So you’ve invested in a leather handbag. But how do you care for it (and keep it clean) to ensure many, many years of use?

Leather can last you a lifetime if it’s looked after correctly. Jordan Smith from the Handbag Clinic offers some valuable advice as a starting point. “Always protect your bag with a reputable protection cream/treatment. This should be done from day one and applied at least once every two to three months. Proper protection can prevent staining, grease penetration and can prevent all manner of issues later on.”

She adds, “As well as protecting, regular cleaning, even if it is just a quick wipe-down, is a must. For a quick wipe-down, a damp cloth is enough, but typically bags will need a more thorough clean by a professional or using specialist cleaning products every two to three months to keep them in top condition.”

We’ve sourced five simple tips to keeping your leather handbag in tip top condition:

1. Clean it regularly

Cleaning your leather bag regularly is a must. Just give it a quick-wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt.

2. But use a leather cleaner

A wet wipe might be convenient, but steer clear of using them on your leather bags. Likewise, avoid using vinegar or home remedies – many of these products contain chemicals or substances that can dry out the leather and damage it.

3. Dust-proof your leather bag

Make sure you store your leather bag correctly when you’re not using it to prevent the build up of dust or accidental scuffs (from shoes if you store in the bottom of your cupboard). You don’t even need to buy a fancy bag – a pillowcase will do the job.

4. Stuff it

Use bubble wrap or old clothing to stuff your bag with when you’re not using it. This will help keep it’s shape. And don’t stuff your bag in the bottom of your cupboard next to your shoes – rather keep it in a suitcase or on its own shelf.

5. Lid’s on

If you use your leather bag to carry pens, make up or water, make sure the lids are always tightly on. A leaking pen can cause devastating damage.