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Here's How to Disinfect Your Handbags—In Every Fabric!

Protect and care for your leather, canvas, nylon, and pvc bags in less than 15 minutes!

News flash: a handbag can easily carry 10,000 types of bacteria without us knowing it. Coronavirus bacteria may last 72 hours on surfaces and, guess what, leather is a favorite breeding ground! While our hands are primary carriers of the virus, our very own handbags become the immediate next touch. 


Desperate times calls for desperate measures but no, you cannot use alcohol or regular baby wipes to comfort your accidental spillage woes on your leather bags. Disinfecting your luxury leather handbags is trickier than a 20-second hand wash technique. Caring for sensitive bags such as finished and unfinished leathers, lambskin, exotic, suede, nubuck leather, and canvas is far more complex than a single trip to a hand bag spa, which we can't do much of today. Although disinfecting leather bags are a bit time consuming, do know that nylon bags are somewhat the opposite. Owning handbags with canvas, nylon, or pvc materials are extremely low maintenance but you should still consider treating them with proper care.



Do not fret, we might just have the best and quickest way for you to disinfect your luxury find. 

If you're on-the-go, better pack with only the best Water Wipes for on-the-spot disinfection. Recommended by The Strategist, these wet wipes are made of 99% water and 1% fruit extract. It's best to avoid permanent damage on your luxury goods from the harsh chemicals found in common rubbing alcohol and scented baby wipes. Leather reacts sensitively from alcohol-based cleaning products since it's dries out the leather causing your bag to lose it's elasticity and sheen, just like human skin!


To use:

1. One wipe will do, light-handedly wipe across the entirety of the bag.

2. It's important to air-dry! Remember that you should never dry your leather goods under direct sunlight since it develops early signs of wear and tear.


Don't have alcohol-free wipes? Use a damp paper towel to quickly sanitize and proceed to thoroughly disinfecting the hand bag at home.


Photo from Handbag Spa

It only takes 15 minutes or less to disinfect your leather bags at home. No need for odd homemade mixtures you will just need: a lint roller, one medium-sized make-up brush, two clean white rags, and warm water.


To clean:

1. Wash your hands before anything. Wear disposable gloves if you have any to further protect yourself. It is also advised to wear a mask so that particles don't get to your face as you clean with close proximity with the bag.


2. Remove the contents of the bag. Use a medium-sized makeup brush to dust over your bag's nooks and crannies i.e. the pockets, inside seams, bag handles, etc. It's important to use a brush with soft bristle to avoid scratches.


3. Use a lint roller to empty the bag from tiny debris like food particles, dusts, etc. If you do not have a lint roller at home, feel free to use a masking tape. To do so, take a good length of tape and wrap it over your fingers to improvise.


4. Grab a clean white rag and damp it with warm water (do not soak the rag). Clean the exteriors of the bag with light circular motions. Clean the handles and bottom parts of the bag thoroughly since it's exposed to a number of surfaces. If needed, also pay attention to the metallic hardwares of the bag. 


5. Use the dry clean white rag to remove excess water. 


6. Completely air-dry, do not use hairdryers and do not expose your luxury goods under direct sunlight.


Photo from @stephaniebroek

For canvas and nylon bags, it's as easy as throwing them in a quick 10 minute wash in your washing machine. Here are some points you should take note of:


To wash:

1. Empty bags from contents (check pockets for tiny debris and make sure you won't leave any valuable docuements inside).

2. Put your canvas or nylon bag/s in a net laundry bag to protect it during the cycle.

3. Set your washing machine in the cool water setting and make sure to put it on the gentle cycle. Any nylon material that is exposed under heat tends to shrink! You don't want that to your precious handbags!

4. To dry, do not use a dryer, hairdryer, or direct sunlight to speed up the process. Air dry as much as possible and turn your bags inside out.


You have an option to hand wash, just make sure to use a gentle detergent and to rinse it thoroughly. Leaving soap on your bags is the last thing you want when you're about to dry them out. 


Photo from Staud

For rare PVC bags or totes, please don't throw them in the washing machine. Only hand wash these bags with cool water and gentle detergent. Do not dry under direct sunlight and that is just a no-brainer! For quick disinfection, it's completely fine to use alcohol or sanitizer to any tote or handbag made from PVC or plastic. But do not abuse this process, it's still better to wash with water and soap especially nowadays!


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Don't forget:

For luxury goods that need special care i.e. make-up, ink, or grease stains, mold build-up, scratches, and what-not, take them straight to the experts. Do not attempt to make your own concoction! Household items such as vinegar, bleach, etc. wont help. 


Please do:

Keep the silica gels found on your newly purchased bag. Silica gels protect the bag from moisture which invites germs and bacteria to live in your bag (yikes!)


Sanitize your everyday bag once every month. For special occasion bags, clean them as well every once in three months or depends on usage. Do not disregard bags that are rarely used, bacteria can also live in them! Let your bags breathe out of the closet once in a while. 


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