I first got to know this place many years ago, and remembered sending some items for professional cleaning. In my case, I always waited till I was desperate for some help that I stopped procrastinating and sent some of the bags for cleaning at Color Wash. Of course, by that time, what they could do for me is also limited, e.g. stains from oxidisation remains and the unsavoury odour of mouldy leather still lingers, but definitely, there was a marked improvement in how the bags look.
Unfortunately, I have not taken before and after pictures to compare how the bags that I have sent for cleaning look, but somehow maybe it’s just psychological that they look better and acquired a slightly more pristine look than when I first brought them in to the cleaners.
Price used to be S$50 for a bag I think, many years back when I sent a Celine Bittersweet for cleaning. Imagine all that amount of leather, I would think more than 95% of the bag is covered in leather at that price, it’s definitely worth it. I paid an additional amount for water-proofing too, but that I couldn’t recall. Since then I haven’t really used the bag so it actually still remained in the plastic cover that they used to contain the bag when I collected it. I just knew recently, based on what the lady at the shop told me, that I’m supposed to take it of the plastic cover immediately and put it back into the dust bag, so… hmm, I hope I haven’t done further damage to it.
Prices have since gone up of course, that is only to be expected. Just this year, I have sent in another 2 bags for cleaning, one because of mould and another because of oxidation. My takeaway from this is that I should really refrain from buying bags that are of a light colour, because the sky-blue (or a little greyish) Miu Miu that I had acquired a slight yellowish tinge from oxidation I guess, and perhaps due to the occasional rain plus definitely the using (and probably perspiration from me), coupled with lack of care for it before returning it to its dust bag, mould started to grow on it. 😦
It looks a little better now, but again I have not used it. The quality of Miu Miu bags aren’t that great, or it could be a user problem, because this bag I had come with tassles that have started to fray! Omg. I have the same problem with the BBag in RH but I thought for the latter it was due to intensive use and abuse. So maybe it really is the user’s fault…
Years back, I bought a white canvas Prada while I was in Venice, used it a couple of times and then one day when I wanted to use it again (must have been really long), I realised it is no longer white. Instead it looked yellowish! Urgh! In the past, the Color Wash I went to at China Square Central declined to clean it for me because it’s a hand-painted bag and they were afraid that they will remove the paint in the process. But this time, they (at Mandarin Gallery) agreed to. I collected the bag last week, and although they have tried their best, the white is lost forever, but not the paint, it just turned yellow.
Anyway, now cleaning costs S$80 (for the last 2 I cleaned), and although it’s a bit steep I think it’s quite a good thing to do for your leather bags, especially if you are like me who do not shower TLC on your leather babies. Take it as a regular maintenance for the bags, particularly in our humid climate that is so unfriendly to leather, and sorry but I don’t have the luxury of staying in a place big enough to dedicate some spaces (maybe with climate-controlled humidity and temperature?) for them.
The moral of the story for me is that I should really not buy any more bags. Well, it is a hard uphill journey, even if I think I am making good progress. I bet you will never think that I’d say this, but I have too many bags that which I do not use (and no I don’t think I will sell them, and I most definitely won’t be giving away any), do not care for properly, and it’s a major disservice to them. On a day-to-day basis, I just need a versatile carry-all, and after some time, a bag is just a bag, so long as it serves its purpose, it doesn’t need to be the IT bag. How long can an IT bag last anyway, and these days, it seems like everyone on the street is carrying some IT bag so there is no longer any exclusivity in owning a piece of leather.
Let’s see how my plan pans out. One a year isn’t too many but yet it will just add to the numbers, but right now, believe it or not, I do not have any idea what I should get, even if I were to want to splurge on a nice leather bag for myself when my birthday comes around!