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Handbags are far more than a method of toting around life's necessities. For many women, purses and totes are an extension of their personal style. One popular American designer of luxury handbags is the Connecticut-based Dooney & Bourke. With bags available in many materials including clear plastic and fabric, there is no doubt Dooney & Bourke bags will require care and cleaning at some point to prevent yellowing and to remove the after-effects of accidental spills. A few basic cleaning methods can help keep your Dooney & Bourke bag looking fresh and fashionable.

Clear Plastic Cleaning

Create a mixture of clean, warm water and a mild soap. Dampen a clean, soft cloth with the soap and water mixture.

Rub the yellowed area of the clear plastic tote or accessory with the dampened cloth. Work the cloth in a circular motion while applying enough pressure to remove the yellow stain, or build-up of contaminants causing the yellow hue.

Dampen a second cloth with clean water. Wipe off any soap left on the surface of the bag with the cloth, or rinse off the soap residue by placing the clear plastic accessory under a gentle stream of clean water, if feasible.

Dry the bag as thoroughly as possible with a dry, clean cloth and place the bag in a dry environment to continue air drying completely before use.

Remove any scuffs on the clear plastic bag by rubbing a white eraser over the scuff mark in a gentle, circular motion. Rub only until the scuff is no longer visible. Over use of an eraser to remove scuffs on a Dooney & Bourke bag will cause the bag's finish to become irreparably dull.

Fabric Bag Cleaning

Create a mixture of warm water and a gentle soap. Soak a clean cloth or new, soft-bristled toothbrush in the soap mixture. Alternatively, if soap and water is not available, seltzer water can be used to soak the cleaning cloth or brush.

Blot the yellow-stained area with the cleaning mixture before working the solution into the fabric in a circular motion.

Wet a cloth with clean water and wipe any excess soap off of the bag with the damp cloth. After all of the soap has been removed, place the bag in a clean, dry environment to dry completely before using the bag again.

Clean up oily spots that are causing yellow tints on fabric by gently wiping off any excess residue with a clean cloth. Sprinkle talcum powder over the affected area and allow the powder to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Use a clean, dry toothbrush to wipe the talcum powder off of the fabric bag while brushing away the oil residue simultaneously.