The colorful and whimsical purses, handbags and totes by Vera Bradley are made of quilted fabric. While they are attractive, these handbags can soil easily and become dingy over time. Most stains and spots can be easily cleaned without damaging the fabric. The manufacturer says that the bags made of cotton fabric can even be washed in a washing machine.
Empty bag and remove the baseboard. Many Vera Bradley bags have a stiff piece of cardboard inside the bottom lining so that the bag maintains its shape. This is called the baseboard. In larger bags, such as totes, the lined baseboard is completely removable. In smaller bags, the baseboard can be slipped out of one end of the lining. Before you wash the bag, remove the baseboard and set aside.
Turn the handbag inside out and brush lightly with a soft-bristle brush. The insides of purses can accumulate small bits and pieces over time, and brushing is the best way to remove them.
Inspect the inside and outside of the bag for any dark stains. Spray these lightly with a gentle laundry spot remover. Avoid saturating the fabric. If the baseboard lining has any large stains, spray the spot treatment onto a washcloth, then lightly dab the stain. The stains may not disappear but their appearance should lighten.
Machine wash on gentle cycle and launder your cotton bag using cold water. This will keep the colors bright. Vera Bradley recommends laundry detergent designed for cotton fabric, not for delicates. If the bag is heavily soiled, add non-chlorine bleach to the water.
Allow bag to air dry. Reshape the bag and hang over a clothes hanger. Allow the bag to air dry thoroughly before reinserting the baseboard.