Handbag Care 101 – Q&A with Leslie Fuller of Bagadocious

If you don’t take care of your bags and shoes, they’ll end up looking more cheap than chic, no matter how much they cost. Now that you’ve invested your hard earned cash in well-made classic accessories you can wear forever, make sure they last that long by cleaning and storing them properly.

Leslie Fuller, the founder of Bagadocious, walked us through how to make sure your accessories stand the test of time. (Bagadocious’s dust covers not only protect your bags and shoes but can be printed with images of their contents – ensuring you’ll be able to find your items quickly in your closet.)

SB: How should I clean my handbags before storage? 


  1. Completely empty the contents of the purse.
  2. Detach any detachable straps and fold them loosely.
  3. Brush any loose dirt from the exterior and interior.
  4. Vacuum the entire purse, including pockets.
  5. Use a damp white cotton towel with delicate fabric cleanser to remove stains from the lining. Do not saturate fabric or leather exterior of purse.
  6. Blow-dry with cool air.
  7. Place strap(s) into purse.
  8. Stuff the purse to keep shape with PLASTIC bags, bubble wrap, or dry cleaning plastic. (plastic [rather than] paper because paper attracts critters)
  9. Store it in a Bagadocious Accessory Cover.

SB: Is it important to clean everything before I put it away? 

LF: It is absolutely imperative to clean your accessories before storing.

  1. Soil, sweat, or food will cause permanent staining over time especially when exposed to the heat, dust, and lighting of your closet. Sweat on a precious metal necklace will dull it over time so cleaning and covering them up is important also.
  2. There’s nothing like pulling that purse or pair of shoe out after months and they look the way you remember them…new!

SB: How do I clean salt off my leather boots?

LF: White vinegar and water help remove salt from winter boots.

Use a solution of one cup of water and a teaspoon of white vinegar on a clean soft cloth. Do not saturate the cloth. Lightly brush off salt and let the leather boot air-dry. Use protective products on the boots before wearing them to prevent extensive staining.

SB: Pen ink got on my bag. How do I deal?

LF: For ink stains on the interior, use ink remover products designed for fabric. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. We suggest not attempting to clean the leather exterior of your handbags if they are inked…send them to http://www.lovingmybags.com. They are a professional leather restoration company.

Stylebook Tip: Many bag retailers like Coach and Longchamp also offer in-house cleaning and repair services. Call your local store to see what services are available. 

SB: Any tips for cleaning suede bags?

LF: A suede brush or light eraser can be used to remove small amounts of dirt or small scuffs . We do recommend a professional cleaning service for large obvious stains.

SB: Which items do you recommend storing in dust covers?

LF: Any shoes, boots, purses, belts, or jewelry items that are made from leather, canvas, metal, or have precious-stone accents should be protected in dust covers.

SB: How do I keep my items that are in dust covers neatly arranged?

LF: Depending on if your closet has shelves or hanging areas, we suggest you use envelope-style covers for your shelves and hang them in drawstring covers. Try not to jam or crush your handbags together tightly.

How To Store Your Handbags Neatly In The Closet

SB: Are there any other uses for dust covers?

LF: Yes! Bagadocious Accessory Covers are a great way to protect and organize your shoes and purse for travel. They definitely protect your clothing from your shoes also.  We make jewelry bags, shoe bags for kids shoes, and belts!

SB: What’s your top handbag/shoe care tip?

LF: When you bring home your new purse, shoes, or belts, treat them with a protector to ward off dirt and soil. Use designated products to condition and clean your fine accessories. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  We like Loving My Bag products! Last but not least, cover your accessories with Bagadocious Accessory Covers and protect them from the dreaded life-sucking closet elements: heat, dust, and lighting!

Find out more about Bagadocious Dust Covers 

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