How To Care For Your Designer Bags

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How To Care For Your Designer Bags

Designer handbags may hold a special place in your heart, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid using them regularly for fear of wear and tear. We get the experts from Dr. Bags, a Korean specialist in bag cleaning and colouring, to share some helpful tips on keeping your designer bags in tip top shape.

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1. Stuff your handbags before storing them in an upright position.

If there is one cardinal rule to follow, it’s to always stuff your bags before storing them upright on a shelf. Stuffing your bag will help maintain its shape, especially if the leather is soft and unstructured. Take care not to overstuff the bag though, because doing so may cause unnecessary stretching.

Now, for the next question that is probably on your mind – what to stuff the bag with? The experts at Dr. Bags recommend using acid-free tissue paper or some old scarves. If you have spare cotton cloth bags lying around, place the stuffing inside to keep things neat and tidy.

Avoid keeping your bags in plastic or vinyl bags, as these trap moisture and may cause mould after some time. Instead, store bags in a dust bag (or cotton pillowcase if you don’t have one) in a cool and dry place.

The one thing you should never do though, is to store your bags with dehumidifiers (i.e. Thirsty Hippo). While it may seem like a good idea, the chemicals in the liquid can actually wreak havoc on your bags. If spilled on leather, the liquid can cause the material to shrink and harden – and yes, the damage will be irreversible. Yikes.

To keep your storage area dry, place some charcoal in a plastic container (poke holes in the cover) instead. Charcoal is a natural deodorant and dehumidifier.

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2. Remove any straps and place inside the bag before storage.

If you are not planning to use a particular bag for sometime, remove any detachable straps and place them inside the bag. Certain bags have a layer of wax on the surface, which can melt in our warm climate and cause the leather to get sticky when not in use. Removing the strap will prevent it from sticking to the bag over time.

For bags with chain handles, tuck them into the bag before storage to prevent the metal from marking the leather.

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3. Get your handbags cleaned regularly.

Even if you don’t use all of your bags regularly, getting them professionally cleaned will help to extend the life of your precious babies. Bags tend to pick up bacteria, dust and dirt along the way, which you may not always be able to see with the naked eye. The solution? Dr. Bags’ DeepCleanse Regime, a cleaning treatment that sanitises and protects your bags with gentle chemicals imported from Korea and the United States.

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To put the treatment to the test, we got fashion blogger Jessica Tham (@tippytapp) to send in her Lady Dior bag to Dr. Bags. Although patent leather bags are usually more hardy than smooth leather ones, they can still get dusty easily.

The good people at Dr. Bags not only cleaned and sanitised the bag, but also used patent polish to give the surface an almost good-as-new shine. The hardware, which was previously tarnished from age, was also cleaned and polished.

Dr. Bags Cleaning Treatment: Before and After

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4. Get protected.

For any bag lover, staining or scratching a new designer bag can be nothing short of well, traumatic. #firstworldproblems

If you want more peace of mind while using your new designer bag, get it protected with Dr Bags’ High Performance (HP) Coating. The coating provides an invisible silicone layer that protects your bag against moisture, fungus, discolouration and oxidisation for up to 8 months. The advanced technology allows the material to breathe, while still providing a high level of protection.

Dr Bags’ HP Coating can also minimise the effect of stains, as colour transfer or food stains will be easier to remove with the coating in place. If you have a light-coloured bag with delicate leather, HP Coating is definitely a good idea.

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5. Clean light stains with non-alcoholic wet wipes.

Accidentally spilled something on your new bag? There, there – it’s not the end of the world. Yet.

Colour transfer stains can be cleaned lightly with non-alcoholic wet wipes, but if the problem persists, send the bag for professional cleaning as soon as possible. Never use alcoholic wet wipes to clean your bag, as those can leave permanent stains on leather.

If you accidentally spill a liquid on your bag, dab or blot with a clean tissue – but avoid rubbing, as doing so can cause a permanent stain.

For oil-based stains (i.e. perfume or food), it’s best to send your bag to a professional, as they usually require specialised dry cleaning agents to lift off the oil. Same thing with pen or ink marks – get help from a professional as soon as possible. Using water or soap to clean may only cause the ink to smudge.

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6. Give your old bags a new lease of life.

