If you’re hoping your designer handbag will last a lifetime, you need to learn how to store them properly. To reduce the chance of damage, handbags should always be stored within a dust bag, inside a box, and in a room that isn’t overly humid. To keep their shape, stuffing is recommended, and any hardware should be carefully wrapped. If you’ve used your bag before storing it, it’s also important you clean it and use the correct products to protect the material. For more in-depth details to help you store handbags correctly, read on for the full guide.
When Might a Handbag Need to be Properly Stored?
If you’re always using a handbag, be it your trusty Louis Vuitton Shoulder Bag or the gorgeous Chanel Boy Bag, you may never need to properly store it. Simply keeping your purse clean and upright will be enough while you use it. But if you have a collection of designer handbags that aren’t in constant use, you’ll need to put them away to keep them safe. Anyone with an extensive collection of handbags should know the ins and outs of proper storage. Even if you’re simply putting away a bag for a season, ensuring you do it properly is a must for protecting it.
Why Is Correct Handbag Storage Important?
If you don’t take handbag storage seriously, your collection is going to be at risk of wear and tear from a whole range of factors. Issues like losing shape, getting moldy, and being scratched can all occur while you’re not using your handbag, which could ruin the design or lead to some costly repair works. By learning how to store your handbags correctly in the first place, you can avoid this hassle. A handbag is an investment. If you want yours to last a lifetime and perhaps even be passed down to a child or grandchild one day, storage is essential.
How To Clean Leather Handbag For Storage
Before storing handbags, it’s important you clean them. If they have dirt on them it could create bacteria growth or end up damaging the material over time, which isn’t ideal. Different materials will have different cleaning needs before being put into storage. Here’s a run-through of some of the differing advice:
• Cleaning Leather Handbags
Begin by removing any loose dust or dirt from the leather with a clean, non-abrasive cloth. If the bag is still visibly dirty, use a designated leather cleaner (it must be free of alcohol and mineral oils) and follow the instructions issued by the manufacturer. In general, you’ll have to:
- Apply the leather cleaner to the bag in a circular motion
- Leave it to sit
- Carefully wipe away the cleaner with a slightly damp, clean cloth
After cleaning, prevent the chance of cracks by using a leather conditioner. This should be done a couple of times a year at least to keep the leather supple and soft, and always after cleaning. If you can, avoid cleaning leather bags altogether. If a simple wipe down with a soft cloth is enough then leave your handbag be. Over cleaning can lead to deterioration in the leather and cracking.
• Cleaning Suede Bags
Keeping suede dry is essential to ensuring they last. Before storing, use a suede brush to gently remove any dirt, debris, and dust. As with leather, avoid any further cleaning if you can. Rubbing alcohol is a safe cleaner for suede if there are visible marks that need to be removed. Pour the alcohol onto a soft cloth and gently rub the area. Allow the suede to dry before buffing up the suede gently with a clean cloth to prevent it from flattening.
• Cleaning Synthetic Handbags
Synthetic materials are much easier to clean than non-synthetic ones as they’re more durable. However, you should avoid harsh products that contain alcohol, sticking to water wherever you can. Be careful that there aren’t any non-synthetic elements on the bag that could be damaged and keep cleaning products away from any hardware.
Stuffing Your Handbag
When it comes to handbag care, one of your biggest concerns should be your purse losing its shape. Once it has, it’ll never be quite the same again. To prevent this from happening during storage, it’s crucial that you stuff it carefully and thoroughly. Use non-perfumed and acid-free tissue paper, bubble wrap, or air pockets to hold your bag in shape and be careful not to overstuff it. A stuffed bag should still be able to close with all fastenings easily; if it doesn’t you could push it out of shape, doing the opposite of what you intended to. Your handbag should look as it does when you’re wearing it. If it seems too loose or too taut, you need to adjust the filling.
Covering Hardware to Avoid Damage
Hardware on handbags, like zips and metal chains, can cause damage while in storage. They can dig into the material, leaving marks behind when it’s time to use your purse again, and scratch the surface of your fine materials. To prevent this damage it’s vital you wrap the hardware. Use acid-free, non-perfumed paper to cover any areas that you can. This is especially important if your handbag is crafted from a supple material, like lambskin.
Keep Your Handbag Protected With a Dustcover
Your designer handbag should have been accompanied by a dust cover when you bought it. This is a small cloth bag, usually with a drawstring fastening, that your bag arrives in. Always keep the dust cover as it’s a must during storage. The dust cover will do a number of things, including preventing any dust and dirt from coming into contact with your bag and providing a soft layer of protection between the handbag and any hard surfaces. If you no longer have your dust bag, you can buy replacements online. Alternatively, use a soft, breathable cotton pillowcase and avoid anything in a bold color so that there’s no risk of dye transfer.
How To Store Handbags in Boxes
The best way to store handbags is in clean boxes. Avoid hanging them up by their straps as you could end up affecting the shape and loosening the stitching that holds your handbag together. Instead, wrap the straps up and place them carefully within the bag or alongside it if you think placing them inside could squash them or cause damage.
If you can take the straps off, definitely do so. Place these in the same box as the bag to prevent loss. Place your bag standing upright in a good-sized cardboard box. If you still have the original box the bag came in, this will work perfectly. If you don’t, choose a box that leaves at least a 1cm gap between the handbag and the edges of the box to avoid it becoming squashed or scratched.
How To Store Handbags In Closet: Avoiding Humidity
When storing a handbag, try to choose a room with low humidity. Keep it away from any rooms that are attached to a bathroom which tend to be the most humid environment in the home. If you have a walk-in closet, this is the perfect spot for your collection.
Even in a closed-off closet, humidity can still end up damaging your bag over time and reducing its length of life. To try and reduce the chance of this happening, there are some steps you can take including:
- Airing the bags once a year
- Using a dehumidifier in the room your collection is stored in
- Use silicone sachets to absorb excess moisture in the air
If you don’t prevent humidity, the chance of your handbags become moldy are drastically increased, so the above steps are vital in handbag storage.
Avoid Frequent Handling
Aside from airing your handbags, it’s best if you avoid handling them while they’re in storage. If you’re frequently getting them in and out of their box and moving your collection around, the chance of damaging them is a lot higher.
To prevent having to rifle through every box to find the handbag you need, take photographs of each bag before you put it in storage. Tape this to the front of the box so it’s easily visible. Or, write the name of the bag on the box – just be sure that you’ll know which bag it is by the name.
Always Store Handbags Correctly to Prevent Damage
When it comes to how you store handbags, there’s definitely a right and a wrong way. These tips should clear up how you can keep your designer pieces safe and help them last a lifetime and beyond. Just remember to always be gentle with your pieces, avoid over-cleaning them, and store them correctly so that there’s no chance of distortion or mold.
If you have a collection of designer handbags you’re looking to add to, be sure to take a look at our extensive range at Sherry’s Handbags, where we match preowned pieces to their new owner.