Tips on how to take good care of your bags

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Content - Text: Deneb R. Batu­can Of Sun Star Week­end

They carry what we hold dear — sup­plies that are deemed im­per­a­tive to our daily lives. And some­times, they take a beat­ing as we tend to over­stuff them and fill them to the brim. So it’s an ab­so­lute must that we take care of them as well. Af­ter all, they hold the things we con­sider es­sen­tial.

Bags are a part of our ev­ery­day wear, whether for prac­ti­cal or stylish rea­sons. There are dozens of dif­fer­ent type of bags and many ways to keep them clean and last long. But here are the most com­mon types of bags and how to keep them look­ing brandnew ev­ery sin­gle day.

Suede

Suede is a tricky ma­te­rial as it ab­sorbs liq­uid, which means it’s very sus­cep­ti­ble to stains. Use a clean and dry cloth and rub it all over the bag to clear sur­face marks and wa­ter spots. Then with a suede brush or a soft tooth­brush, dust the in­side and out­side of the bag. Af­ter clean­ing it, you can con­di­tion the bag with suede con­di­tioner to make it look brand new. Rub gen­tly with short and steady strokes. For stains, use a soft pen­cil eraser or fine-grade sand­pa­per to rub them away. For stor­age, place suede bags in a dust bag to keep from de­te­ri­o­rat­ing.

Leather

One of the most tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als that are made into bags, leather is both stylish and durable, which means leather bags are al­most al­ways a clas­sic. Most bags to­day are al­ready made from patent leather or col­ored leather, but still it takes the same kind of ef­fort to keep leather bags at top shape.

Use a damp white cloth to clean the sur­face of the leather bag. Don’t use too much wa­ter as leather can take hours to dry. Use a leather cleaner one or two times a year to keep your bag clean. Re­mem­ber to ap­ply the cleaner in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion and wipe off with a slightly damp cloth so it won’t clog the pores of the leather.

Patent leather is more durable than tra­di­tional leather but it’s no­to­ri­ous for color trans­fers, so don’t let it rest with sim­i­lar bags or on other sur­faces with­out a dust bag or pil­low­case. Col­ored leather can lose its vi­brant color the more it’s ex­posed un­der the sun, so store them in a dust bag in­side a dark closet.

For bags made of tra­di­tional leather, use bub­ble wrap to hold its shape.

Vinyl

What’s won­der­ful about vinyl bags is that their in­her­ently wa­ter­proof. But like leather, it should be away from ex­tremes of heat and cold and be stored in un­printed crum­pled pa­per and in­side a dust bag.

Un­like leather, vinyl doesn’t need reg­u­lar main­te­nance. The less you do with the ma­te­rial, the bet­ter. So if there are stains, clean them with a damp cloth and wipe it dry im­me­di­ately and hang it or put it in an area with good air cir­cu­la­tion to dry.

Fab­ric/Can­vas

For sturdy fab­ric bags, it’s best to clean it by hand. Empty the bag and get rid of the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior dust. Af­ter, take a clean, soft white cloth and dampen it. Don’t use col­ored cloth as it could bleed dye into the fab­ric. Wipe down the bag rig­or­ously. If stains and soils re­main, add a few drops of can­vas cleaner, dish de­ter­gent or Castile soap into a quart of wa­ter and use a white cloth to rub away the stains. Al­low the bag to dry in a cool place away from di­rect sun­light or heat.

For soft fab­ric bags, use cool wa­ter and gen­tle soap. Do not wring as it could de­stroy the shape of the bag. Rinse and al­low to air dry.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Bern Fabro

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