HOW TO CLEAN
- The general principle is simple: remove dirt build-up by wiping down with a cleaner made specifically for the leather in question.
- Remember the hardware. Some bags have precious metal-plated buckles or chains. Always ask the boutique assistant for care recommendations.
- Every other day, give your bag a brisk sweep with a soft dry cloth—this won’t take more than a few minutes, but will go miles towards preserving the appearance of your leather.
HOW TO CONDITION
- Think of conditioning as moisturizer for your leather, which will dry out over time. To prevent flaking and wrinkling, dab a dollop of conditioner on a soft cloth and rub gently all over.
- Try mink or neatsfoot oil, which simulate and supplement the natural oils of leather. Leave on for 10 minutes, then wipe off the excess. Dry thoroughly in an airy room.
- Condition every month or so to keep your leather looking its shiny best.
HOW TO WEATHERPROOF
- Leather is permeable and can never be entirely waterproof, so avoid toting your favorite Givenchy Nightingale in bad weather. Nonetheless, there are beeswax creams which function as a barrier against water.
- Word of caution: beeswax may alter the hue of dyed leather, so test first on an inconspicuous corner.
- A more breathable but less effective alternative: a spray protectant, which is virtually invisible on your bags.
HOW TO STORE
- Stash your bag in its original dustbag and fill it with stuffing—use butter paper, never newspaper, which will smear— to maintain its shape.
- Keep the dustbagged product in its original box, along with packets of silica gel so your bag doesn’t get damp.
- Air once every two weeks to halt the growth of mold.
- Rotation is key. Everyday use of your bag will wear it out, so switch things up every month.
SOME FINAL TIPS
- Let water spills dry naturally. High-heat measures like using a hairdryer will only cause the skin to crinkle beyond salvage.
- Prevent color transfer by consciously resisting the urge to rest your bag against your jeans. Bring it back to the boutique immediately if your bag gets stained.