How to clean your handbag properly

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Be it leather, vinyl, snakeskin, calf hair or cotton, here's how to keep your handbag squeaky clean

Hand washing

© Getty - Handbag

Handbags really do come everywhere with us, but while you'd wash your clothes on a daily basis and your hands whenever they've been near grime, bags rarely get a look-in when it comes to cleaning.

So much so, studies have even found traces of E.coli and human faeces clinging to our handbags. Eish.

So here's our simple, step-by-guide to giving any handbag a regular clean...

1. Empty everything (yep, absolutely everything) and give it a shake upside down to get ride of all the debris and random pieces of paper, gum, wrappers and whatnot.

2. If your bag has a loose fabric lining, pull it out, brush it all down making sure you get into the seams, and the use a lint roller to pick up any flecks of 'stuff'. If the lining doesn't come out, try using the fabric brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

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3. Now, if your bag is soft and made from cotton or a similar fabric, you can pop it in the washing machine, and set it to a gentle cycle. Wrapping it up in a pillow case will help protect it from bumping around too much.

4. If your handbag is leather however, you're best off using a specific cleaning foam or cream which you can buy from most leather retailers, shoe repair shops and dry cleaners. If you're desperate and out of product, a gentle wipe with lightly damp cloth can work too, though don't get your bag 'wet'.

5. With PVC or vinyl handbags, wipe the outside gently with a damp cloth and leave to air dry.

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6. When it comes to snakeskin, fur or calf and pony hair, a lightly damp cloth is once again your best bet. But make sure you only wipe in the direction of the 'growth'.

7. Don't forget to give the handles, zips, buckles and base a good clean too, as that's where bacteria will gather the most.

If your handbag really is in a sorry state, many dry cleaners now offer a professional handbag cleaning and restoration service. So if it's a big job, call in the pros!

What do you think? Ready to give your handbags a deep clean?

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