The easiest way to clean the inside of your handbag

the best way to clean the inside of your handbag
How to clean the inside of your handbagOlesia Valentain / EyeEm - Getty Images

A great handbag does so much more than add the finishing touches to an outfit - it helps you keep everything you need for the day within reach, whether that's a snack, makeup or the latest book you're reading.

Since most of us use our handbags every day, it can be hard to find the time to give the interior a good clean. If you've been putting off this task for a while, we've broken it down into simple steps to help you get the job done.

Organise your bag

The first step is to empty out all the contents, sort them and throw away any rubbish. Sponge down essential items that need to go back in your handbag like your hairbrush or makeup, and shake out loose debris.

This is the perfect time to consider what you really need to keep in your handbag, too. Your phone and purse are a must, but do you really need to keep all of last month's receipts? Will you ever eat that emergency snack? Unless you have Mary Poppin's magical bag, these items are taking up valuable space.

the best way to clean the inside of your handbag
Emilija Manevska - Getty Images

Clean the lining

Pull the fabric lining out, if possible, and wipe with a damp sponge that's been rinsed in hot, soapy water.

If the lining of your handbag is leather rather than fabric, take care not to get it too wet at this stage as this could make it brittle.

Tackle stubborn stains

If you have any of these common, stubborn stains inside your handbag, here's how to tackle them.


If your handbag is lined with cotton, small lipstick stains will often come out if rubbed with a little liquid detergent. If the stain is bigger, try a specialist stain remover, like Dr. Beckmann Stain Devils, Nature and Cosmetics.

the best way to clean the inside of your handbag
AndreyPopov - Getty Images


Clean foundation stains as much as you can with kitchen towel. Don't wet it (you'll make it worse).


Ballpoint pen stains can be tricky to remove from fabrics. Try using a cotton bud to apply methylated spirits to the affected area – just don’t over-wet it. Dab the stain gently, trying not to spread it as it is being dissolved. Blot firmly with a white paper towel, moving to a clean area of both pad and towel frequently. Alternatively, try a stain remover such as Dr. Beckmann Stain Devils, Pen and Ink.

GHI Tip: For unlined leather bags, try an upholstery cleaning spray, such as Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Cleaner.

Finish the job

You want the lining to dry quickly, so that it doesn't get musty. Drape the bag – with the lining turned out – over a radiator, put it in an airing cupboard overnight or, for speedier drying, use a hairdryer.

As soon as the lining is clean and fully dry, it's time to savour the joy of repacking your now pristine handbag!

You Might Also Like