Bagaholicboy Profiles #34 – A Q&A With ColorWash

Q: Who (or what) is ColorWash?
A: We are a professional cleaning and colouring service provider for bags and shoes.

Q: So tell me, what services do you offer?
A: We help customers maintain their valued items by cleaning stains, restoring colour, doing repairs and applying a protective coating to minimise possible damages like water marks, colour transfer and wear and tear.

Q: Great. Anything else?
A: We share information and ideas on how to keep the items in good shape and do research to update our skills and knowledge to satisfy customers’ challenging enquiries like restoring certain designs printed on the items, offer alternativeways to revitalise customers’ cherished items and so on.

Q: One of the greatest banes my readers often face is the dreaded colour transfer, which always happens even if they have been especially careful. How does ColorWash tackle something like this?
A: We will try to clean meticulously by hand to salvage the situation as much as we can. It helps a lot if there’s been transparent coating done on the bag and if the customer has brought the bag in quickly enough. Otherwise, we can also do partial colour touch-up or even complete colouring to restore the bag if the colour transfer situation is really bad.  However, note that each bag is special and our recommendation varies from case to case.

Q: Now that sounds drastic. Is there any way the colour transfer could have been avoided in the first place?
A: First of all, we try to educate our customers on how to prevent or minimise it from happening through sharing when they visit our stores. Alternatively, we can offer transparent coating service for leather items to minimise colour transfers. Even it gets colour stains after the treatment, it makes cleaning the stain so much easier.

One more practical tip is to give your new clothes a round of gentle laundry before wearing them. For denim items like jeans, don’t forget to add a little salt to the final rinse. This helps to minimise colour run from the clothes to the leather bags or shoes.

Q: What are water protection and transparent coating treatment? Pray tell.
A: In a nutshell, water protection treatment is to minimise the instant penetration of water into the material. It does eventually seep in slowly though, if you do not wipe it quickly. But still, that’s better than doing nothing at all, right?

Transparent coating works like the top coating for your nail polish. It helps your leather last longer and also minimises stains till the coating wears off.  This coating does not change the texture or colour of your items as it comes transparent and is applied very thinly by machine.

Q: Besides colour transfers, what other situations do you most encounter when clients bring their bags in?
A: Beyond your imagination! We’ve seen bags ‘infested’ with termites from the stitch holes, bags that were ‘seasoned and marinated’ with sunscreen cream and makeup.

There was one case of an expensive red leather bag that had a big patch of rotten area because the owner had forgotten to remove mandarin oranges from the year before!  Another memorable case was how a spanking new leather bag was completely soaked with orange juice as the owner’s baby thought it was fun to pour it into the bag.

Q: I have heard that any additional coating that you put on your leather bag causes it to dry up over time, which will eventually cause it to crack. Is this true?
A: If it’s true, customers won’t keep returning to ColorWash to have their transparent coating done repeatedly. Cracks happen when you apply acrylic colouring manually or any other coating without professional know-how. We have seen many customers coming to ColorWash for help when they’d damaged their items by applying colouring or coating themselves, or via other service providers.

Cracks and stiffening of leather can also happen when you leave your leather items too long in the wardrobe without maintaining by applying moisturiser and airing them.

Q: Do you have any examples of bags (or shoes) you worked on?
A: Yes, check out our online site for snapshots of the bags and shoes before and after our treatments, as well as testimonials from brands and customers alike. You can also check out our online price guide which details the type of treatment and their respective costsWe also have some before/after pics on our Facebook fan page.

Q: Lastly, where are ColorWash outlets located in Singapore?
A: We currently have 6 outlets in Singapore, all conveniently located in and around town, including China Square Central, Mandarin Gallery, Tanjong Pagar and United Square. For those living in the eastern and western parts of Singapore, they can also check out our outlets at Siglap Centre and West Coast Plaza respectively. There’s also a new outlet opening in mid December at PSA Building. For addresses and opening hours, do check out our online directory.

Image: Ridhwan Sesapar

This is a special courtesy of ColorWash

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  • germaine says:

    I need to give them a try. One of the other popular bag-washing companies has been a bit of a letdown. They completely failed to notify me when my bag was ready for collection, and when I called to follow up, the staff snidely said, ‘We thought you don’t want your bag already.’

  • M.E says:

    Went to the Mandarin Gallery one… they saved my YSL Muse bag!! I definitely recommend them!!

  • SWH says:

    Better that you try one bag first, they completely ruined my YSL card holder when I sent it in for a cleaning. And my Jil Sander bag was also ruined. I may just be the unlucky one.

    • Bagaholicboy says:

      Drop me an email? Would love to find out more about your experience and what actually happened.

    • ColorWash SG says:

      Hi SWH, so sorry to hear of your unfortunate incident. Do you mind if we get your email contact from BB so that we can look into the matter and perhaps give you an explanation about your cardholder and bag? Or you could also get our contact info from BB to follow-up.

  • min says:

    hi bagaholicboy, what is the bag that is illustrated above? love the clean lines!

