How to clean your handbag

Being stuck in the house, it’s likely that we’ve not been using our handbags as much as we normally do.

But, it’s also likely that all the gunk that had accumulated over the last however-many-months is still lurking in there, ready to make an appearance once we’re out on the tiles once again.

Many people’s handbags are somewhat tardis-like, housing everything from plasters to makeup to cereal bars for snacking on the go.

All this forgotten junk on the inside is then coupled with the fact that we often throw the bags down on the floor and don’t give them a good clean, so they can get pretty filthy.

So if you want to have a little spring clean of your personal Mary Poppins bag, here’s how.

Empty it out

Deyan Dimitrov, CEO of Laundryheap, says the first step is to empty out the contents, not forgetting any hidden pockets, and then give the inside a vacuum.

He says: ‘If you have a handbag made of particularly delicate fabric, you’ll want to get warm soapy water, dip a clean cloth into the mixture, wring it out and then wipe down both the inside and the outside of your handbag thoroughly, including the handles.’

For fabric shoppers, you can pop it straight into the machine with some fabric-safe disinfectant.

Disinfect all of your accessories

There’s no point cleaning out the bag and then putting all your grotty items back into it, so take some diluted disinfectant to your bits and bobs.

Deyan says: ‘Grab a kitchen tissue and spray it with disinfectant solution.

‘Antibacterial wipes work well to remove bacteria, but aren’t enough to remove viruses. Instead, use the kitchen towel to wipe over items such as keys, your purse, makeup compacts, brushes, and any other items with a hard surface.

‘Spray two pumps of the disinfectant solution inside your handbag and leave to dry.’

Care for the outside

With leather bags, you might notice wear and tear marks and scuffs on the outer or the handles.

There are plenty of products specifically designed to clean and protect leather bags, such as The Handbag Spa kit.

Alternatively, just use any products specifically designed for leather or faux leather. Normally we love a homemade solution, but this can go awry and damage your designer bag or dull the colour.

If it does seem like it’s beyond your pay grade, head to a company like The Handbag Clinic to see what they can do for you.

Pack in some added essentials

Now your handbag is all clean, let’s keep it that way.

Deyan advises packing in some antibacterial wipes, so that if you accidentally pop your bag down somewhere sticky (remember the Tube?), you can give the bottom a wipe.

He also says: ‘Keep a disposable plastic bag inside your handbag – one for disposing of tissues and the other for keeping food items in.

‘Try not to have anything loose in your handbag, such as food, tissues or coins. These can spread bacteria across your items and cause your handbag to become a breeding ground again.

‘Storing your at-risk items in plastic bags within your handbag will help to stop cross-contamination.’

As well as this, next time you reach into that bag and end up with a bunch of old receipts – or worse, crumbs – make a pact with yourself to clean it thoroughly once again.

If nothing else, these weird times should really give us a kick up the bum to keep things clean and tidy.

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