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How to Clean a White Handbag ( Without Discoloration or Yellowing)

how to clean a white purse or handbag

A white handbag is a popular fashion accessory that is a magnet for dirt, dust and ink stains.

To repair your white purse—whether it is constructed of patent leather or suede—requires a steady hand and a meticulous cleaning process.

Things You’ll Need

  • Lint roller
  • Pre-moistened leather wipes
  • Small-bristled brush
  • Emory board
  • Suede eraser
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swab
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Old T-shirt
  • White cloth
  • Ammonia-based window cleaner
  • Cornstarch
  1. Clean the interior. Pull out the inside lining of the purse. Pick up any debris, hair or dirt using a lint roller.
  2. Remove minor canvas and leather stains. Clean your leather bag with a pre-moistened leather wipe. Remove any dirt or dust stains from canvas using a small-bristled brush—no water needed.
  3. Gently remove dirt trapped in suede with a suede eraser or emory board. Rub the suede tools gently using a circular motion to free dirt from the nap.
  4. Remove unsightly ink stains with rubbing alcohol. Dip a cotton swab in a capful of rubbing alcohol. Press the swab into the stain lightly to remove from leather. Wipe the purse with a damp white cloth dipped in cold water. Let the bag air-dry overnight in a well-ventilated area.
  5. Mix vinegar and water to remove black scuffs in white patent. Mix 2 tbsps. of vinegar with 1 1/2 cups of water. Using a clean white cloth, wipe the bag with the diluted vinegar. Clean the bag with cold water and an old T-shirt to remove the vinegar smell and residue.
  6. Restore patent leather’s shine with window cleaner. Spray a white cloth with an ammonia-based cleaner. Wipe the handbag clean with water to remove any residue.
  7. Repair your purse professionally. For damaged exotic skins, beaded handbags or large tears in your purse’s exterior, use a handbag restoration service like Artbag.
  8. Sprinkle cornstarch onto a grease-stained white handbag. Leave the powder on top of the bag for a maximum of 15 minutes. Brush the stained area gently with an old cloth to remove the oil and the cornstarch.

Tips & Warnings

  • The cost to repair a purse in 2017 ranges from 40 to 300 dollars depending on the damage and material used to construct the bag.
  • Test a small area underneath your white handbag for colorfastness with the alcohol or ammonia-based cleanser.

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