Owning a luxury item or accessory is just the start of a lifelong commitment to upkeep and maintenance – with the way that you care for and clean your luxury goods having an effect on its investment value and aesthetic presentation, long after you complete the purchase and take your product home.
This article is all about caring for high-end, luxury, and designer goods – focusing specifically on luxury handbags and the most efficient, most effective, and gentlest cleaning products that you can use on quality leather.
How to care for your luxury goods
The way you care for luxury goods will depend on your reason for purchase and the way you intend to keep them. For example, some luxury buyers purchase for investment, and so store their goods in dust bags and boxes to keep them in the best possible condition. Others buy luxury goods and use them, requiring maintenance and cleaning to keep them looking their best.
Other tips for luxury handbag care include storing cosmetics inside makeup bags to avoid them from rubbing and staining the inside of your luxury handbag or investing in a bag liner and keeping your bag in a dry, shaded spot to avoid it being affected by direct sunlight or dampness.
But what is the benefit of keeping your luxury handbag or leather product clean?
For the most part, it all comes down to investment value. Whether or not you choose to wear and use your luxury handbag on a daily basis, value is an important factor in relation to the lifespan of your piece – specifically whether or not you will be able to sell it on for a good price.
As well as maintaining and safeguarding the investment value of your leather bag, keeping your luxury piece clean protects its aesthetic finish for your own benefit.
What leathers can be cleaned?
When it comes to identifying the best cleaners for leather goods, the type of leather is a very important consideration. Our Love Luxury collections specialise in Hermes, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton bags which means we are experts in caring for and cleaning the leathers linked with these three designers.
Having said that, the following advice covers a selection of the most popular and commonly used leathers in the luxury market:
- Calfskin leather – is light but strong and one of the most popular leathers used in handbags. Calfskin leather can be wiped clean with a dry cloth to maintain the leather’s shine.
- Patent leather – using a patent leather-specific cleaner is best such as Saphir Vernis Rife.
- Suede leather – this leather needs to be protected with a water-repellent spray, and steamed to bring back the ‘fluff’.
- Exotic leather – the highest grade of leather out there, we’ve dedicated a whole section of this article to exotic leather. Keep reading to find out more.
But first, to some of the top luxury leather cleaning solutions and tools, as used by the team here at Love Luxury.
Oakwood Glycerine Leather Cleaner Spray
Not to be confused with a leather conditioner, this cleaning spray is our preferred product for cleaning Louis Vuitton canvas-coated handbags – namely their monogrammed products and the epi-leather bags – as well as Chanel’s Caviar handbag and all coated leather products.
The cleaning spray is a great product for ongoing upkeep and maintenance and can restore the fresh, manicured look to any leather bag which is looking a little tired or grubby. In terms of application, spray onto a microfiber cloth and rub the solution into the cloth before gently sweeping over the leather – however, before doing anything (and before using any of the products outlined in this article) it is crucial that you spot-check first to check the bag’s texture and/or colour will not be impacted by the product.
Collonil Organic Crème
This organic cream product may come in a small bottle, but one bottle will last you months if not years due to the application of the product and the amount you need to use to keep your leather bag looking its best. We use this cream in small amounts, applied directly to a cotton pad which you then blot and rub into the pad, before gently cleansing into targeted areas of the bag that require cleaning and maintenance.
This organic cream is best suited to lambskin leather, swift leather, and box calf leather (a popular leather used by Hermes) – all of which we have patch-tested here at Love Luxury and can recommend, provided you use the product in very small amounts and always do a spot check before cleaning your bag fully.
Leather Conditioner Quick Wipes
These wipes are not only effective for conditioning luxury leather but also offer great value in that they can be reused as so little product is required to treat a single leather bag. The wipes are saturated in conditioning products so one tip we would recommend taking note of is to ensure that whenever you use a wipe, it is not completely soaked. Too much conditioner can end up damaging the leather, so squeeze a little product out if you can.
These wipes are particularly well suited to Hermes Togo products.
This conditioning product comes in a bottle and is cited as prolonging the life of leather goods and bags. The conditioner is best applied to a cotton pad in very small amounts as it quickly becomes very foamy when massaged into the pad, with gentle targeted motions ideal for keeping your leather clean and supple.
The conditioner can strip the moisture out of leather if you’re not careful, so be sure to use it in very small amounts and definitely not on smooth leathers.
How to care for exotic leathers
Exotic leathers are among the most luxurious and include crocodile and alligator skin products. When it comes to ongoing care and maintenance, these bags must not be cleaned with any kind of product – no matter how gentle you are. Products damage exotic leather beyond repair, and so such bags and products are not cleaned – rather, they should be looked after with the utmost care. Including keeping away from water and rain at all costs.
Here at Love Luxury, we stock, buy and sell a range of luxury leather handbags and other designer accessories for both every day and investment buyers – with advice on care, maintenance, and cleaning available to everyone who visits us or makes a purchase. Visit us in Knightsbridge or get in touch directly for more information.