How To Clean A Fabric Purse

So you’ve got a fabulous fabric purse that you absolutely adore, but it’s starting to look a little worse for wear. No worries, my friend, because I’ve got you covered with some handy tips on how to get that purse sparkling clean and looking as good as new. Whether it’s a stubborn stain or just general dirt buildup, I’ll walk you through the simple steps to ensure your beloved purse stays fresh and fabulous. So grab your trusty fabric cleaner and let’s get started on bringing that purse back to life!


Before you begin cleaning your fabric purse, it’s important to gather all the materials you will need. This includes things like a soft brush, a gentle cleaning solution, mild detergent, a mesh laundry bag, baking soda, odor neutralizing spray, and dryer sheets. Additionally, it’s crucial to check the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific guidelines or recommendations they may have regarding the cleaning process. Following these instructions will ensure that you clean your purse properly and avoid any potential damage.

Spot Cleaning

Identifying the stain is the first step in spot cleaning your fabric purse. Take a close look at the stain and determine what type it is – whether it’s an ink stain, a grease or oil stain, a food or drink stain, a blood stain, or a water stain. Once you have identified the stain, gently blot it with a clean cloth to remove any excess liquid or debris. Next, apply a small amount of a gentle cleaning solution to a clean cloth and carefully dab the stain, being careful not to rub or scrub too hard. This will help lift the stain without spreading it further. For tougher stains, you can use a soft brush to lightly scrub the area, but be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric.

Hand Washing

If your fabric purse is safe for hand washing, follow these steps to ensure a thorough clean. First, fill a sink with warm water and add a mild detergent. Submerge the purse in the soapy water and let it soak for a few minutes. Gently scrub the surface of the purse with your hands or a soft brush, paying extra attention to any stained or dirty areas. After scrubbing, rinse the purse thoroughly under clean, running water to remove all soap residue. Make sure to squeeze out any excess water gently without twisting or wringing the fabric.

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Machine Washing

Before tossing your fabric purse into the washing machine, it’s crucial to prepare it properly to prevent damage. Empty the contents of the purse and remove any detachable straps or accessories. Place the purse inside a mesh laundry bag to protect it during the wash cycle. Set the washing machine to a delicate or gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or any harsh chemicals that may damage the fabric. Once the cycle is complete, remove the purse from the mesh bag and let it air dry, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources that can cause discoloration or shrinkage.


After washing your fabric purse, it’s time to dry it properly to maintain its shape and integrity. Start by gently removing any excess moisture by patting the purse with a clean towel. Avoid applying too much pressure or rubbing vigorously, as this can damage the fabric or cause the colors to bleed. Next, reshape the purse by stuffing it with clean, dry towels or tissue paper. This will help the purse retain its original shape while drying. Lay the purse flat on a clean towel or drying rack and allow it to air dry naturally. It’s important to keep the purse away from direct sunlight or heat sources, as these can cause fading or distortion of the fabric.

Cleaning Specific Materials

Different fabric purses may require specific cleaning methods based on their material. Here are some guidelines for cleaning different types of fabrics commonly found in purses:

Cotton or Canvas

To clean cotton or canvas purses, you can follow the general cleaning methods mentioned earlier. However, be cautious when scrubbing the fabric, as excessive friction may cause color loss or pilling.

Leather or Suede

cleaning leather or suede purses requires special care. It’s best to use a leather cleaner or a mild soap specifically designed for these materials. Apply the cleaner following the manufacturer’s instructions using a soft cloth or brush. After cleaning, make sure to condition the leather or suede to restore its suppleness and prevent cracking.

Nylon or Polyester

Nylon or polyester purses are relatively easy to clean. You can use a mild detergent and warm water to hand wash them or machine wash them on a gentle cycle. Avoid using too much detergent, as this can leave residue on the fabric.

Silk or Satin

Silk or satin purses are delicate and should be handled with care. Spot clean any stains using a gentle, non-abrasive cleaning solution. Avoid saturating the fabric with water, as this can cause water spots. It’s best to consult a professional cleaner for deep cleaning silk or satin purses.

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Sequin or Beaded

When it comes to purses with sequins or beads, it’s important to clean them by hand, carefully avoiding any excessive rubbing or scrubbing that could damage the embellishments. Use a mild detergent and warm water to gently clean the fabric between the sequins or beads. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry without direct sunlight.

