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How to Take Care of Your Hermès Bag

Based on our artisans’ expertise to refurbish and restore the French couture house’s leather creations, we have composed key rules to prolong your Hermès bag’s life. Text by Leonie Görke

HERMÈS bags are true investment pieces that – adequately cared for – last longer than a lifetime. Kept in pristine condition, you can also maintain or even elevate its value, given you ever want to RESELL YOUR HERMÈS BAG. Whether you opt for an iconic Birkin or dainty sized Constance, with the following tips in mind, you can properly clean, store and protect your bag.

At-Home Cleaning Routine

You can carefully clean the interior and exterior of your bag from home. Before executing any actions, we highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the origin of your Hermès bag’s leather – what does it need, is it particularly delicate? Generally speaking, Hermès leathers should never be exposed to oily substances, alcohol- or perfume-based products.

  1. Remove minor dirt from your Hermès bag using a dry or damp LINT-FREE MICROFIBER CLOTH. Gently wipe the bag’s exterior and interior. Be extra careful with vintage leathers, exotic skins or suede.
  2. For more persistent dirt, you can try a commercial yet mild leather cleanser at your own risk. Apply it on an inconspicuous corner first and see if the leather reacts to the cleanser. At SACLÀB, we use and trust JASON MARKK PREMIUM SHOE CLEANER.
  3. For the occasional round-up cleaning, dip a soft cloth in water mixed with a splash of Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner. Thoroughly wring it out and clean your bag’s surface in circular movements.
  4. Remove residuals from the leather with a damp cloth.
  5. Use a small and SOFT BRUSH to remove any loose dirt or dust from the hardware or hard-to-reach cracks.
  6. Always let your Hermès bag dry naturally, and keep it away from direct influences of sunlight or heat (radiators, blow dryers and such).

Optimum Storage

We recommend not to wear your Hermès bag every single day. As an organic material, leather needs time to rest, to breathe and to recover from environmental conditions. Ideally, you should also empty your bag every time after using it and securely store it following the tips below.

  1. Gently stuff your Hermès bag with ACID-FREE TISSUE PAPER, a purse pillow or bubble wrap to maintain its shape and keep it in its dust bag.
  2. Make sure the top handles are not collapsed or squished.
  3. For long-term storage, you can wrap the hardware in lint-free cloth or the respective dust bags. Never use tape on Hermès hardware as glue can damage gold plating.
  4. If applicable, detach your bag’s shoulder strap and place it inside the bag or in an extra dust bag.
  5. If you stow away your bag inside the box, keep the lid open to be certain the leather is still exposed to air circulation. Alternatively, leave your handbag in an upright position (e.g., on an open shelf with suffice room) and ensure the room is ventilated, at room temperature and preferably dark.

Everyday Protection for your Hermès Bag

Taking time to pamper your Hermès bag can be challenging in between a busy schedule. Following these simple guidelines, you can prevent damaging and stains in the first place.

  1. Sharp objects like keys, nail files, pens or spillable make-up items should be kept in pouches to avoid scratches or marks on the leather inside your bag.
  2. Don’t place your bag on the floor to make sure it is not exposed to dirt, glass shards, or even spilled liquids – not to mention people stumbling over it. Instead, a portable handbag hanger may be useful to attach your bag to a table or chair.
  3. Don’t overstuff your Hermès bag and avoid packing overly heavy or bulky objects into it. Doing so, you protect the handles from being strained and your bag will stay in proper shape.
  4. Light colours or delicate suede are designated for colour transfer. To prevent persistent stains of discolouration on the back of your Hermès bag, make sure that it doesn’t rub against clothing. Dark denim or raw textiles are particularly risky for fine leathers.
  5. Always cover your bag from rain as severe water stains require professional cleaning and restoration. Once your Hermès bag does get caught in the rain, carefully wipe the water off using a lint-free cloth.

The Bag Spa

“If after all, you are doubtful about the treatment of your bag, stains or deeper scratches remain, we recommend to not remove them forcefully but to trust your bag into the hands of a trained artisan or repair service,” Alexandra, co-founder of SACLÀB, says. “We have seen bag cleaning attempts, which lead to irreversible outcomes,” she explains. Artisans at our bag spa are specialised in restoring Hermès bags and can not only help you with the removal of stains. They are also experienced in hardware polishing and the refurbishment of worn-out corners. Due to their expertise in handling Hermès leathers, they can even refresh faded colours and properly restore your bag’s delicate exterior. To ensure you enjoy your Hermès bag to the fullest, the first after-purchase bag spa treatment is complimentary at SACLÀB.

Please be aware that the bag care instructions delineated above solely reflect our own experience and expertise with Hermès handbags. Naturally, incorrect at-home cleaning or the wrong use of commercial products bear a risk for your bag’s leather. We assume no liability for any damage caused by incorrectly executed cleaning or care attempts.

Contact our consultants HERE if you need help with the maintenance of your Hermès handbag or wish to book a refurbishment treatment at our SACLÀB spa.


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