How To Extend The Life of Your CJA Bags - Caramela Jewelry And Accessories

How To Extend The Life of Your CJA Bags


Recently purchased a chic vegan leather handbag? Congratulations! You've made an ethical buying choice, without sacrificing your amazing style. We're coming for you next, glass ceilings! 

Our vegan leather handbags made with polyurethane (PU) gives the same look as traditional leather, without the senseless slaughter of animals and large carbon footprint.

If you've never owned a vegan leather/PU handbag before, rest assured. They are incredibly easy to maintain and can last just as long as genuine leather if you take special care.

Fortunately, PU is more resistant to scuffing/marking than genuine leather and has a lesser chance of stretching or fading over time.


  • Protect the lining of the interior by carrying your essentials in a pouch (i.e., makeup, pens, loose coins)
  • Waterproof before use with a good-quality protector. 
  • Wipe down the material with a damp microfiber cloth when required.
  • The majority of leather cleaners and conditioners also work well for vegan leather.
  • If using alcohol-based products, be sure to test a small spot of the material before applying it to the entire handbag.
  • Store in a cool, dry place where air can circulate and your handbag is away from direct sunlight.
  • Air your vegan leather product every couple of weeks to limit the chance of mold.
  • If your products get wet, remove any residual water immediately with a paper towel and allow it to air dry.


  1. Mix water with a small amount of mild dish soap or laundry detergent (harsh detergents will cause drying/cracking).
  2. Dip a non-abrasive (we recommend microfiber) cloth in the mixture.
  3. Test the mixture on a small portion of the handbag. Try to do this on the interior of the strap if possible. Make sure there's no discoloration before applying the mixture on the actual stain. 
  4. Gently wash the stain by hand using the microfiber cloth. If the stain isn't budging or is deep-set, try using a mixture of water with a small amount of vinegar instead. Vinegar also helps you get rid of stains naturally. 
  5. Lastly, let your handbag air dry completely. If you store the bag away before it's dry, it could end up with mold and bacteria growth on the surface. 


When exposed to excessive sunlight, genuine leather can crack, ruining the look of your handbag. Since PU vegan leather mimics genuine leather, it is also prone to cracking without proper care.

To get down to the technicalities, the primary cause of the cracking is due to the adverse effects of UVB rays on the molecular structure of the material. Thus, resulting in PU compounds becoming brittle enough to crack. 

Leaving your handbags inside your car in the sun or by a window on a hot day, for example, is a huge no-no.

Although we don't consider it quite necessary, many leather producers offer leather conditioner products- these are generally safe for vegan leather as well. These conditioners add a protective layer to your bag, however, baby oil works just as fine too. But be careful: don't over-do it! A little goes a long way. You don't want to end up with a greasy bag. 


  • Store handbags either upright or laying flat.
    • Avoid hanging your purses by its straps as it puts pressure on the strap connectors and can wear out the seams prematurely.
  • Protect your purse from dust and grime using a dust bag or a pillowcase. CJA provides a dust bag with each handbag purchase.
    • Avoid storing in plastic bags- not only can plastic bags trap moisture, leading to mold or mildew on your handbag, but plastic can become stuck to the vegan leather and ruin it. 
  • Stuff your vegan leather handbags with tissue paper, pillows, or other fabrics to help maintain their shape. 
    • Avoid stacking your purses on top of each other. This can lead to crushing, or scratches from purse hardware like zipper pulls. 

We thank you again for making the right choice to buy cruelty-free handbags! 

If you're looking to add to your sustainably chic handbag collection, check out our trending new releases here!

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