Good quality leather handbags are the end result of painstakingly detailed craftsmanship, so they deserve to be treated with utmost care. To make sure your favourite shoes and bags last for years, here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to caring for your leather pieces:

Treat them like your baby: Leather bags need plenty of care and attention. I recommend cleaning your bag after every use with a clean, dry cloth. If there are any unwanted fine particles inside your bags, flip them inside out and use a lint roller to remove them.

Keep your dustbags: After every usage, store your leather bags in their dustbag, and stow them away in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Protect each bag individually when storing: For those who tend to store all their bags together, the hardware details of your bags — like the zippers or clips — might cause unwanted indentations on your leather products. Take extra care of bags made of smooth calfskin, like Céline’s Trio and Luggage Tote. They are highly prone to scratches so storing them properly in dustbags will prevent this from happening.

Carry along a cosmetics pouch: Yes, I know it is more convenient to place your blushers and loose powders directly into the smaller compartments of your bags; but these products are prone to spillage and are bound to stain the linings of your bags so invest in a separate bag for your make-up.

With shocking stats showing that the average handbag is dirtier than a toilet seat, giving your much-loved tote a spring clean is a great idea.And while you might already be adept at giving the leather exterior a once-over, have you ever thought about cleaning the inside of your bag? As the mobile home of snotty tissues, loose change and well-handled receipts, it’s not really surprising that Initial Washroom Hygiene’s research revealed handbags to be a hive of germs – with hand cream coming out tops as the grubbiest item.

So here are my top tips for cleaning your arm candy…

Firstly, empty out the contents of your bag and shake out loose debris. Pull the fabric lining out if possible and wipe with a damp sponge rinsed in hot, soapy water. Take care not to get real leather linings overly wet at this stage.

Stubborn marks like ballpoint pen, ink and lipstick stains require stubborn cleaning read readers digest online for help.

You want the lining to dry quickly so it doesn’t get musty. So either drape the lining over a radiator or for speedier drying, use a hairdryer.

For unlined, leather bags, try an upholstery cleaning spray.

Another top tip for removing lingering odours is to put an open pot of baking powder in your bag, place it inside a pillow case and leave for 24 hours. Voila – the sweet scent of clean bag success!

Many brands of high-end handbags provide an extra layer of luxury by lining their pieces with suede. If the handbag is labeled “dry clean only,” don’t attempt to clean the suede interior. Instead, seek the assistance of a professional.

Turn the handbag inside out, and shake it gently to remove any small pieces of paper, dirt or other debris. Lay the handbag flat, and clean off any loose dirt or debris with a suede brush or a soft-bristled toothbrush. Using back-and-forth, noncircular motions, gently rub the suede with either brush to not only remove the dirt but to restore the suede’s nap.

Examine the suede for any water marks or stains. Rub a suede or pencil eraser over the stains. Dampen the corner of a washcloth with water. Dip the washcloth into a small bowl filled with white vinegar. Wring out the excess liquid, then dab at any stains not eliminated by the suede or pencil eraser. Continue to gently work the vinegar into the stain until it’s eliminated. Dampen a different corner of the washcloth with water, and dab at the suede to rinse out the vinegar.

Allow the interior of your handbag to dry completely before using it again.