How to Clean a Purse: Let's go ShoppingA purse is not cheap (quite the opposite actually). Women invest a lot of money buying them to match every outfit. They often buy every day bags as well as special occasion bags.

Hundreds of millions of dollars each year are spent in the US on these handbags alone. So you would think that purse cleaning services would be popular. While there are some cleaning services that will take in one to clean, it is often best if you clean and maintain your own purses.

Only you know how much the handbag matters to you! The care of your purse depends greatly on the material it is made from. Leather purses will have a different cleaning methodology than a canvas or cotton one. Purses with decorations (such as sequins or fringe) will require more delicate care.

A Leather Purse

Leather purses are generally the most expensive handbags you can own.  Taking care of a leather purse can be tricky.  You have to start the care and protection from the day you purchase it. Prevention is key, especially with expensive purses. Oftentimes, name brand leather bags will recommend a particular protection cream. This should be applied on day one and then again every two to three months. Proper protection will help prevent staining and grease penetration.

Weekly or monthly at a minimum, you should wipe down your leather purse inside and out. Use warm soapy water with a clean soft cloth.  This will wipe away any dirt on it.  Make sure to wipe with the grain of the handbag to avoid damaging the leather.

There are cleaning services that specialize in leather care. If your purse is stained or in need of a deep cleaning, this might be the right choice. They are professionals and will know how to clean and preserve your handbag.

How to Clean a leather purse

Canvas or Cotton 

Purses made from canvas or cotton are likely more inexpensive handbags. These are great for daily usage because they are hardy and can withstand the day to day hardships. Many can even be put into the washing machine. Be sure to check the tag first. Some bags require turning inside out before going in the wash.

For those purses that cannot go into the washing machine, the cleaning is still relatively easy.  These handbags should not need a professional cleaning service. You can handle it! Use warm water and a clean cloth to gently scrub away stains. Dry your purse with a dry towel as much as possible. Depending on the material, you can also use stain removal sprays or pens. Test on the inside of the purse just in case.


Purses made of sequins are beautiful, but they are tough to clean. Luckily these handbags are often special occasion bags and aren’t subject to daily dirt and grime. Each time you use or clean your sequin bag, inspect all of the sequin decorations. The threads and sequins can easily come undone during cleaning. If you notice loose threads, cut them and tighten any loose sequins.

How to Clean a Purse with sequin

If the handbag requires a wash, place the sequin bag in a washable mesh bag designed for delicate items. You can place the bag in the washing machine and run it on the delicate or hand wash cycle. You can also hand wash the purse inside the bag in your kitchen sink or tub. Take the purse outside of the bag immediately after finishing. Flatten the handbag on a towel to air dry.  Only wash a sequin bag if it really needs it. Store the bag in a protective case (an old pillow case will work) while not in use.  These bags are delicate and cannot withstand overuse or cleaning.

The purse is a staple of every woman’s attire. It is an accessory that is important and useful as well as a way to express individuality and personality. Just as every piece of your wardrobe, purses and handbags deserve respect and cleaning.  Keeping your purse looking clean and sharp will ensure a professional and trendy finish to your daily outfit.