  • Colorwash is really good in bag colouring, they brought my mum’s vintage Chanel bags back to live.

    Good thing about them is that they will consult with you first before doing the service, like they will not recommend a re-colouring if they think the bag color is too unique, or the material is not able to be recoloured. For their bag cleaning I just find it so-so actually. but overall, quite satisfied with their service all along.

  • Mary N says:

    Hmm I am actually still not convinced. I went to them once to have my Miu Miu Bow cleaned. The leather looked tired and needed some cleaning about 6 months after purchase.

    When I got it back, the leather felt drier and the colour still looked very dull (like it was dirty)… I don’t know if I imagined it but the colour seemed to be washed off and the colour seemed lighter than it was supposed to be.

    • ColorWash SG says:

      Hi Mary, cleaning pre-loved items is really tricky sometimes. Most customers don’t really scrutinize their bags when they send them in for cleaning, so some are not as familiar with their own bags as they think they are… but when they get their bags back after cleaning, they will check all corners, every nook and crevice and start noticing wear and tear that they might not have noticed before.

      Now don’t get us wrong, we’re not defending ourselves or anything like that. Just wanna share our side of the story. The ColorWash team will work on improving more on our customer communication over the counter when the bags are brought in.

      If we go through the bags thoroughly together with the customers, highlight the possible ‘trouble spots’, and also explain the way we clean, it’s probably better.

      It’s possible that the leather bags feel drier after cleaning since most of the bags do go through the drying process after cleaning. However, we also apply products onto the leather to moisturize the leather, so the bags should not feel dry so to speak.

      Not to worry, we will always condition the leather (where possible) so that there’s no drying out or cracking. We in fact even encourage our customers to do regular cleaning and conditioning at home. If you would like us to have a look again at your Miu Miu Bow, please get our contact info from BB and we’ll be happy to assist.

  • linsun says:

    I had my leather and canvas Coach purse cleaned by them, it was awful before, came out much better though there were still some parts that were so-so. They do what they can, they are not miracle workers.

  • Irene Cheong says:

    Colorwash is great! I sent my vintage Caviar Flap for them to clean and restore. I also sent my Miu Miu untreated leather bag to them. That bag had a lot of water stains that another company said it was beyond repair. But Colorwash rescued it! Great job!

  • germaine says:

    Colorwash managed to salvage the husband’s water-damaged Tods shoes (this was after he had chucked them into the cupboard for two weeks). Good work.

  • Paula says:

    I sent my Burberry bag for cleaning on 9/6/12 at Siglap as there is some dotted spots on the handles and the side.

    It looks like water/oil marks but not very obvious! I tried to remove using powder and damp cloth but nothing came off! Instead 2 brown stains appeared after the leather dried up! I pointed to the lady attended to me regarding the stains, she said it can be removed! I was informed on Tuesday that the bag can be collected but I was very disappointed that the stains are still there when I collected on 16/6.12. The lady told me the stains couldn’t be removed!

  • Aurangzeb anwar says:

    Hi I just want to know about the colour transfer or colour runs on LV patent leather purse from other purse. Can it be removed. Thanks.

    • Bagaholicboy says:

      I’m not exactly sure if you mean it was stained or rubbed till the protective layer of varnish wore off. Which is what happens to Monogram Vernis (this is the patent leather you are referring to, right) when it gets ‘rubbed’ too vigourously. Either way, I don’t exactly know how bad it is (no images supplied), so my advice is for you to bring it to a leather professional. Or just bring it back to LV.

  • CHRIS says:

    Sent a Chanel Maxi in lambskin for cleaning at Mandarin Gallery. Picked it up and it was missing the authenticity card as well as the hologram sticker. Very very disappointed. There was no follow-up. Considering they were able to take down the serial number of the bag when I sent it in, where is the hologram sticker and the card now? Very suspect. Could the factory have taken the card and sticker to produce a high-end fake?

  • ming ming says:

    I have a bad experience with Color Wash at Mandarin Gallery. Brought my LV bag for cleaning. Understand that there are some colour change on the leather part and a little bit of watermarks. The person also said that the watermarks can’t be removed and I am fine with that as I just want to do a normal cleaning. I just expect my bag to become cleaner and didn’t expect it will change like brand new bag.

    To my horror, when I collected my bag, there are additional watermarks on the leather part which were not there before and I remember it clearly. Especially on the sling part. The previous existing watermarks become more obvious also. Furthermore, there are 3 big dots appear on the interior of the bag which were not there before too. What makes me more upset is the way the shopkeeper responded to it by insisting on her view and blame it on my bag.

    • Bagaholicboy says:

      Oh dear. Did you take before/after photographs and is this something you can pursue further with say, CASE Singapore?

  • ashley says:

    What are your charges for coating for a Boy Chanel in Medium. Dark pink colour. 10 inches. Thanks.

  • Sammy says:

    The price list is still not reliable as the price starts from X. I find the prices on the high side. I am not pleased that the shop closes 8 minutes before the closing time when I reached.

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