5 Effective Ways to Keep Your Purse Clean

5 Effective Ways to Keep Your Purse Clean
Photo: Getty Images

Oh, handbags. Sometimes we have a love/hate relationship with them. We never mind spending a few extra dollars (or hundreds) for one because we justify it by saying “we’re investing” and “it’ll last for years”—but sometimes that extra investment turns into basically caring for a child. The bag gets its own seat at a restaurant because we’d never dare have it touch the floor. Hey, if you want to protect your investment, you gotta do what you gotta do!

Ahead, our top five tricks for keeping your handbags clean, organized, and in good shape for years to come.


Not literally, even though I’m sure your bag would make for a great cocktail partner. Pre-protect your bag before taking it out. If your purse is made of leather, suede, or a delicate fabric, apply a protectant product to shield it from spills, dirt, and any fumbles throughout the day. You can also use these products regularly on bags you often wear.

gettyimages 910306578 5 Effective Ways to Keep Your Purse CleanPouch It

Have you ever opened a bag to find ink stains, lipstick smudges, or leaked fluids? Make sure you protect the lining and the inside of your purse by using pouches to organize all of your contents. Have a beauty bag, a money or tech bag, and a work bag with pens. By keeping everything in separate mini pouches, your purse will remain organized and clean, and it’ll be significantly easier to switch up your handbags throughout the week without having to completely dump everything and reorganize.

MORE: A Colorful Crossbody Bag Is the Best Way to Brighten up Your Wardrobe (and Day)

gettyimages 913176782 5 Effective Ways to Keep Your Purse Clean

Store It Properly

When you’re not using a bag, make sure you store it properly. Keep pocketbooks upright, detach any removable straps and coil them inside the purse (if you fold them or leave them astray, they’ll bend and crease), and stash them in dust bags or mini pillowcases before putting away. Avoid squeezing them tightly on the shelf because they’ll scratch, and don’t store bags in plastic because plastic traps moisture.

gettyimages 913177484 5 Effective Ways to Keep Your Purse Clean

Remove Stains

Oops, you got a stain on your brand-new bag, but don’t worry. There are several at-home DIY stain removal techniques to remove food, oil, ink, and water stains that work well, but you can also take it to a professional for a deep clean.

MORE: 20 On-Trend Clutches to Add to Your Handbag Collection

gettyimages 910199826 5 Effective Ways to Keep Your Purse Clean

Give it a Little TLC

To ensure that your bags last for years, practice routine care. Definitely protect the material, store properly, and remove stains, but there are a couple other tips and tricks to make sure your bags stay in tip-top shape.

  • Wipe down the bags you’re currently using on a weekly basis. You can use a baby wipe to get rid of crumbs or dirt on the inside, and use a soft cloth on the outside. But make sure you’re not overcleaning your bag either—constant washing will eventually lead to the destruction of your bag, so only clean if you’re regularly using it.
  • Avoid handling your bag with dirty, lotioned, or wet hands.
  • Rotate your bags regularly so they don’t wear out too fast.
  • Don’t overstuff your bag. This will stretch your bag, rip the lining, or deform the material.