If you love and care about your leather bags like I do, then you know that you’ve got to store them properly in order to preserve them for long periods of time. Some people tend to forget how sensitive leather bags are, and count on just purchasing high quality bags.
While this is not completely wrong, storing them in a safe place into your home is the best way to go if you want to use a bag over and over again. Along with the knowledge of the proper ways to clean them, polish, restore them and take care of them, storage will help you maintain them in their original condition much easier.
In this article, I have collected some very useful information, tips and tricks on how to store your beloved leather bags at home. Lets find out how to make this happen!
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Why is storing your leather bags important?
Let me stress this out. Learning how to store your leather bags is extremely important for the longevity and the well-being of your bags. Providing the ideal environment for your bag is the best way to help its leather last over time.
Leather has the tendency to oxidize after some time. By storing your bag properly, what you are trying to do, is prevent the factors that make this process take place appear sooner, although it is certain that at some point after long time, it will happen no matter what you do. That is how nature works.
How soon the oxidation of the leather is going to happen depends on you, and how much you care for your bag. Make sure that you apply all the tips listed in this article for better results, and keep an eye on your leather bag regularly for minor damages, for instance after every use.
What to keep in mind
There are certain things you need to keep in mind if you are searching for the best way to store your leather bag. Pay attention to them, and find an appropriate place to store them according to how much they affect the leather quality of your bag.
The weather. Make sure that you are aware of the usual weather condition of the location you are living. They are very important when it comes to deciding how to store your bag, as they are part of the environment that causes the oxidation to the leather.
For instance, if you live in a place with high humidity levels, then you need to be extra cautious with the storage of your bag. Humidity is amongst the biggest dangers as far as leather is concerned, and it gets only bigger if the leather quality of your bag is high (for example, Full Grain Leather).
Home temperature. Assuming that you are going to store your leather bag in a place into your home, you need to check the general temperature of the interior. Like the weather conditions mentioned above, home temperature has an immediate affect on the leather of your bag.
No matter where you place your bag in your home, make sure that you position it in a logical distance from all heat or humidity sources, such as radiators, fireplaces, air conditions or windows with direct sunlight. Such factors tend to destroy the leather of the bag pretty fast.
Contact with people. It is strongly advised that you know how much contact with people your bag is going to have, when placed in a certain location. For instance, if you store your bag in a place where your children play, then it is more than likely that at some point it will become part of their games.
If people use the room in which you plan to store your leather bag, make sure that you place it somewhere high, where they can’t reach it unless they try to. For example, you could use an organizer unit like the ClosetMaid 8937 Cubeicals Organizer, and place it to the upper levels.
Dirtiness. One thing you should always keep in mind, is that you should store your leather bag in a clean place. This way, you make it difficult for dust to reach your bag, and ruin its leather surface.
Dust and general dirtiness are two of the most dangerous enemies leather has to face. They tend to wear down your leather bag, causing it to crack more easily and become tighter and less pliable because they destroy the quality of the leather.
Condition the leather
Conditioning your leather bag before storing it is an essential process if you want to achieve maximum results. Conditioners not only clean the surface of your bag, but they also tenderize it and protect it, especially during the periods of no usage.
If you want to avoid wrinkles or flakes, then you need to acquire a high quality conditioner and apply it on your bag. One great solution is the FRYE Leather Conditioning Cream, which I have used multiple times and works amazingly well with the leather of my bags.
Although sprays work just fine too, I found out that this particular cream tenderizes and softens the leather of my bag, in such a way that it feels like when I first bought it. What is more, it smells great, and restores cracks and scratches, making your leather bag look brand new.
A nice home remedy (in case you don’t have a leather conditioner), is to use vaseline. High quality vaseline product like the Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly, do an excellent job regarding leather bags, like the would on the human skin. Make sure that you try them on old leather bags, and watch them get polished and soft as if they were new.
Before you store your leather bags in a closed place, take the time to condition them. The conditioner is going to protect the leather, even in cases that your bag is stored for a long time and the leather hasn’t got the opportunity to breathe properly.
How to safely store your leather bag at home
When it’s time to prepare your leather bag for storing, you need to take care of some things in order to keep it as safe as possible during the time you don’t use it.
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Clean your bag
Before you place your leather bag in a box or in the place you are going to keep it, make sure that you clean it properly. If not, the dirtiness will be stored with your bag too, and it will be very easy for dust to harm the leather.