Have a battered old favourite that you just can’t bear to give away? Dr. Bags offers colouring services which cater to different degrees of discolouration. For minor discolouration, opt for Dr. Bags’ ColourPro Touch-Up to touch-up the areas which are stained or damaged.

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However, bags which are severely discoloured can be re-coloured for a completely new look. We got Dr. Bags to give Jessica’s Balenciaga City, which was originally a light pink shade, a fresh new colour.

The skilled technicians at Dr. Bags painstakingly re-coloured every bit of leather to a rich grey shade, without affecting the colour of the hardware. While re-colouring does not harm your bag, the leather may be a bit stiffer due to the extra layer of colour. However, the leather should return to its original texture after a month or so of regular use.

Dr. Bags Colouring Treatment: Before and After

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About Dr. Bags

Dr. Bags is a specialist in bag cleaning and colouring, using tried-and-tested Korean techniques to treat all sorts of issues. Besides cleaning and colouring for bags, wallets and shoes, Dr. Bags also offers a unique High Performance (HP) Coating which protects leather from moisture, fungus, discolouration and oxidisation.

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What can I expect?

The first step is to bring your bag to any of the Dr. Bags outlets in Singapore. The specialist will then take a look at your bag and advise you on what treatments you can do. If you are opting to re-colour a bag, the specialist will talk you through the colouring process and show you a colour chart of potential options.

How long do I have to leave my bag with Dr. Bags?

Standard services like cleaning and coating take up to 2 weeks, while touchups and waxing may take up to 1 month.

Colouring a bag requires more time and work, so the entire process can take up to 2 months.

How much are the services?

Cleaning starts from $20 for wallets and shoes and $60 onwards for bags.

Colour touch-ups start from $50 and up, while re-colouring a whole bag is $350 and up.

HP Coating starts from $150 for bags.

For more information on pricing, see here.

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Where can I find Dr. Bags?

Below is a list of Dr. Bags outlets in Singapore.

United Square

101 Thomson Road #B1-36A Singapore 307591
Tel: 6254 2528
11am – 7pm (Mon – Fri)
10am – 8pm (Sat/Sun)

Katong V

30 East Coast Road #02-05 Singapore 428751
Tel: 6440 7703
11am – 7pm (Mon – Sun)

100AM At Tanjong Pagar

100 Tras Street #03-05 Singapore 079027
Tel: 6702 0079
11am – 8pm (Mon – Fri)
11am – 7pm (Sat/Sun)

myVillage At Serangoon Garden

1 Maju Avenue #B1-15 Singapore 556679
Tel: 6509 1105
10am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)

Plaza Singapura (NEW)

68 Orchard Road #B2-65 Singapore 238839
Tel: 6835 7375
11am – 7pm (Mon – Sun)

Dr. Bags Promotions

To celebrate the opening of their new Plaza Singapura outlet, Dr. Bags will be offering some special promotions for a limited period.

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1. 50% off Cleaning and HP Coating Services

Applicable to bags only.

Promotion is valid from 15 – 17 October 2016 at the Plaza Singapura outlet.

2. Score a $20 Voucher

Correctly answer a question about Dr. Bags and get a $20 voucher to use on HP Coating services.

Voucher is limited to the first 100 people only. No minimum spend required.

Promotion is valid from 15 – 17 October 2016 at the Plaza Singapura outlet.

3. Spin and Win

Spin and win to get up to 50% off selected services, when you spend a minimum of $120 at Dr. Bags.

Promotion is valid from 15 October – 15 November 2016 at the Plaza Singapura outlet.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Dr. Bags, a specialist in professional bag cleaning and colouring.

Got any fashion-related questions for Jessica? Email us or leave a comment below. For more of Jessica, follow her on Instagram or check out her blog. Check out other fashion articles from her Fashion FAQs column here.

Still want more? Check out these other articles:

Best Bag Cleaning Services In Singapore

Tippytapp’s Handbag Collection

Tippytapp’s Walk-in Wardrobe

What To Wear To A Wedding

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2 Responses

  1. I owned one LV neverfull bag for years (colored slightly turned pale yellow but not brown). Accidentally pulled the string by the side of the neverfull bag. Do you do repair work for such damage?

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