How to Clean a Purse?

Updated: April 24, 2024 | Published:

Leather can be a good fashion investment and consequently needs to be kept especially clean. Your purse should not be an exception. To make sure that your purse stays in mint condition, you need to clean it regularly.

Don’t worry, cleaning isn’t as daunting a task as you think. It’s quite easy to do, and you can do it in the comfort of your home too.

Do not use ammonia or any bleach-based cleaners. They can damage the surface. Here are steps to take when cleaning your leather purse.

Cleaning your Purse


You need to make sure that you spot-test any cleaning products on a hidden part first before using it.

Clean with a soft cloth

Avoid using abrasive materials or clothes to clean. Instead, use a soft cloth to clean. Always use mild soap when cleaning your purse. Do not soak it in water to avoid ruining your leather. If necessary, use a damp cloth soaked with a mild soap. Use a clean cloth to wipe off any residue moisture.

Always apply moisturizer to your purse immediately after cleaning. This would help soften. After the cleaning, buff to restore the texture and add shine.

Treat as delicate

Remember that all original leather was once a living hide and so needs to breathe. Always use the right cleaner to clean. Avoid using petroleum-based products or other synthetic cleaning products.

Make sure to test whatever cleaning products on an inconspicuous part first before using it. Remember that different leathers require different cleaning techniques. Suede and nubuck should be given special attention when cleaning. Rather than using a damp cloth to clean, always use a cleaner spray to clean. Plastic and vinyl can easily be cleaned with mild soap and clean soft cloth.

Getting rid of stains

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, there’s always that little stain that might appear on your purse. But you don’t have to fret about the stains. You can get them off without needing to ruin your favorite purse.

Before you begin cleaning off stains, it is important to know the kind of stain you’re dealing with.

There are two types of stains: wet stains and dry stains. Wet stains are caused by water-soluble contaminants and can be removed with water. While dry stains are greasy blemishes caused by wax, paint, or oil and can only be removed by dry cleaning. Below are some common stains and how to get rid of them.

Ink stain

Always attend to ink stains immediately. To remove ink stains, dip a cotton swap in a nail polish remover and lightly blot the ink stain. An alternative way to remove ink stains is by applying alcohol on the ink stain using a clean cloth. Avoid rubbing the ink stain, blot instead until the stain is gone. After cleaning, ensure to wipe with a damp cloth and dry.

Oil or grease stain

To remove oil or grease stains use either baking soda or cornstarch. If the stain is still very fresh, try to soak it as much as possible with a paper towel. Try not to press the stain into the material.

Once you’ve soaked up the oil, sprinkle some baking soda or cornstarch on the spot. If you can’t find cornstarch, you can use cornflour. Leave the cornstarch overnight so that it can soak up the oil. Gently brush off the cornstarch with a soft-bristled brush.

According to Anuent, for suede, dampen the leather with steam and brush away any excess cornstarch.

Dark stains

Mix a cream of tartar with a lemon juice to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and wait for at least 10 minutes before wiping the stain off with a damp cloth. For residue stain, use a damp cloth soaked in warm water mixed with mild soap.

Mud stains

Mud stains should be wiped off immediately. If it’s on suede, let the mud dry first. Using a bristle brush, wipe off the mud from the surface.


Hydrogen peroxide works great to remove blood stains. However, this is more effective on suede. Soaking a cloth in hydrogen peroxide, gently dab on the affected spot, and the stain will be off in no time.

Gum or wax stains

It’s quite easy to take off gum stains. All you have to do is, put it into the freezer. This would make the gum or wax harden. Once the gum or wax has dried off, take your purse from the freezer and wipe away the gum or wax from the surface.

Scratch mark

For scratch marks, a shoe polish would work, although it’s only temporary. Choose a polish that matches your purse’s color and apply only in small amounts to avoid ruining your product.


Always ensure to condition your purse to give it the shine it deserves. Not only does a conditioner help enhance the natural luster and unique features, but it also prolongs the life.

Tips for maintaining

  • Make sure the inside is not left out when you’re cleaning. Ensure to empty, shaking it properly to remove dust. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the inside.
  • Always stuff it with tissue paper if you’re not using it, to maintain its original shape. It would also prevent from cracking.
  • Never leave an open pen inside to avoid ink stains.
  • Always store your bag in a dust bag or a white pillowcase. This would prevent dust from staining the surface.
  • Apply a conditioner at least every 2 – 6 months to help it last longer.

With the right care, you can be sure your purse will stand the test of time. Ensure to clean it regularly, depending on how often you use it. Don’t let little stains to deter you from showcasing your luxurious blend.


About Amy T. Smith

Amy is a mother, writer, and your go-to expert for real-life insights into parenting, health, and lifestyle. Amy holds a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and prides herself on finding actionable tips and relatable tales.

Through her blog, AmyandRose, she supports you from pregnancy to the teenage years, offering assurance that your experiences are shared.

This site is for educational and informational purposes and by no means designed with the objective of offering substitution recommendations for professional medical advice and services.
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