Bag Care and Maintenance: How I Clean My Bags

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I haven’t used most of my bags during the quarantine for obvious reasons, I rarely ever go out. Now that the contagion is somewhat contained, we’re starting to see businesses opening up and there are now reasons to go out – although we only do so when absolutely needed.

There’s been a lot of construction going on in our house right now. After the bathroom renovations, we are getting our garage ceiling fixed which means the kids are sleeping at grandma’s house. Now that we have more time to ourselves, I’ve decided to finally clean my bags. I haven’t cleaned them in over a year guys.

Granted, most of my bags could pass off as brand new. I am very, very careful with my bags and I know how to take care of them properly.

Here is my entire collection:

As you can see, I love blue bags, hahaha!

To clean my bags, I use the traditional process of clean, condition, and protect. I use these products:

Step 1: Clean

I start with the Collonil Clean + Care – it’s a foamy leather cleaner that lifts dirt and grime off leather materials. It’s a lovely product, very light and very effective. In fact, this was the only product that was able to remove the stubborn leftover jean stains off my vachetta leather. Prior to using Clean + Care, I used two different Collonil products to remove the leftover stains to no avail. This was able to remove the stain completely, it was amazing!

Pump about a dollar size of the foam on a soft clean cloth. Apply directly on the leather material and work that ‘ish in. You’ll start seeing the cleaning cloth getting dirty as you work the product in but there’s no color transfer unless you are removing the jean stains.

Step 2: Condition

I used to have the Delicate Cream and I use it to condition my leather bags but when I ran out, I bought the more potent cream – reinigungs creme.

According to Collonil PH, this product is meant to clean and condition the leather material. I use it mainly to restore the suppleness of my bags. I store my bags in our bedroom and most times, the AC is on so the leathers tend to dry out much faster. This cream adds moisture to the bags without the shine.

The cream is quite heavy and it smells lemony. Just apply directly onto the leather. I don’t apply too much because I don’t want the bags to feel greasy although this dries down completely.

Step 3: Protect

One of my favorite Collonil products is the Carbon Pro, an aerosol-based waterproofer because it protects delicate leathers from liquid spills! I first used this on my Nightingale and then on my pristine vachetta leathers and it worked like a charm. What’s so amazing about this waterproofer is that it does not leave unsightly streaks. Of course, don’t apply too much because you don’t want to oversaturate the material with the stuff.

Thanks to Collonil Carbon Pro, I was able to finally buy a neutral bag! I used to avoid light-colored bags because of the jeans stains (I was always in jeans and I wear black trousers most of the time). The product won’t stop jeans stains but it acts as a barrier so that when you clean the bag, the jeans stains lift right off.

I usually apply two coats of Carbon Pro so yeah, I spend a lot of money on this waterproofer. I apply the first coat, leave the bag to air dry and then wait until the next day to apply the second coat. This way, I’m sure that the material is evenly coated with the stuff.

Storing My Bags

Maintaining the Bags’ Shape

I don’t have a walk-in closet – hehehe – so I just store my bags in my closet. I fill the bag with crumpled tissues, rolled tees, anything to stuff the bag to retain their shape. Then, I store them in their dust bags but I make sure that the handle is not in contact with the body of the bag. This is super important, sometimes the extra pressure from the handle leaves a mark on the bag itself. This is especially true for the LV mono and the Prada Galleria.

My Galleria, in particular, is prone to sustaining marks because of the soft leather so this one is always sandwiched between two structured bags to keep its shape. The handles are also stored upright. I do this by kinda twisting the dustbag strings around the handles.

Lots of Silica Packets

I then add at least two bags of silica packets inside each bag and within the dustbag. I also filled two small rayon baggies with more silica packets for good measure and stored these in my closet. THEN, I also bought several big bags of charcoal dehumidifier bags and set them near the packed bags. You really want to minimize humidity to avoid mold growth guys. Super important!

… and basically that’s it. I try to air out my bags at least twice a year. This year, my bags were neglected but they’re still good as new with zero trace of molds because they were stored properly!

 

 

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Tina Lee

Tina Lee-Almazar is a writer with an insatiable appetite for all things bright, shiny, and beautiful. She's a beauty junkie, a shopping connoisseur, a book collector, a purse addict, and a budding mom-tepreneur. Tina has a long-standing (and well-documented!) but one-sided love affair with cats. Special talents include: the ability to eat again an hour after eating, shopping at 3 different malls in 1 day, and taking a 3-hour power nap every day including weekends.

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