DIY Shoe & Purse Maintenance

I don't know about you but after a Chicago winter, we find our shoes and purses in desperate need of a little extra TLC. In need of some serious moisture - a lot like our skin! - and a bit scuffed around the edges from the daily trudge to and from work, an afternoon of some quick and easy DIY tips and tricks will have your accessories back in tip-top shape. Check out a few helpful hints below!

Image via @carson.kit

Image via @carson.kit

Ditch the Clutter

Whether you have one statement bag or you swap through various purses and backpacks during the week, you are sure to have some clutter and miscellaneous junk ready for the trash. The best way to take care of a purse is to ditch the clutter as often as possible. The more stuff you cram into a tote, the more the fabric stretches, strains and stresses. And really, who needs to be carrying all that extra weight around anyway? Empty your bag and seriously consider what needs to be tossed and what stays.

For Dehydrated Leather, Try Milk

Image via NY Daily News

Image via NY Daily News

While the jury is still out on whether milk actually does the body right, it is a secret technique used by most cobblers and leather workers to hydrate dry, damaged leather. My late grandmother left me quite the collection of vintage Coach bags and after a few failed attempts to get them restored, one cobbler suggested I rub the bags with a soft towel damp with milk, not a bath, but soft, light dabs. He said this would help soothe the cracked fabric and was better than any treatment he could do. My grandmother's bags have never looked better and all I needed was a half gallon of milk and a washcloth...psst, this works on leather shoes too!

(Always do a spot test before trying this technique. Though I was assured this was safe, I would hate to have any ruined leather on my conscience! And never use this trick for suede, just saying.)

Whiten Those Sneaks

Image via NBL

Image via NBL

Though Chicago was spoiled this winter in terms of very light snowfall, there was still enough sludge and ice, salt and rain, to wreak havoc on your sneakers. To get shoes back to their shining glory, try this handy tip from Nicole of NBL. Just combine baking soda with laundry detergent, pre-scrub, toss in the washer in a mesh bag, rinse, repeat and let air dry. Sooner than you know it, those sneakers will be right as rain and looking brand new in no time.

Renew Suede Shoes

Image via Apartment Therapy

Oh Suede, you fickle, fickle fabric. What is not to love about the luxurious fabric suede other than its persnickety demeanor and fragile exterior? Whether a purse or shoes - even a jacket - this material can go from slinky and chic to worn out and distressed in no time. Apartment Therapy broke down some ways to revamp your suede with just a brush, eraser and emory board. A combination of all three seems to works best and never wet this fabric unless you really want it to go to the dogs.

Blue Jean Baby

Image via Hello Hydrangea

Image via Hello Hydrangea

For those who rock the dye-rich denim - whether black, navy or deep indigo - then this tip is most certainly for you. A simple swipe over the hearty fabric with an alcohol-free face wipe like these from Simple will take the denim hue right off.

Crumber Magic

Image via Real Simple

Image via Real Simple

No one can deny the magic of a lint roller and if you are like me - with an oversized tote stuffed to the gills with loose change, snacks, paper scrids and pen tops - then this hack is sure to make life a touch easier. Just simply take a lint roller to your "empty" bag and see what you retrieve from the beneath the lining and at the bottom of your sack.

Stinky Feet Powder

Image via Bren Did

Image via Bren Did

After a long winter of wool socks, tights, wet feet and puddle jumps, needless to say, your toes and footwear may be in need of a little odor prevention. This awesome at-home recipe utilizes a few of our favorite natural items i.e. essential oils - Tea Tree, Peppermint and Eucalyptus - to rid your shoes and toes of any residual funk. Any excuse to purchase a few extra oils is always good in our book...

And now a pic from Spring because, well, I just can't wait!

Image via @carson.kit

Image via @carson.kit

'Til next time!

- KCH