Protecting Your Handbag Against Rain and Stains

Protecting Your Handbag Against Rain and Stains

After spending time and money finding just the right handbag, spend a few minutes protecting it against the elements.

It’s natural for you to want to take it out on the town and show it off right away, but your new bag is perfectly ready for its first application of rain and stain repellent spray.

Some people assume that handbags come pre-treated to repel moisture. Assume nothing—manufacturers don't keep this a secret! If the tag on your bag doesn't mention weatherproofing, you should assume the bag has no protection. When your bag is new is also the perfect time to protect it with a spray-on water repellent. Water can harden, spot, or stain the soft leather of your bag. A good spray will make water and other liquids bead up and roll off before they can penetrate into the leather. Look for a spray that is made specifically for fine leathers and suede, rather than a general-purpose treatment.

There are two categories of formula out on the market: those made with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and those without. Either type will protect your high-fashion leather, but many people are sensitive to the harsh fumes of VOCs, so be sure you open a few windows before you get started.

(Note: These instructions assume your handbag is brand new, just back from the store. If your handbag isn't brand new, you should wipe it down with a mild leather cleaner. If your bag is suede or nubuck, brush it down thoroughly with a soft toothbrush.)

  1. Hold the spray bottle about ten inches from your bag, and keep it at an angle so that the formula doesn't drip down onto the bag.
  2. Spray evenly and gently; a light misting on all exterior surfaces should be all you need. If your bag looks or feels “wet,” the bottle is too close.
  3. For suede or nubuck, brush the nap in a new direction before spraying a second time.
  4. After the spraying, hang your handbag and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Don't try to rush the drying practice by using heat or sunshine; the spray needs time to settle into the leather to offer the best protection against rain, sweat, dirt, and spills.

A little patience and TLC right from the start can help keep your bag bright, beautiful, and soft. To keep your handbag looking its best, check out our tips on moisturizing and conditioning!

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