STEP 1. You’ve bought yourself a new purse, congrats! This is an important step in unleashing the fashion icon within. Now you can strut like Victoria Beckham and remember no apologies for being fabulous!
STEP 2. Your purse looks amazing, you look amazing, now what? The most important step in purse care for me is prevention. That’s right, prevent those pen marks on the inside of your purse and get yourself a purse organizer. These are great for sorting loose items, which can leave permanent marks on the interior of your purse. You just paid $$$ for this lady, why ruin her with a $0.50 pen? Now this is something that I cannot stress enough, always, I mean always, place makeup items in a small makeup bag. Not only will a “oops” moment ruin the inside of your purse, but you are losing precious face time here! One budget friendly alternative is to opt for a Ziploc bag. These babies are cheap, easy to use, and still provide protection for your purse.
STEP 3. Next you will probably want to prevent scuff marks, scratches, bacteria and gum from getting on your purse. So guess what? Keep that purse OFF the floor! “Purse on the floor, is money out the door” Ever heard of a purse hanger? Also known as a purse butler? Look at yourself (yes you are fabulous), do you not deserve to have your own butler holding your purse? Well ladies I hate to break it to you, go get one… There are of course alternatives…placing your purse on the arm of a chair (keeping an open eye for potential purse snatchers), or placing your purse on a shelf/hook as opposed to the floor. Would you put your hand on the floor of a public washroom? Then do not put your purse, remember this item will be coming home with you. Your options are limitless, so please do not limit your purse to a life on the floor.
STEP 4. Everyday care is essential in maintaining & extending the life of your purse. Moisture is the purse monster, especially for a leather purse. The great thing about purses made from synthetic or PVC material is that they are better at repelling liquids than natural materials such as leather. This however, does not mean you should go dancing in the rain with a non-leather purse, they can still get ruined and end your “rain” as queen fashion bee. There are many water repellant products on the market, invest in one for your leather purse. It is also recommended that you remove moisture from leather materials as soon as possible.
STEP 5. Moisturize. You do it to your face everyday, why not your purse? Now this is where I am asking that your read carefully, very carefully. When I say moisturize I do not mean with water. Your purse has probably not been pre-treated and conditioned to be all that it can be, so be sure to get yourself a leather conditioner. This will keep the material supple and your purse looking its best. It is however very important to clean your purse before conditioning, which brings us to our next step.
STEP 6. Cleaning the exterior of your purse. Always check the material of your purse before cleaning. Even though everyday cleaners might be readily available, avoid using these on your purse as they can do more harm than good. Use only cleaners specific to the material of your purse. Invest in a leather cleaner for a leather purse, believe me you will not regret it. Do you know those wipes you use to remove makeup from your gorgeous face? You can also find leather wipes! These are great for cleaning the exterior of your purse, comes in easy to use sheets and can also be used to clean your leather furniture. Can you say 2-in-1 bonus! Warning: Please do not use on your face. For synthetic purses a damp cloth is usually enough for cleaning the exterior. If you wish to go an extra mile, a damp cloth with a mild soap may be used, but be sure to test on an inconspicuous area before cleaning the entire purse. For suede purses use a suede brush to clean the fibres. For all other materials please see our vintage purse care guide.
STEP 7. Cleaning the interior of your purse. For most linings a damp cloth and a mild soap are usually sufficient for cleaning. I normally turn my linings out, dust, wipe clean, and leave to air dry. The key is to never saturate the lining. Another thing to avoid is humidity. That’s right lovies, steamers should only be used for your clothing.
STEP 8. Removing Stains and Spots. So despite everything I’ve taught you, you’ve somehow managed to get a stain or spot on your gorgeous purse, calm down lovey because all is not yet lost. Depending on the material of your purse there are always solutions to removing marks. – Remove dry stains on suede by rubbing with a dry eraser. – Remove ink with a dry eraser, vinegar, or nail polish remover. Be sure to test a small area before applying to the entire purse. Another secret weapon, you know for when your niece decided it was fun to color the couch at the hotel with a pen? Perfume! That’s right a small spritz and rub rub rub. Bonus? Your purse will smell like your favourite fragrance. – Patent leather is much easier to clean. A damp cloth and a mild detergent usually does the trick. Dry and apply a small amount of vaseline, buff and shine your way to a new purse.
STEP 9. Storage. So your purse has given you the best days, weeks, months of its life, but you’ve found someone else and would like to put things on hold for a while, well that’s ok, just be sure to break if off gently. You’ve just broken this lady’s heart so please make sure she has air to breathe. When storing purses, be sure to keep them covered in materials which allows them to breathe. This is especially important for items made from natural materials. Most purses today will come with dust bags which are perfect for storage. If you do not have a dust bag pillow cases are a great alternative. Cloth and wicker baskets are also another great option. Another concern should be maintaining the shape of your purse. A great way to carry out this is to stuff purses with tissue paper or used acid-free gift wrapping paper. Be sure not to overstuff, this lady would like to maintain her figure. A little trick I use is to spray a small amount of my favourite fragrance on one of the tissue stuffers before I put my purse away. This way when I break this lady out again there are no musty smells, but rather the faint linger of a scent once loved…
STEP 10. Getting Rid of musty scents. So you’ve basically ignored steps 1-9, you’ve dugged your purse out from the back of your closet, and it smells (yikes!). First make sure that scent is not coming from some poor creature that might have made a home in your purse. Check completed? Well lets get on with it. Even though I should really be giving you a detention card, you are forgiven. Musty scents can be caused by a variety of sources, improper storage, dried moisture, mildew, the list goes on. My advice is to clean your purse as discussed in steps 6-7 and let’s go. Next you want to grab that pile of newspaper sitting on the table and get stuffing. Newspapers are great for absorbing odours. Just stuff a few pages in, close for a few days and voila! Of course there is always Mrs. Baking Soda, she never fails us when it comes to odours. Just place a satchel in the purse, close up for a few hours or days (depending on how musty were talking) and your back in business. Now aren’t you sorry you never listened?