How to Store Your Leather Bags Properly

Leather bags will last for decades with the proper care, especially those made of high-quality, full-grain leather. If you know how to store your bag correctly, it will maintain its quality, keep it looking great, and prolong its lifespan. 

Whether it’s your most reliable leather shoulder bag or a gorgeous, unique clutch, the proper storage will ensure you can enjoy your accessory for years and years and maybe even pass it on to a future generation. 

Let's explore what should go into preparing your bag for storage and choosing the right storage location. We’ll also review the proper bag placement, long-term storage tips, and the appropriate maintenance and care.

Preparing the Leather Bag for Storage

Before storing your leather bag, it's essential to prepare it properly to prevent it from being damaged while it’s in storage.


Follow these steps to clean your bag before placing it in storage:

  • Remove all items. Empty your bag, including all interior and exterior pockets and compartments.
  • Dust and wipe down the bag. Remove any surface dirt or particles to keep your bag clean and fresh. Start by gently dusting the exterior with a soft, dry cloth or a soft-bristled brush. Pay attention to crevices and corners where dust usually builds up. 
  • Spot clean the bag. To spot-clean your bag before storage, use a mild leather cleaner formulated for your specific type of leather. Apply a small amount of cleaner to a clean cloth and gently blot the stained area. Be gentle to avoid damaging the material. Follow the manufacturer's instructions or consult a professional cleaner if necessary.
  • Allow the bag to dry. After spot-cleaning the bag, let it air-dry before conditioning. Avoid leather cracking or shrinking by not using direct heat sources, such as hair dryers or radiators.


For full-grain leather bags, like the ones we craft here at Latico, we advise against using any leather conditioner to treat the bag. However, top-grain and “genuine” leathers will require regular conditioning. This step nourishes the leather, replenishes the natural oils, and prevents it from drying out and cracking.

  • Choose the right conditioner. You have to moisturize leather to maintain its suppleness. Select a high-quality leather conditioner suitable for your bag’s specific type of leather. To reiterate, you should not use a conditioner on full-grain leather.
  • Test the leather. You will eventually apply conditioner to the entire bag, but first, test the formula in a small, hard-to-see area to check for any discoloration or damage. If the conditioner passes the test, you can proceed to the next step.
  • Apply the conditioner. Add a small amount of conditioner to a clean, soft cloth and apply it to the bag using gentle, circular motions. Distribute the conditioner evenly over the entire surface, paying extra attention to areas prone to dryness, such as the handles and corners.
  • Allow time for absorption. After applying the conditioner, let your bag rest for a few hours or overnight before using it or storing it.
  • Remove any excess conditioner. After your bag has had time to absorb the conditioner fully, use a clean cloth to buff away any excess conditioner gently. This step eliminates any residue and will result in a smooth finish.

    Choosing the Right Storage Location

    Choose the right storage location for your leather bag to maintain its quality and prevent damage. Temperature, humidity, and light can impact leather's condition, which we'll discuss in a second. But first, these are the most common places to store a handbag.


    • The bedroom: Choose a clean, dry corner or a dedicated shelf in your bedroom. A dedicated wall rack will make finding and coordinating bags with your outfits easier.
    • The closet: Arrange your leather bags on shelves or hanging organizers in your wardrobe to keep their shapes intact and avoid clutter. This approach shields bags from direct sunlight and dust, further helping to maintain their quality.
    • Another small space: Utilize over-the-door hangers, under-bed storage boxes, or vertical dividers in tight areas. These solutions help you maximize limited space and keep your bags accessible without appearing cluttered.


    • Maintain an optimal temperature range. Keep your leather bags in an environment with a consistent temperature between 60°F (15°C) and 70°F (21°C). Extreme temperatures can cause cracks or warping as the leather expands and contracts, so avoid storing your bags in areas prone to excessive heat or cold.
    • Check your humidity levels. You should maintain a relative humidity between 40% and 50% in the storage area. High humidity promotes mold or mildew, while low humidity can cause the leather to dry and crack. Place a dehumidifier near your bags to reduce moisture and prevent mold buildup.


    • Avoid direct sunlight. Store bags away from windows or use curtains or blinds to block out sunlight, which can cause fading and discoloration.
    • Minimize exposure to artificial light. Prolonged exposure to artificial light sources, such as fluorescent bulbs or spotlights, can cause color fading and damage the leather. If possible, store your bags in a dark or dimly lit area.


    • Ensure adequate ventilation. Leather needs good ventilation to prevent the buildup of musty odors and moisture. Maintaining good air circulation helps keep the leather fresh and prevents mold or mildew growth.
    • Avoid airtight containers. Storing leather bags in sealed containers for protection may be tempting, but airtight containers can trap moisture and promote mold, so avoid them. Breathable bags are a better choice.


    • Clean storage surfaces. Before storing your leather bags, clean your storage surface to remove dust or debris.
    • Utilize dust bags or covers. Store your leather bags in breathable fabric dust bags or cotton pillowcases for protection. Covers help prevent dust accumulation and shield the bags from scratches.

