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The dark, sealed off environment of a purse is the perfect breeding ground for mold when something is spilled or leaked inside. Unfortunately, it's not just the purse lining you need to worry about. Everything inside, and even outside, the bag has the potential to get wet and damaged because liquid can leak right through the inner material. So cleaning a purse when something spills requires attacking the problem immediately, both inside and out.

Empty out the contents of the purse onto a towel. Sort through your belongings and separate the items affected by the liquid. Dry off anything soiled from the spill with a paper towel. If the mess is sticky, you may need to clean the item with soapy water. Leave the contents of the purse on the towel until everything dries.

Wipe out the inside of your purse with paper towels. Depending on the viscosity of the spill, you may be able to clean it all up with towels. For bigger messes, you'll need to wipe up the muck first before trying to wash the inside.

Wet a cleaning rag with soapy water. Clean both inside and outside of the purse with a mild dish washing soap. For a leather purse, use leather cleaner on the outside of the bag, following the label's directions for proper application.

Dry the inside and outside of your bag with a clean towel. Pull the lining up and out of the bag opening, allowing it to hang out of the purse as much as possible. Set your bag aside until it dries thoroughly. Once clean and dry, you can put the contents back inside.


Designer bags may come with cleaning and care instructions. Read any documentation that came with your purse, for care information.


Some soaps may cause discoloration. Dab a small amount in an inconspicuous area, such as underneath the purse, before applying it to the entire bag.