Faux Fur

To clean faux fur purses, use a mild detergent mixed with warm water and spot clean any stains. Gently rub the affected area with a clean cloth. Avoid submerging the entire purse in water, as this can damage the underlying fibers. Once cleaned, gently brush the faux fur to restore its fluffy appearance.

Removing Odors

Fabric purses can sometimes develop unpleasant odors. Here are some methods to effectively neutralize odors:

Sprinkle Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda inside the purse and leave it overnight. The baking soda will absorb any lingering odors. The next day, gently shake out the baking soda and air out the purse.

Use Odor Neutralizing Spray

If baking soda alone doesn’t eliminate the odors, you can use an odor neutralizing spray designed for fabrics. Spray a small amount inside the purse and let it dry naturally. This will help freshen up the fabric and eliminate any lingering smells.

Place Dryer Sheets Inside

Another simple trick is to place a couple of dryer sheets inside the purse. The fresh scent of the dryer sheets will help mask any unpleasant odors and keep your purse smelling clean and fragrant.

Stain Removal

Different types of stains require specific stain removal techniques. Here are some common types of stains and how to remove them:

Ink Stains

To remove ink stains from fabric purses, dampen a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol or hairspray. Blot the stain gently, being careful not to spread it further. Rinse the area with clean water and let the purse air dry.

Grease or Oil Stains

To remove grease or oil stains, sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for a few hours. Then, gently brush off the powder and blot the stain with a clean cloth soaked in mild detergent and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.

Food or Drink Stains

For food or drink stains, gently blot the area with a clean cloth to remove any excess liquid. Mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water and dab the stain. Rinse thoroughly and let the purse air dry.

Blood Stains

To remove blood stains, dampen a cloth with cold water and gently blot the stain, being careful not to rub it, as rubbing may cause the stain to set further. If the stain persists, you can use hydrogen peroxide or a blood stain remover following the product’s instructions. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.

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Water Stains

Water stains on fabric purses can be challenging to remove. One method is to gently dampen the entire purse, ensuring it’s evenly wet. Then, let the purse air dry naturally. As it dries, the water stains may disappear. If the stains persist, you may need to consult a professional cleaner.

Maintaining the Purse

Regularly cleaning and refreshing your fabric purse will ensure its longevity and keep it looking its best. Here are some tips for maintaining your purse:

Regularly Clean and Refresh

Make it a habit to regularly spot clean your purse to prevent dirt and stains from setting in. Wipe the surface clean with a soft cloth and a gentle cleaning solution. This will help keep your purse looking fresh and new.

Avoid Overstuffing

Avoid overstuffing your purse, as this can strain the fabric and cause it to lose its shape. If you need to carry a lot of items, consider using a larger purse or a separate bag to distribute the weight more evenly.

Store Properly

When you’re not using your fabric purse, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in plastic bags, as this can trap moisture and lead to mold or mildew growth. Instead, use a breathable fabric or paper bag to protect it.

Use Paper or Fabric Liners

To keep the inside of your purse clean, use paper or fabric liners. These liners will catch any spills or leakages and prevent them from seeping into the fabric. They are also easily replaceable, keeping your purse fresh and clean.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’re unsure about cleaning your fabric purse yourself or if it requires specialized care, it’s best to seek professional help. Here’s how to go about it:

Evaluate the Purse

Examine your purse and assess its condition. Take note of any specific stains, damages, or delicate materials that may require professional attention. This information will help the professional cleaner determine the best cleaning method.

Find a Professional Cleaner

Look for a reputable professional cleaner in your area who specializes in fabric purses. Seek recommendations from friends or read online reviews to ensure you choose a reliable and experienced cleaner.

Follow Their Recommendations

Once you find a professional cleaner, follow their recommendations and instructions for cleaning and maintaining your fabric purse. They have the expertise and knowledge to handle delicate fabrics and difficult stains, ensuring the best possible outcome for your purse.

By following these comprehensive steps and guidelines, you can effectively clean and maintain your fabric purse, keeping it looking fresh, vibrant, and ready for any occasion. Remember to always check the manufacturer’s instructions and use the appropriate cleaning methods for your specific purse to avoid any damage. With proper care, your fabric purse can continue to be a stylish and functional accessory for years to come.


Mila Brooks

My goal for Go Girl Bags is to provide all of my site visitors with a trusted quality experience. Going down the rabbit hole of frustration trying to find the perfect bag for all you needs is not any fun. My researched information not only about bag looks, but also quality of materials and other aesthetics you may not have thought about will help you make a better informed decision. Thank you.

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