Caring for a Luxury Leather Handbag

A luxury leather handbag is an expensive long-term investment. Leather is prone to damage from spills, stains, and even the weather, but it is possible to mitigate the damage and protect your investment by following a few simple steps. With proper care, your new handbag can last for many years.

Both humidity and dryness are natural enemies of leather. Use neatfoot oil or commercial leather conditioners to maintain the proper level of moisture in the leather. Once a week is not too often to condition a heavily used handbag in areas with extreme weather changes. If the bag is primarily stored in a temperature and humidity controlled location, it may only need to be conditioned once a month or less. Keep an eye on the luxury leather handbag, and if it shows any signs of distress, condition it immediately.

Loosely stuff the handbag with tissues when it is not in use. This will help prevent the bag from losing its shape. Be careful not to overstuff the bag because it could cause stretching.

If your luxury leather handbag becomes wet, allow it to air-dry thoroughly. Keep the bag away from heat sources and be sure that it is stuffed with tissues. Condition the handbag once while it is still damp and again after it is completely dry.

Be careful of commercial preparations that claim to make leather more water repellent or otherwise claim to enhance the natural properties of the leather. Some of these preparations work, but they may stain or damage certain leathers. If you choose to use one of these products, be sure to test it carefully in an inconspicuous place.

Although actual stains can be complicated to remove, day to day dust and dirt is generally treatable with a damp sponge. Some people carefully use a lightweight scouring pad, but extreme caution must be used to avoid scratching the leather. A sponge with a small drop of dish soap or other light cleaning product is much safer. Be sure to re-condition the leather afterwards.

Be conscious of makeup, hair products and other debris that may be on your hands. Try to handle your handbag only when your hands are clean. Also be conscious of where you set your bag down in public, as many common products can stain your handbag.

Keep your handbag in a reasonably well-ventilated area. Be certain not to restrict airflow around the handbag, such as closing it inside a suitcase. Lack of airflow can cause the bag to mildew or crack.

Although leather products are susceptible to staining and damage from the environment, with a bit of maintenance and care it is possible to keep a luxury leather handbag looking like new for many years to come. Humidity, whether too much or too little, is the number one enemy of leather, but commercial products are available that will minimize the impact. Dust and dirt can be treated easily and minor spills cared for with a damp sponge. Protect the handbag as well as possible, but do not be afraid to take it out. Your handbag is an investment in your lifestyle and is meant to be enjoyed.

Gale Boone is the founder of eLuxe Bags. For more information about luxury leather handbags, visit

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