As you should after every use of your bag, empty the contents of your bag cautiously, especially if you have bottles with liquid such as perfumes, creams or conditioners. Place them away from your bag, and use a lightly wet cloth or baby wipes to wipe the leather surface gently.
If your leather bag is fairly soft, it is recommended that you do the same for its inner part. Turn the inside out slowly so that you avoid ruining the bag, and remove any obvious fluff or dust with your hands.
Then apply the wet cloth or the baby wipes, and make the same gentle moves as you did with the leather. After the cleaning process, make sure that you wipe again your bag with a dry cloth, to remove the humidity of the water, if any.
Stuff the inner part
To maintain the shape of your bag, you should consider stuffing it. A simple way to achieve this, is by using plain paper, which you can find in every home’s kitchen or bathroom. Take as much quantity as you need to fill the inside of your bag, and place it properly until you see that it keeps the bag stable and properly shaped.
Another great material you can use, is bubbled wrap like the Duck 284054 Brand Bubble Wrap. The particular product is very soft, and protects effectively everything it wraps. Apply it the same way as you would with the paper.
Lastly, in case you have a pillow that fits nicely into your bag, you could also use it to preserve its shape. Make sure that you clean it first, and then open the bag and place it in. It will keep your leather bag shaped and protected.
Wrap other parts of the bag
If your leather bag has metal handles, chains or buckles, make sure that you wrap them with paper or bubble wrap as well. This is going to keep them protected also, and it is going to prevent them from leaving marks on the leather or the interior of your bag, if pressed during the storing.
Keep the bag dry
Like in the case of a humid environment, storing a wet bag in a box or a wardrobe is bad for the leather. The humidity is going to damage bag and cause flakes and wrinkles on the leather, which are going to be very difficult to restore.
Before you store your bag, make sure that it is completely dry. Use a soft and dry cloth to wipe it in order to absorb any excess liquid (in case you used it in a rainy day for example), and then leave it to dry in a location with average temperature, such as in a room of your home away from the radiator.
Cover the bag for protection
The best cover for a leather bag, is to use a soft dust bag, which allows the leather bag to breathe. This way the bag always gets the necessary fresh air it needs in order to keep its shape and the freshness of its leather.
You should use rather large dust bags, so that there is enough room available for your leather bag. You don’t want it wrapped or placed tightly, as it prevents it from breathing properly. In case you don’t have a dust bag, a clean pillowcase would work just fine.
Keep your leather bags separate
If you need to store more than one leather bags, you need to make sure that you store them separate so that they don’t touch one another. This way, you avoid harming the leather of your bag by pressing one against another.
It suggested that you always do this in case your leather bags have hard handles or chains. Like we mentioned above, you should wrap them with bubble wrap so that they are soft, and keep them in a distance so that they don’t get in touch.
Don’t hang your bag
Although this is common sense, I do see a lot of people overlooking the danger behind this. Hanging your leather bag will most likely destroy the shape of your bag, and make it look saggy and overused.
In addition to this, it will cause wrinkling on the leather of the bag. The gravity is going to wear down the leather by stretching it, and wrinkles along with flakes will start to appear on the leather of you bag. Make sure that you place them in a convenient position, so that they keep their shape and don’t get pressed by gravity.
Store the bag properly
In my opinion, you should use the box which came with the bag when you purchased it. It most likely is the best way to protect the bag, recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure that your leather bag can breath in the dust bag, and place it carefully in the box.
You can leave the box in the closet. I would preferably place it as high as possible, making sure that there could not be direct contact with people, to avoid accidents that may damage your bag. Make sure that your closet is clean, doesn’t have dust and allows some air in.
The room that the closed is located is also important. No direct sunlight should hit the closet, and it is advised that it is not positioned near heat sources, such as radiators, fore places or air conditions. This way you can keep the temperature under control.
Last but not least, make sure that your closet is not overstuffed. You don’t need heavy object pressing against your bag, because leather is a sensitive material and the continuous pressing could destroy the shape of your bag, or cause damages like scratches.
As we can see, leather is a very sensitive material that needs our constant attention. The way you are going to store your leather bag is going to determine its well-being and longevity.
You are advised to focus on finding the best place to store your bag, and keep an eye on it regularly to check if everything is in place. Happy storing!