How to Keep Your Chanel Bags in Excellent Condition

By Theresa from Boutique Patina

Having handled thousands of vintage Chanel bags over 19 years, we’ve come across many 30 year-old bags that are excellent-pristine, and some that show their age. It is possible to have your bag looking excellent even 30 years from today — here I’ll discuss some key tips on how to maintain longevity and excellent condition of your Chanel bag.


Invest in a Collection and Rotate

This is likely an unexpected tip, but the truth is that no matter how well your bag is cared for, if you carry your bag every single day or more frequently, it will wear over time. The most pristine vintage bags we find come from closets where the owner has more than 50 handbags. While you certainly don’t have to have 50, the more diverse your collection and the more you alternate means less wear for each bag, and naturally, this is a great strategy we see many of our clients employ. Granted, we don’t advise that you lock her away never to be seen again, but alternating between 4 or 5 everyday bags will put less stress and wear on any one bag.


Care During Usage

Larger bags will wear more easily than smaller bags. This is a fact. The larger your bag, the more likely it will bump into walls, other surfaces, or even the dirty car behind you in the parking lot. Be aware of the size of your bag and where it touches. Larger bags also have a greater tendency to crease, so be careful how and where you place your bag. The same applies of course to smaller bags, but it’s good just to be aware of larger bags and their corners and edges.

Larger bags, like totes, have a higher susceptibility to wear, so it’s important to be mindful of its size, movement and placement @boutiquepatina

@chiaraferragni models her large Chanel flaps with @evachen212

Also during use, accidents happen. If you spill something on your bag, swiftly blot it with dry paper towels; for dirt or stains, use baby wipes or facial wipes (non-alcohol wipes).

Bag inserts are also popular to prevent wear and tear on the interior of the bag.

One uncommon tip I give my clients is to condition the corners of your bags before you wear them out, to prevent scuffing – not after. Try to scratch the back of your dry hand with your fingernail. Do you see a white scratch? That’s essentially a light “scuff.” Now, moisturize your hand with lotion, and try again. No white scratch, right? Corners of your bags are most prone to scuffing as they rub against various surfaces- tables, countertops, walls. If they’re moisturized (conditioned), these scuffs will be minimal.

Pro tip: condition the corners of your bags before you wear her out, to prevent scuffing – not after @boutiquepatina

@bacio_a _capri

Proper Storage: The Other Secret to Your Chanel Bag’s Longevity

Each of these tips can be its own article, but here are some quick tips on proper bag storage, which is essential to the longevity of the bag:

  • Store the chain inside the bag, looped all the away around and through for flaps. Any chains sitting on top will create press marks
  • For classic flaps, store upright, with light interior stuffing and very light stuffing to support the gap in between the interior and exterior flap (for double flaps)
  • For 2.55 reissue flaps and larger tote bags, store on its back
  • Store in a cool, ventilated area, away from the sunlight, in a dust bag or other breathable fabric bag.
  • If you live in a humid area, use acid-free tissue paper to line the interior pockets to prevent pockets from sticking to each other
  • Condition your bag regularly if you live in a dry climate. Overly dry leather can result in dye fading or cracking.

Store the chain inside the bag, looped all the away around and through for flaps. Any chains sitting on top will create press marks @boutiquepatina

Image Credit: @whatchinloves

Caring for Hardware

Vintage Chanel bags prior to 2009 were plated in 24k gold, and newer ones aren’t, but the care and maintenance are similar. Use a jeweler’s cloth to keep hardware clean and shiny, and wipe off any excess lotion or oils from your straps prior to storage.

It’s possible to have your bag looking brand new, even if its 30 years old, with proper care and maintenance @boutiquepatina

Chanel bags are one of the best long-term investments you can make while enjoying your investment at the same time – just like they say about residential real estate. While bag care and maintenance shouldn’t be stressful, small attention to alternating use and proper storage can go a very long way in ensuring your excellent condition Chanel will look just as excellent in ten or twenty years.

Read also: Chanel Bags Are Best Investments Against Inflation Says One Report


For 19 years, Boutique Patina has specialized in sourcing and curating the best condition preowned vintage Chanel leather treasures by searching closets around the world. You can view their current collection at

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Published: June 28th, 2022
Updated: June 28th, 2022

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