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How To Care For Your Favorite Bags

Show your collection some extra TLC with these handy hints

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Photography: Vincent Coscolluela (Main Photo)

While we all have a favorite bag, it's common to keep around three to four more at home. After all, there's one we use for work, another for doing errands, and a big one we use during trips. Aside from keeping these organized and using a few essentials to keep it in tip-top shape, there are a few hacks that can help you preserve its mint condition. Get started with these ideas:

Don't keep them in plastic bags.


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Beware: Plastics and other synthetic fabrics can trap moisture, potentially causing more problems. Don’t have dust bags? You can use a cotton pillowcase as an alternative. Those who love working on DIY projects can use a plain cotton fabric as well.

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Remove stains immediately.


The secret to successful stain removal is to act fast. Food and oil stains can be removed by rubbing a paste of cornstarch on the area, then brushing off after letting it soak for hours. An eraser can be used for fresh ink stains; just test on one small part first before moving on to a bigger area.

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To rid the lining of your bag of makeup stains, wash with warm water and a gentle laundry detergent with no bleach. Spot-cleaning with alcohol works, too; just make sure to allow it to dry well before putting the lining back inside.

Just remember: For major stains or damages that are beyond your skill set, it’s always best to take your wares to a handbag repair pro.

Routine maintenance is important.

Schedule regular cleaning sessions—even on bags you have no plans of using anytime soon. Once a week, wipe down the surfaces of the bags you use regularly using a soft cloth, and apply a leather moisturizer to keep the material free from cracks. Also, make sure they’re empty before you put them back into storage. Remove any liquids that may spill, and rid them of any small debris (think: food crumbs!) that may attract insects.

Put them away properly after every use.

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This simply means making it a habit to return them to their respective dust bags, keeping them in a safe, dry place away from direct sunlight, and always storing them in an upright position—neither squished nor hanging—to help them maintain their shape.

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