Are you fretting over the offensive stain that has ruined your expensive designer bag? Stains, marks, scratches and such cosmetic damage on your bags must be treated accordingly based on the types of material the bags are made of and the sources of the damage. The most common problems encountered are stains from color being transferred inadvertently from clothes, makeup, food and beverage stains and pen ink marks. In this article, we will share with you some proven tips to restore your bag to its original spotless and immaculate state.
Examples: Coach Ergo Pieced Suede Tote, Coach Hamptons Suede Hobo & Jimmy Choo Alex Suede.
The majority of stains on suede bags can be cleared using a suede brush. If the stains refuse to go away, try brushing with a suede cleaner over rising steam from boiled water. You can also use a white pencil eraser to rub off minor, dry marks. If yours is a Coach bag, it may have come with a half-pink, half-white block from your purchase. Quite a number of Branded Bags for Less readers have reported it being effective in ridding their Coach bags of ugly stains, marks and even molds from humidity. Simply wet the block and rubbed it gently against the stain.
Note that you should never use stain removers that do not explicitly state they are meant for suede fabric, for they may aggravate the stain and cause irreparable damage!
Part leather examples: Coach Carly Signature (fabric with leather trimmings), Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas (canvas with leather trimmings) & Burberry Nova Check Shoulder Tote (canvas with leather trimmings).
Full leather examples: Fendi Nappa Leather, Coach Legacy Leather, Coach Carly Leather, Louis Vuitton Mahina, Louis Vuitton Epi Leather, Gucci Leather Hysteria, Burberry Classic Check & Chanel Classic Medium Flap with Gold Chain.
You can apply leather cleaning cream, conditioner or protectant to remove surface grime and scratches, which is also good for moisturizing the leather so that it looks pristine. One highly raved cleaner is the Apple Leather Care line of cleaners which is able to remove many types of stains such as soil, grease, food and excess oils from leather. Alternatively, any leather protectant like Eagle One Nano Protectant also works well. Spray a generous amount onto a dry, white cloth and wipe it on the leather material of your bag evenly.
For stubborn ink marks and stains on leather, use traditional Asian medicated oil like the Axe Brand Medicated Oil or rubbing alcohol available at drugstores. This little-known technique is employed by handbag shop assistants and many Branded Bags for Less readers have also given favorable feedback that it did wonders for their bags. Pour a little onto a dry, white cloth and rub lightly on the offensive mark or stain and it should come off easily.
Part patent leather examples: Coach Signature Stripe Patent (fabric with patent leather stripe and trimmings) & Fendi Canvas Patent Leather Bag Du Jour (canvas with patent leather trimmings).
Full patent leather examples: Tods Patent Leather Tote, Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis & Coach Patent Zoe.
Of all the varieties of material, patent leather is probably the most difficult to treat. Once color is transferred onto patent leather, the damage is likely to be permanent unfortunately. However, if you discover the stain early enough, it might still be possible to salvage the bag through a non-acetone nail polish remover or Mr Clean Magic Eraser according to some who had tried numerous methods to fix the problem.
Examples: Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas (canvas with leather trimmings) & Fendi Canvas B Shoulder Bag (canvas with patent leather trimmings).
Stains due to color transfer from clothes, paper bags and magazines can be treated easily with a white damp cloth or sponge and normal white soap. For food and beverage stains and other stubborn stains and marks, try the Coach Signature Fabric Cleaner which works for other brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci canvas bags as well. Coach’s Official Site gives a quote of $10 for this cleaner. Apply a few drops on a white cloth and wipe the stains off in gentle circular motions. Wipe away excess with a clean white dampened cloth. Some shop assistants and handbag owners also swear by Baby Wipes on canvas.
Examples: Coach Carly Signature (fabric with leather trimmings), Coach Bleecker Signature Large Flap (fabric with leather trimmings) & Gucci Babouska Fabric Tote.
Just as for canvas, you can use the Coach Signature Fabric Cleaner which does the trick for other brands of fabric bags too. Coach’s Official Site gives a quote of $10 for this cleaner. Apply a few drops on a white cloth and wipe the stains off in gentle circular motions. Wipe away excess with a clean white dampened cloth.
A more economical method which some have used with great success is toothpaste, particularly of the Darlie brand. Apply toothpaste onto a damp, white cloth and rub on the stains in circular motions. Carefully dab off excess toothpaste off the darkened patch and allow it to dry. It works, surprisingly!
Always be on the safe side – remember to do a patch test on the inside or an inconspicuous area of your bag first before applying any treatment all over. Do not use detergent for treating your stained bags as it may further damage the finish. Also, avoid contact of your bags with newspapers, magazines, colored paper bags and dark colored cloths during cleaning as color can transfer from these items to your bags in the process.