How to Clean a Dooney & Bourke Purse

By LeafTV Editor

Dooney & Bourke purses are high-quality bags made to resist most stains, but what should you do when your lipstick comes uncapped in your vintage Cabriolet bag, or your toddler takes a crayon to your new purse? The answer lies in which sort of bag you have. All-weather leather bags are the sturdiest and simplest to care for; their famous Vacchetta leather bags are a bit trickier to clean; vintage Cabriolet bags are made of canvas and Vacchetta, and touted as being practically indestructible, but require special cleaning when they do stain, particularly because of the mostly untreated Vacchetta leather.

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How To Clean A Dooney Bourke Purse

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Wipe down all-weather bags with a damp white cloth. Wash stains gently with a mild soap such as Ivory, and rinse the soap off with a clean damp cloth within 2 minutes. Don't use any creams or leather conditioning balms on all weather bags. They could open the leather's pores and destroy the weather-proof qualities of the bag.

Scrub cabriolet bags clean with a damp white cloth. If there are spots that won't come clean, use the Ivory soap method outlined for signature bags. Avoid using leather cleansers or creams on the untreated Vacchetta leather, as they can cause discoloration.

Take special care with signature bags. The 100 percent cotton and Vacchetta leather are especially susceptible to water stains. Try brushing them off as much as possible, and use the Ivory soap method outlined in Step 4 to clean especially soiled spots.

Use the Ivory soap method. Moisten a bar of Ivory soap with sodium-free seltzer water. Rub a soft-bristled tooth brush over the bar's surface to coat the bristles. Scrub soiled spots on your Dooney & Bourke purse very gently. Rinse the soap away with a white cloth moistened with seltzer water. Dry the purse quickly with a clean white towel.


  • Liquid Ivory can be used instead of bar soap. Send the purse to Dooney & Bourke for cleaning and repair. They will give it the best treatment possible and send it back to you for far less than the cost of a new purse (see Resources below).