When you’re making an investment in a designer handbag or even buying a stunning preloved piece, you want to keep it in pristine condition. A designer handbag should last you for years, some (such as Chanel, Hermes or Louis Vuitton for example) could even last a lifetime and certain styles like the Birkin are so coveted that they appreciate in value. With that in mind, looking after your designer handbag is very important. Keeping it perfectly preserved will help it to retain its smart good looks and allow you to keep on enjoying using it. It’s not hard to look after your bag; by following our tips on how to store your designer bag you will feel confident that you’re treating it with the care and attention it deserves.

JW Anderson Keyts Bag
JW Anderson Keyts Bag

Keep Your Hands Clean:

When taking out your designer handbag; always make sure your hands are spotlessly clean to avoid transferring oil or grease onto it. Carefully unwrap it and pack it with what you need, making sure any make-up is stored in a separate, small handbag size make-up bag. Some people like to use a handbag organiser (useful if you use a large bag) so you simply lift your essentials out of one bag and into another. This avoids dirt staining the lining and dust collecting inside.

Place Your Bag With Care:

Be aware of where you place your bag while out. Avoid putting it on the floor, not only is it at risk of theft, it will also collect dirt underneath. As many designer handbags are made out of premium quality leathers or beautifully crafted manmade fibres, it’s hard to remove stains. Leaving your bag on the floor could also get it scratched. So, if it’s a cross-body bag, keep it across your shoulder and place it on your lap or right next to you (check the surface before you put your bag down ensuring it’s nice and clean). A good tip if you’re in a restaurant is to place a napkin down on the chair next to you and rest your bag on the top. Alternatively, purchase a handbag hook. These clip onto a table and you can fasten your bag securely so it doesn’t touch the floor (and it helps to avoid theft). Apparently, the Queen always carries a portable handbag hook in her bag so you’ll feel royal!

Empty the Contents:

When you’ve finished using your handbag, empty the contents and check the lining for any marks. If there are any, you can gently use a spot stain remover but check what materials it is suitable for. You could also use a clothing lint roller to pick up any dust inside the bag. If you have a leather bag, use a microfibre cloth to give it a gentle dust. For staining, it is best to refer to the handbag manufacturer’s guidelines and follow them to avoid ruining your handbag. Never use water on leather (it marks but a very light, damp cloth gently on leather should be fine) or on silk (it leaves a water mark). You can use specialist leather cleaner that is designed for your handbag but if you do get a stain it’s best to take it to a leather specialist.

Stella McCartney Logo Perf Tote
Stella McCartney Logo Perf Tote

Deal with Repairs:

If you notice any tears or you need repairs, get them seen to as soon as you can. Either contact the brand direct and ask for their advice or find a specialist leather repair shop. If you know of a good dressmaker, they may be able to help with any stitching problems but really, it’s best to go back to the brand and seek their guidance first.

Store Your Bag:

Once you’re satisfied that your bag is clean, you need to store it away nicely. If you have the original tissue paper and dust-bag then great – you’ve already got it covered! It’s always best to use the originals, including the box or carrier bag if your bag came with one. If not, you can buy cardboard storage boxes (never use plastic, more on that later).

First, pad out your bag with acid-free tissue paper (or with the original stuffing). Then, carefully close it and fasten it and wrap any hardware in tissue paper to prevent scratching. Fold the handles on the top. Wrap it in the dust-bag and place in a box or the paper carrier bag. If you don’t have a dust-bag a great alternative is a cotton pillowcase because it’s a good size and it’s breathable (always stick to natural fibres). Then, store your bag away in your cupboard or a deep drawer but take care to give your stored bag ample space so it doesn’t get squashed.

Be Mindful of Temperature & Humidity:

Do take into consideration the temperature and humidity level of your storage space. It makes a difference. As a recommendation, store your handbag at around 35% humidity (you can buy a humidity measuring device from a hardware store or use a humidifier). If the storage area feels humid, it can affect your bag and that is why new handbags are usually packed with silica beads. You can buy little packs of silica beads which combat high humidity. Pay attention to the temperature too, as a general rule, between 60 and 75 degrees F is perfectly suitable for bag storage.

Vintage Christian Dior Crossbody
Vintage Christian Dior Crossbody

Label Your Bag:

You could also label each bag with what brand and style it is, especially if all of your bags are wrapped and stored away in unmarked boxes.

When storing a bag, never:

  • Leave it unwrapped, it will collect dust
  • Store it unwrapped next to another bag, they will rub against each other and could cause marks/peel patent leather
  • Discard the original receipts, stuffing, dust-bag, carrier bag or box, they are all useful for storage or if you want to sell on your handbag at a later date
  • Hang your bags, this interferes with the original shape
  • Store your bag in plastic, especially if it’s made of a natural material like leather. Plastic is airless and traps moisture, so can cause your bag to sweat which leads to mould
  • Don’t be tempted to leave your bag out especially as exposure to light constantly can fade your bag’s colour. It’s best to store it in a dark place (your cupboard or a deep drawer is ideal). Lighting that is activated when you open your cupboard won’t affect your bag’s colour
  • If you have more than one designer handbag, resist temptation to just wear your favourite all the time. Give your handbag a rest and switch it out for another from time to time, this prolongs its life.

We hope our guide was useful. If you have a bag that you’re no longer using, we’d love to introduce our consignment service. We take the stress out of selling your bags. We take care of pricing, photography, marketing and delivery.

If you have any questions on the bags that we accept, our valuation criteria, approval process and more, please do not hesitate to review our FAQs or get in touch.