How to clean a fabric handbag

Updated February 21, 2017

Handbags are fashionable and practical, but a dirty handbag is never in style. Whether your purse is old or new, you'll want to keep it clean. If your handbag is made from velvet or silk, you'll want to have it professionally cleaned at your local dry cleaners, but for most fabrics you can give clean it yourself

Empty your handbag completely. Remember to empty out any pockets.

Use the vacuum hose to vacuum any dirt at the bottom of the bag. Don't forget to vacuum the pockets.

Apply the fabric spot remover to any visible spots or stains.

Use the warm water and detergent to spot clean your handbag. Blot, instead of scrub the stain so as not to spread it. If there is a large amount of grime, you may hand wash your handbag in a sink of warm water. You may use a toothbrush to rub out stubborn stains.

Take your handbag to the dry cleaners if you do not want to clean your handbag in water, or if the care instructions specifically recommend against hand washing.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean white cloth
  • Washing powder made specifically for delicates (such as Woolite)
  • Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment
  • Warm water
  • Toothbrush (optional)
  • Stain remover for laundry
  • Dry cleaners (optional)
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About the Author

Shelley Kishpaugh has written numerous articles for Demand Studios and Helium on a wide variety of topics, and she is currently writing a children's book. Kishpaugh received a B.S. in psychology from the University of Colorado and has been writing professionally since 2007.