Can You Wash Your Purse?

by Emily McClure

Notice a spill on your favorite Kate Spade bag? Well, before you go running for the washing machine, take a step back and look at the materials label printed on the inside of the bag. As each material reacts differently to water, not all purses can be washed. Just think about it — if you wouldn't wash your leather jacket, than why would you wash your leather satchel? It just doesn't make sense.

In fact, a spin in the washing machine might actually ruin the bag itself. Certain materials such as velvet or suede can be significantly damaged when submerged in water. These fabrics just aren't made to withstand that amount of turbulent force or water interaction. Now, on the opposite end, if your tote bag is made completely of cotton, polyester, or linen then adding it to your laundry pile is completely safe. As these are more resilient materials, they can withstand the power of a washing machine.

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However, if your purse is made from a more delicate or porous material, that doesn't mean that it's doomed to be dirty. There are several ways that you can clean these sensitive fabrics without having to use water.

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For instance, the best way to clean dirt off of suede is to use a piece of stale bread to scrub away the mark, according to The piece of bread applies enough exfoliation to the fabric to release the dirt without causing any further damage.

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If you're looking to clean up a leather bag, suggested using a damp cloth to remove any spills. However, if you notice an oil stain, then apply a small amount of baby powder to the stain to soak up the spill. Leave on overnight and by the next morning, your bag should be looking good as new.

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So, while your first instinct may be to throw your purse in the washing machine, don't. Honestly, it may do more harm than good. Instead, check the instructions inside the bag to discover the proper way to clean your favorite accessory.