might seem like quick, easy, and affordable remedies for bag emergencies, you might be creating even more problems — and there’s no turning back!
Instead of combining inexperience with unreliable Internet hacks, send your designer bags to a true leather expert or a professional bag cleaning service to remove stains and to cover up colour transfers and scuff marks!
Is your designer bag already a victim from any one of these 10 mistakes listed above? At Style Theory Bags Restore, our restoration experts use cutting-edge tools and premium materials for stain reduction, colour touch-ups, and edge restoration that will bring your designer bag back to life again! Find out more about the tools we use, or book your service package here.