How to Store Your Hermès Handbag Properly

Hermès Birkin 25 Gold with Gold Hardware sitting next to its box on a shelf.

When you purchase a luxury handbag, you are acquiring a piece of functional art. Some luxury bags, like the Hermès Birkin or Kelly bag, have proven to be exceptional investment handbags, but most women want to wear their exquisite bags. These bags were made to be worn and loved. And love them you shall. But it’s critical to learn how to store Hermès bags properly to ensure they continue to look their very best. 

Since they are made from premium leather by skilled craft people, these luxury bags can last more than a single lifetime. But care must be taken when storing the bags so they retain their shape, beauty, and luster over the years. Learn how to store Hermès bags and other designer handbags with the care they deserve. 


The Importance of Proper Storage for Luxury Handbags

Luxury handbags like the Hermès Birkin or the Chanel Classic Flap bag are hand-crafted from premium materials. These beautiful pieces are intended to last for decades of use. When stored properly, these sturdy bags continue to look their best, with only minimal signs of wear. However, a lack of care may cause your bag to:

  • Stain 

  • Discolor

  • Fade

  • Scratch

  • Lose its shape

  • Stretch

  • Become indented

  • Crack

Learning how to store Hermès bags properly and following through with excellent care is an homage to the extraordinary artisanship and beauty of these bags.

Should you ever wish to resell your luxury bag, your efforts to learn how to store luxury bags properly will pay off handsomely. Prices for Hermès bags and other designer bags on the resale market are far higher for those bags maintained in pristine or excellent condition. Many consistently sell well above retail, but usually only when the bag is unmarred by wear or damage.

When learning how to store designer handbags, you may find the process involves more steps than you realized. This does not imply that these bags are unusually fragile. On the contrary, the materials and artisanship with which they are made make these luxury handbags exceptionally durable. But keeping them looking their very best for years and even decades does require care. Don't think of this as a hassle, but as another way to actively love your bag.

Choosing the Right Environment for Your Hermès Handbag

To understand how to store Hermès bags correctly, start with the material used to make them. Your Birkin bag is made of a type of premium leather, such as Togo, Epsom, or Swift, or an exotic leather, like ostrich or crocodile. Leather is organic material that will grow in beauty as it ages if cared for properly. Like real pearls, genuine leather develops a patina that further enhances its natural beauty. Leather will also stretch, sag, fray, stain, and tear if it is subject to rough treatment or improper storage. 

Proper Hermès bag storage requires an awareness of environmental factors that could cause damage. Consider the following:

  • Sunlight: Extended exposure to direct sunlight can bleach and dry out your bag’s leather. To know how to store designer handbags without ending up with cracked surfaces and faded colors, you need to understand the importance of shielding the bag from light.

  • Temperature: Temperature extremes, either high or low, can be damaging to premium leathers. Crocodile skin is particularly susceptible to wrinkling and cracking in high heat or cold. An environment that stays between 60 to 75 degrees F is perfect.

  • Water: Water can be extremely damaging to quality leather, easily causing stains. 

  • Humidity: The premium leathers your bag is made from are sensitive to moisture in the air. With high humidity, there is a danger of mold or mildew developing. This can cause a bad odor to permeate your bag, and it can cause stains. The ideal humidity for Hermès bag storage is 30-40%. If you live where humidity is high, consider investing in a dehumidifier. Or tuck some silica bead packets inside the folds of your bag.

  • Dryness: The natural moisture of your bag’s leather is like that of your skin. Allowing it to become too dry risks cracks and wrinkles. If you store your bag in a dry climate, consider investing in a humidifier to protect your bag.

Cleaning and Preparing Your Handbag for Storage

Before placing your beloved bag into Hermès bag storage, ensure that your hands are clean so you don’t introduce damaging oils or perfumes. Then, clean your bag inside and out. Remove your wallet, the rest of the contents of the bag, and any purse charms or other Hermès accessories. Anything that lays against the bag can cause friction that may eventually leave a lasting mark on the leather.

Step #1 Wash your hands well and dry them thoroughly so they are free of perfume, lotion, water, oils from your skin, or dirt before handling the bag. 

Step #2 Using a soft, dry microfiber cloth, go over every inch of the handbag, gently buffing away any dirt or dust. Check it over for stains or watermarks. Gently buff away any stains with a high-quality leather conditioner. Use the leather conditioner only to remove stains.

The Role of Dust Bags and Stuffing in Handbag Preservation

If you purchased your Hermès bag new, a few key items for Hermès bag storage came with it. As we guide you on how to store an Hermès bag, you will see that each of these pieces is vital. 

First of all, you’ll find dust bags inside the iconic orange Hermès box. The soft, breathable fabric shields the bag and its parts from light, dust, friction, and insects. 

Step #3 Remove all removable straps, the lock, and the clochette, and place them in their own dust covers inside the bag so you don’t lose them.

You’ll also discover acid-free tissue paper, which is excellent for stuffing inside the bag and its compartments. The acid-free quality is essential to avoid staining the leather. 

Step #4 Stuff your purse with the acid-free tissue paper, or air pillows to retain the bag's shape and structure. Alternatively, you can use bag storage pillows specifically made for Hermès handbags.  Don’t overstuff the bag! Overstuffing could put undue stress on the stitched seams. All clasps should close easily.

Step #5 If storing the bag in a humid location for an extended amount of time, consider removing the plastic seals on the front hardware if you have not done so already. While Hermès has changed the plastic seals to reduce the risk of tarnish, there is still a possibility of tarnishing or discoloration if the hardware remains covered for an extended time.  Feet tend to scratch easily once plastic is removed or falls off.  To protect them, some collectors place small rubber caps over each metal foot in storage.

Step #6 Finally, your bag came with a felt piece to protect the hardware, flap, and signature straps. Place the felt over the bag, covering the sangles, pontets, and plaques for additional protection while in storage.

Judy Taylor

CEO & Founder of Madison Avenue Couture
Judy Taylor, the CEO and founder of Madison Avenue Couture is one of the most respected authorities on luxury bags and accessories. Her unwavering commitment to quality has cemented her as an expert in luxury retail, inspiring fashion enthusiasts worldwide.
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