Maintaining and Caring for Your Shoes, Handbags and Jewelry
Everyone is familiar with the famous Benjamin Franklin quote, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Mr. Franklin was right. It is easier to avoid a problem than it is to rectify one. Therefore, extend the use of your shoes, handbags and jewelry by properly maintaining and caring for them. These preventative measures are quick and easy.
The first step to take care of your leather shoes is to buy a leather care kit that includes shoe polish, leather protector, a brush and a polishing cloth. Before you wear your leather shoes, protect them with the leather protector to prevent scuff marks and water damage. Use shoe polish periodically to buff and condition them.
Another way to increase the longevity of your shoes is to place plastic taps or heel protectors on them. Since heel protectors prevent your heels from excessive wear and tear, it is less likely that you will have to replace your heels. It is far less expensive to protect your heels than it is to replace them.
Finally, the last tip to extend the life of your shoes is to use shoe trees in your shoes when you are not wearing them. Shoe trees prevent creases and folds, which cause your shoes to look worn. If you cannot find shoe trees, stuff your shoes with wads of newspaper.
Leather handbags are expensive, so protect your investment by taking care of them. Apply leather protector to your handbag to prevent stains from setting in and permanently damaging your bag. After repeated use, remember to clean and buff the leather with a leather cleaner and polish.
Handbags typically carry heavy loads, causing the straps to break; however, don't throw your bags away because of broken straps. Instead, take your handbags to a shoe repair shop that can replace the straps for you. Most times, it costs less to buy replacement straps than to invest in a new handbag.
The most important way to prolong the life of your handbag is to stuff it with archival quality tissue paper. Stuffing your bag with tissue paper will help maintain its shape. Place your bag in a dust bag to keep it clean and scratch-free during storage. If you don't have a dust bag, use a white cotton pillowcase.
To maintain your jewelry avoid contact with harsh chemicals. Hairspray, perfume and lotion will damage your pearls, opals and precious gemstones. Although gold and silver are more resilient, it is important to protect them as well; therefore, the easiest way to avoid chemicals causing damage to your jewelry is to put your jewelry on after handling harmful products.
In addition to avoiding chemicals, you should remove your rings before doing housework or any activity that may damage your jewelry. Although diamonds are tough, most ring settings are not. Most people ruin their rings due to damaging the settings, not the diamonds.
When your jewelry requires cleaning, make sure you know how to clean each piece. Silver is easy to clean with a silver polishing cloth or solution; however, use caution when using silver cleaning products because most are harmful to pearls, opals, turquoise and lapis lazuli. Therefore, it is critical to read the instructions before you use any cleaner to avoid damaging your jewelry. Visit RealSimple.com for more jewelry cleaning tips. Also, keep in mind that some of your jewelry may require professional cleaning.
The best way to maintain and care for your shoes, handbags and jewelry is by preventing damage in the first place. It is far easier to avoid damaging your investments than it is to repair the damage. These preventative measures are well worth the time and effort, and will result in you enjoying your prized possessions for many years to come.
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