Well, if that’s not the case, I would forgive you anyway since I failed to share my pearls of wisdom on bags. So let’s fill the gap right away.
Bags need to be thoroughly cleaned and polished using special products just like with shoes.
Since bags are made of the same materials as shoes, I highly encourage you to read my post Take Care of Your Shoes to review how to clean: Patent Leather/Suede, Leather, Fabric and Plastic. Below, I will enlighten you on Straw and Precious Materials and a few special tricks.
Use a lint brush to remove dust and sand, try to follow the direction of the weaving to avoid pulling on strings of straw. Then wash the bag (or even the hat, why not!) with a simple cotton cloth (obviously white or in a light color to avoid color transfer) that you previously dipped in hot water, adding a few drops of lemon juice to remove stains and yellowing and squeeze the water out. Once washed let dry in a dark place and pack it away in the closet.
Crocodile, python and ostrich. Too delicate for homemade methods. Seek guidance when buying them or simply use a slightly damp soft cloth.
Now, let’s see what are the rules for EVERY kind of bag
- Empy them (that sounds obvious? Well, not always. Before becoming a diligent woman I left and found anything you could just think about from one year to another, even an ID card I thought I had lost).
- Clean the internal liners with a cloth or a sponge moistened in warm water, add few drops of soap; squeeze the water out thoroughly.
- Make sure to let dry. ALWAYS. Unless you want to risk finding some alien life forms of growing in the moist environment and throwing the bag in the trash can.
- Should the zipper fail to run easily, rub the point of a pencil along the zipper. It will start sliding again. If this wasn’t enough you may use some wax or solid soap and brush away any residue.
- If the bag has a taken on bad smell (stuffy, old, damp) leave two cubes of sugar inside for a couple of days. They will absorb the smell. If that’s not effective, spray a bit of perfume on a cotton ball and once dry, put it inside the bag.
- Make sure to ALWAYS store them in the provided cotton cases. If you don’t have them or have lost them, pillowcases work great. Make sure to avoid dust or any stain. (“Alas, once a white glossy clutch met a black painted one. The result? Tragedy! An UNREMOVABLE stain).
- If you plan not to use the bags for a long time fill them up with tissue paper or newspaper so that they retain their original shape. Then place them where they are not likely to be crushed.
I have given you all the tricks to take care of your bags. Now, it's up to you!
P.S. If you just had a similar hopeless case, I encourage you to contact a specialty store. I will soon send to such a store my vintage Gucci clutch from the 90’s which is literally crumbling apart. I will keep you posted and report accordingly as soon as the baby comes back home like new (I hope).