How to Take Care of your Louis Vuitton (and other leather luxury bags) at Home

How to Take Care of your Louis Vuitton (and other leather luxury bags) at Home

By Denisa Marginean

Getting your dream bag seems to be the end goal of many shoppers and collectors. The feeling of finally holding the bag you’ve been dreaming of for years and years can be absolutely phenomenal, but the story does not end with a bag’s purchase. Many of us here at Second Nature have noticed the difference years of TLC (tender and loving care) can do. It can preserve and expand the value of a bag, as well as maintain its relevance in comparison to the latest it-bag. However, the most important positive of proper bag-care is that it makes your bag last longer, which means less consumption and ultimately more TLC for our lovely planet. 


Here are six pieces of advice to anyone who wants to take good care of their bag (new or old): 

 

  • Learn your bag’s materials
Many bags, especially from Louis Vuitton (and many other luxury houses) are not made of leather but are actually canvas with PVC coating. This means that buying chemicals designed for leather will not necessarily work if the composition of your bag is unknown. Also, it's important to remember not to use chemical solutions on your bag unless prescribed by an actual handbag specialist. While a home kit can cost only a few dollars, the damage, however, can be permanent. 
In terms of finding out the materials of your bag, remember that leather has a very specific slightly imperfect look and soft-feel while coated canvas has a specific shine and a rough uniform texture. The more you know about your bag and its different materials, the better. Other leather materials can be: cowhide leather, lambskin, exotic leather, patent leather, vernis leather. Each come with their own specific care instructions, so don’t hesitate to ask someone at Second Nature for help. 

  • Unscented soap is now your new best friend

No matter what the composition of your bag is, it’s very important to use unscented products on your bags. Put the perfume bottle down and slowly step away. Instead, clean your bag with a slightly soapy lint-free absorbent cloth (the paler the cloth the better as to avoid colour transference. Even if you don’t wear your bag everyday, you should clean your bag at least once a month to remove any dust or bacteria that could prove to be harmful long term. Also, having a bag-clean routine once a month is nice. It makes you remember what you have and why it matters to you. Unscented soap is also a lifesaver in the inside of your bag, in case of a spill or stain. If there’s ink, sometimes a q-tip with some hairspray can safely remove the stain on the inside of your bag!

 

  • Sometimes it’s very important to moisturize 

In the case of leather, hydration can make or break a bag. Don't forget that leather is skin just like ours and skin needs to be moisturized to look its best. Sometimes, if a surface is sticky or dull, there’s nothing like (unscented, don’t forget) cream to fix everything right up. With a light cloth, put some moisturizer on your bag and slightly work it in via a circular motion without pressing too hard and adding too much cream. Slow and steady wins the race. 


  • Air it all out

Now for the collectors or people with the ‘unable to part with my bag’ affliction, you don’t necessarily use your bag once a month (or even a year). So, every few months you have to air it out and let the bag (literally) get some fresh air. If a bag stays hidden away too long without proper ventilation, it can darken and speed up the patina process of your bag. So, please don’t forget to air it out every once in a while. 


  • Avoid the sun 

I know it’s getting confusing since the previous tip was to air it out, but you also need to remember to avoid the sun as much as possible. Exposure to sunlight makes the colours of your bag fade faster, especially in exotic and patent leather. So, make sure to put your bag in the shade if you’re out and store it in a covered environment at home. 


  • Storage, storage, storage

The quality of your storage directly affects the rapidity of the aging of your bag. We have seen at Second Nature, time and time again, what proper storage does to a luxury handbag. First, you need to store your bag in a dustbag or 100% cotton or linen pillowcase. Plastic should be avoided at all cost since it can melt and come off on your materials. Next, you need to make sure that the shape of the bag is maintained by using proper stuffing or good quality paper (uncoloured as much as possible). You can also put the stuffing in a dustbag/pillow case and then add it inside your handbag for additional safety. And last and most importantly, avoid the humidity. You should aim for a cool and shady environment so the patina process can be avoided as much as possible. 


There you have it! A few tips to make sure your bag gets all the attention it needs. It can be scary and overwhelming to take care of your bag but don’t hesitate to come in and chat with us at our two locations. We’re here to help and make sure you get the best out of your purchase and, hopefully, lifelong accessory.