Restore & revive your favourite handbag
Today is Buy Nothing Day - the antidote to Black Friday. So we're sharing some handy tips for how to care for, restore and rejuvenate your beloved leather handbag, tote, rucksack or weekend bag.
- To keep your bag in the best condition, we recommend applying a high quality natural leather balm or cream to your bag at least every few weeks. This will ensure your bag will last for many more years. It’s vital to keep good moisture in the leather to keep it supple and ensure the leather does not dry out. Before you begin, clean the surfaces of your bag with a damp cloth, and leave for a few minutes to dry naturally. To apply the balm use a soft dry cloth, and apply in circular motions over all surfaces. Once completely coated leave to soak in for 20mins then use a clean, dry part of the cloth to remove any remaining residue and polish the leather to a discreet shine – this is called ‘buffing’. For black bags, use a black balm as this will help revive any faded colour. For tan and brown bags and brightly coloured bags, we recommend using a neutral balm. You can of course buy coloured balms to revive the colour, but make sure you find a close match for the colour.
- We recommend waxing the edges and stitching on your bag to keep them resistant to water. You can buy 100% beeswax products online or in good shoe repair shops. Apply to all stitching and edges with your fingers or a sponge or cloth, and leave to absorb – no need to buff.
- In the same way as you would with a pair of good leather shoes, we recommend stuffing your bag with acid-free tissue paper to help retain your bag’s shape and silhouette. The paper will also draw out any unwanted damp and moisture. We especially recommend doing this after wearing your bag on a wet day.
- When you’re not wearing your bag – if you’re hibernating it for the season, or if you’re packing it for holiday – remove all contents and store in a cotton dust bag. This helps protect the leather from dust and scratches. If you don’t have a dust bag you can use a cotton pillow case or cotton shopper.
- If your bag is unlined we recommend removing all the contents and brushing it out to remove dust and dirt. Then simply use a damp cloth to gently scrub the interior surfaces. Leave to dry naturally. If your bag is lined, use a damp cloth with a little pea-sized dot of natural fabric conditioner and lightly scrub to remove dirt and stains. Leave to dry naturally.
For the best results follow all five steps above. Alternatively, you can send your bag to LPOL for a full R&R Service (£45) – we’ll make sure your bag gets the full treatment, inside and out. You can book this service by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Do regularly clean your bag with a damp soft cloth
- Do keep leather supple with a specialised leather balm every 4-6 weeks
- Do air dry your bag immediately after getting wet
- Do blot away moisture using acid-free tissue paper
- Do stuff your bag with tissue paper to retain its shape
- Do apply 100% beeswax to edges and stitching to build up resistance to water
- Do store your bag in a cotton dust bag or equivalent
- Don’t use a coarse brush to clean your bag
- Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean your bag
- Don’t machine wash your bag
- Don’t immerse your bag in water
- Don’t dry your bag next to a radiator or use a hairdryer
- Don’t tumble dry your bag
- Don’t iron leather