How to Clean, Store and Care for Designer Handbags and Shoes

This post is well over due, so thank you for your patience those of you who have been asking me for it! I want to share some of my tips for caring, cleaning and storing shoes and handbags. Whilst this is particularly important if you just laid down £2,000 on a bag, I treat all my accessories in this way no matter the cost (yep even the odd Primark pair).
Caring and Cleaning

First up the tools of the trade, see this photo above, these are the most valuable things you can buy. For just a few pounds most supermarkets sell leather wipes (like baby wipes for leather) and a leather cleaner spray, these are sold for couches usually but don’t worry I have used them for years on the softest of leathers. My mum actually introduced them to me, she uses them on her Chanel 2.55 lambskin and it looks as new as the day it was bought!
The wipes come moist and are perfect for wiping off any grime, I use the spray mainly on shoes when they have been in the mud – it also removes those white salt marks caused by the snow and rain. If you only want to buff your bag, leave one wipe out over night to dry, then use it to polish your bag. Be careful if you have a pale bag with a dirty patch as rubbing a stain can smudge it out making it worst. It is best to dab the mark, keep changing to a clean patch of cloth, until the mark lifts. If you are at all nervous about tackling a mark then take it to a professional. Many design houses will offer in-house repairs such as Fendi and Chanel (from experience) so it is always worth asking first.
Storing

I always keep my bags in their dust bags, if you have a bag that did not come with one then you can use any soft cloth bag – even a pillow case. I also stuff my bags with white tissue paper so that they keep their shape. So long as you keep your bags away from direct sunlight and in a dry place they will be just fine.
For my two small Chanel 2.55 bags I just keep them in the dust bags on my desk but for my larger bag and other bags which I do not uses as frequently I keep them in boxes, stacked so they do not get squashed.
My red Chanel I even keep in its original carrier bag!


If the bag style allows I tuck the strap inside, if not I leave it loose in the dust bag. If I think the strap will dent the soft leather I wrap tissue around the strap (this is recommended with lambskin).
The same pretty much goes for shoes, I always keep them in the original box (I won’t go into how mad it makes me looking at shoes I don’t have a box for) and stuff with tissue to keep the shape. I never use shoe dust bags as I find the shoe can get squashed inside, I prefer to lay the bag at the base of the box for cusioning. If you do not keep shoes in the boxes, however I would recomend you use the dust bags. Dust bags are also useful when travelling to keep the shoes protected. I do have a shoe rack but I only keep shoes on it which are a few pairs I have specifically fo taking on holiday – i.e cheap ones I wouldn’t get upset over loosing if my case went missing (it has, and I was). I find the metal prongs ment for hanging the shoe over distort the shoe, especially if it is leather, pleather is pretty durable!
I keep a dry wipe in most of my shoe boxes so I can give them a quick polish before putting them away.
That is pretty much it, any more tips or questions let me know!
Pearl
I just had a great tip from my dear Sacramento, if you buy vintage and suspect it might have moths eggs, wrap the garment in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer – this will kill off any nasties and is a lot cheaper than a specialist cleaner.
Want your own handbag to love and care for? Try My-Wardrobe Handbags and choose your favourite.