50 years later, still the best hand job in town


The Journal is a collection of articles on the art of cleaning designer brands. Here are some of our most impactful stories, expert tips and exciting updates. Look out for “Stains with Wayne” and our advice column.

7 Tips For Handbag Care: How To Clean Purses

Don't hide that alligator skin bag in the back of your closet.

Don't hide that alligator skin bag in the back of your closet.

Cleaning handbags can be intimidating. From lipstick and denim stains, to unidentified blemishes, the subways and bustling streets of New York can take a toll on your Fendi or Louis Vuitton, but with a few of these tips, you can easily extend the lifespan of your bag. 

When using any of these techniques, it's important to be soft, gentle, and careful around the very visible areas of your bag. We suggest testing first on small, unseen areas like the underside of a strap, to see if your bag can handle the cleaning. 

7 Expert Tips For Handbag Care

Tip 1: Regularly freshen your leather purse using heavily diluted baby soap and soft, gentile strokes along the “grain” of the leather. You can also carry around a packet of wet baby towelettes for emergency spot cleaning.

Tip 2: Stains from grease, ink, cosmetics, or other oily products require professional treatment. The best home remedy for oily stains is preventative care. Make sure you always put oil based cosmetics, pens, and permanent markers in a protective case, which you can easily find at Staples.

Tip 3: The remove more stubborn stains, or blemishes, try using “Saddle Soap”. Be gentle — saddle soap is highly caustic!

Tip 4: To touch up minor scratches, try shoe polish. Be aware shoe polish is not permanent and eventually rub off. For bags that are black and brown, shoe polish will work great but for more exotic colors, you may need to send your bag in to get recolored using special dyes.

Tip 5: To keep brass or stainless hardware shiny, try using a “Mr. Clean magic eraser”. Lubricating zippers with bees wax will keep them from catching. You can also use “Brasso” and a microfiber cloth to rub out scratches on polished metal. 

Tip 6: Remember to store your bag in a breathable dust cover, never in a sealed container. Store away from extreme temperatures and moisturize your bag regularly to keep leather from drying and cracking.

Tip 7: Don't let your bag rub against other brightly colored bags or dark denim. We get a lot of clients coming in with bags that have been stained by simply being placed within rubbing distance of red or purple bags. The same goes for blue jeans, as we all know.


Preventative care is the best way to extend the lifespan of your bag. Keep it off the floor, and like we said, away from markers, pens, and brightly painted leathers. That being said, the Meurice Team has been in cleaning industry for over 50 years, and will be happy to restore your bag if your at-home treatments are simply not enough. If you have any questions or would like a professional opinion on how best to treat your bag, please leave a comment below. 

If you're looking for a visual guide to handbag cleaning, we highly recommend this video. DIY: Clean Designer Leather Handbag or Purse at Home. To see how our experts clean and restore designers handbags, check out our previous article: How we clean & restore your handbags the right way. Meurice specializes in high-end purse and handbag cleaning, and if you need your designer bag cleaned, we'd love to hear from you.

All the best,
The Meurice Team

Meurice is a family-owned garment care specialist. We've been cleaning and restoring designer attire for over 50 years and we're passionate about quality craftsmanship and enjoy sharing our knowledge with our readers. 

Lynn Luong