    Repairing Scratches & Scuffs

    After cleaning a leather bag, it's time to inspect it for scratches and scuffs. You can improve the look of damaged leather or even restore your leather bag with the proper techniques and tools. 

    • Assess the leather. First, assess the leather, checking for damage, scratches, and scuffs. How deep are the imperfections? You can buff superficial surface scratches, but deeper scratches may require additional treatment.
    • Use a leather conditioner. For light scratches, apply a small amount of leather conditioner. Gently rub it into the leather using a soft cloth or your fingertips — this helps to restore the original color and texture. Remember, this step only applies to lower-quality leathers, like top-grain and genuine leather. We don’t recommend using a conditioner on any of Latico’s full-grain, sustainable leather bags.
    • Try a leather repair kit. Consider using a leather repair kit if the scratches are more severe or the leather conditioner does not fully repair the damage. These kits typically include a color-matching compound or filler, an adhesive, and various tools for application.
    • Apply the color-matching compound. Using a small spatula or the provided applicator, apply a small amount of the color-matching compound to the scratch or scuff. Carefully follow the instructions with the kit for the proper application technique.
    • Smooth and blend the compound. Use a soft cloth or fingertip to blend the color-matching compound into the surrounding leather. Apply light pressure and smooth out the excess compound to achieve a seamless appearance.
    • Let the compound dry. Follow the instructions for the recommended drying time in the leather repair kit. Avoid touching or placing objects on the repaired area.
    • Buff and polish the leather. Once the compound has dried, gently buff the repaired area with a soft cloth to smooth any unevenness. You can also use a leather conditioner or polish to restore the luster of the repaired section so it matches the rest of the bag.

    Proper Leather Bag Placement

    Arrange and organize your bags for optimal longevity and shape maintenance. If you have multiple bags to store, consider using shelf dividers to create separate compartments for each bag so they don't lean or collapse onto each other. Or invest in purse inserts or organizers to maintain bag shape and support.


    • Preserve the shape. To keep the shape of your leather bags and prevent them from collapsing or wrinkling, stuff them with acid-free tissue paper or bubble wrap. Fill the bag's interior gently, and do not overstuff it.
    • Avoid using newspaper or colored tissue paper. Ink or dye may stain the leather, so stick to acid-free tissue paper or bubble wrap.


    • Opt for upright storage. Store your bags in an upright position whenever possible. This helps to prevent any strain on the handles or straps and helps to maintain the bag's shape.
    • Utilize bag stands or hooks. If your bags have sturdy handles, you can hang them to keep them upright and allow air circulation, reducing the chances of mold or mildew growth.


    • Avoid prolonged pressure. To prevent permanent creasing or deformation, rotate your bags periodically. If a bag stays in the same position for an extended period, it may develop permanent marks or creases. By rotating the bags every few months, you redistribute the pressure and maintain their shape.
    • Take note of the weight distribution. Be mindful of the weight distribution if you have multiple bags on a shelf. Avoid placing heavier bags on lighter ones to prevent unnecessary strain and deformation.

    Long-Term Storage Tips

    Taking additional precautions is essential when storing leather bags for an extended period.


    Clean and condition your bags before placing them in long-term storage. Let the bags fully dry to avoid the risk of mold or mildew growing. Even if the bags are dehydrated before you store them, you should ensure the storage area receives proper ventilation. 


    Proper moisture control is essential for long-term storage. To prevent mold or mildew growth, place silica gel packets or moisture absorbers in the storage area to remove excess moisture and maintain a dry environment. Avoid having the moisture absorbers directly contact the leather to prevent damage or staining.


    Even during long-term storage, you should check your bags periodically. Inspect them for any signs of mold, mildew, or pests. If you notice any issues, address them immediately to prevent further damage.

    Air out your bags by opening the storage area or removing them from their covers. Allowing the bags to breathe briefly can help maintain their freshness and prevent musty odors from developing.

    More Maintenance & Care Tips


    Protect your leather bags from excess moisture — it can cause damage to the leather. Avoid using them in rainy or highly humid conditions, and be cautious of spills or splashes. If your bag gets wet, gently pat it with a soft cloth and allow it to air-dry naturally.


    Handle leather bags with clean hands to prevent the transfer of oils, dirt, or other substances that can stain or damage the leather. If you’ve applied hand lotion or other products, wait until they absorb before handling your bag.


    Pay attention to the hardware on your leather bags, such as zippers, buckles, or clasps. Keep them clean and functional by wiping them gently with a soft cloth. Avoid excessive force when operating the hardware, as it can cause damage or scratches.


    If your leather bag requires deep cleaning or restoration, it's best to seek professional assistance. Professional cleaners and leather care specialists have the expertise and tools to tackle more stubborn stains or issues.

    Before hiring a professional cleaner for your leather bags, ask whether they specialize in leather care. Research the company or individual thoroughly.

    Now, you should better understand how crucial it is to store leather bags to maintain their quality and longevity properly. It’s as simple as preparing the bags for storage, choosing the right storage location, placing them correctly, and employing long-term storage tips. Don’t forget to carry out regular maintenance to keep your bags in top condition. By applying these guidelines, your leather bags will remain well-preserved for many years.

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