A designer handbag is a big investment, and any responsible bag owner wants to take care of such a large purchase to give it a long life. To do that, you need to make sure you’re taking proper care of your leather goods, and that requires a few products!
Here are some of our top recommendations for leather conditioner and protectors. Luckily, they’re fairly inexpensive and will last you a long time. We weren’t sponsored to suggest any of these products, by the way! We just like them.
When you get a leather item, you should take care to waterproof it right away. Water is one of leather’s biggest enemies, so a good protectant will stop your bag from absorbing any water that touches it.
Most designer stores will sell water repellant sprays, but you can get something as simple as this cheap Kiwi Protect All spray. As a bonus, this product can waterproof a ton of other things, so it is very multifunctional.
If you’re working with suede or nubuck, however, don’t use just any product on it. The absorbent nature of suede and nubuck means that they will often turn a much darker color if you don’t use a product specifically for that material.
For a suede conditioner, we like this Scotchard Suede and Nubuck Leather Protector. It won’t change the color or texture of your bag, which is crucial with sueded materials.
You should condition your bags at least once every three months, but many people condition as much as once a month! It’s all up to you and your preferences, but we really recommend that you condition your bag to at least four or five times a year to maintain your bag’s strength. Regular conditioning will keep your bag from looking dull, cracking, or stretching out as much, and it’s very easy to do.
When it comes to conditioners, you have a lot of options. A higher end product that’s wonderful is the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, which is really great for hydrating your bags (and any other leather you own!). It’s just under $20 bucks, so if you’re looking for something less expensive, Leather Shines is only $10 bucks and also works nicely.
If you’re working with suede, things get a bit trickier. It’s harder to condition suede and nubuck because the material absorbs and changes color. You’re better off preventing dehydration with a good waterproofer.
Those are our best tips and products for caring for your bags! Some general guidelines for using them:
- Always test a small patch in a discrete place to see how your bag responds to a conditioner. Leather is an organic material, so each product will be different and can have a different reaction.
- Never send your purse to a dry cleaners, even if they claim to have special procedures for handbags. Dry cleaning chemicals are way too harsh on them.
- When in doubt, take it to a specialist! Most cities have handbag restoration and cleaning experts, so don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.