Treating and removing stains from designer bags

Are you worried about the offending stain that has ruined your expensive designer bag? Stains, marks, scratches and similar cosmetic damage to your bags should be treated accordingly based on the types of materials the bags are made of and the sources of the damage. The most common problems are color stains inadvertently transferred from clothing, make-up, food and drink stains, and pen ink marks. In this article, we will share with you some proven tips to restore your bag to its original pristine and flawless condition.


Examples: Coach Ergo Pieced Suede Tote, Coach Hamptons Suede Hobo, and Jimmy Choo Alex Suede.

Most stains on suede bags can be cleaned with a suede brush. If the stains refuse to go away, try brushing with a suede cleaner over rising steam from boiled water. You can also use a white pencil eraser to erase minor, dry marks. If your bag is Coach, it may have come with a half-pink, half-white block from your purchase. Quite a few Branded Bags for Less readers report that it’s effective in ridding their bags of unsightly stains, stains, and even mold from moisture. Just wet the block and rub it gently into the stain.

Note that you should never use stain removers that do not specifically state that they are intended for suede fabrics, as they can worsen the stain and cause irreparable damage!


Partial leather examples: Coach Carly Signature (fabric with leather trim), Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas (canvas with leather trim), and Burberry Nova Check Shoulder Tote (canvas with leather trim).

Examples of full leather: Fendi Nappa Leather, Coach Legacy Leather, Coach Carly Leather, Louis Vuitton Mahina, Louis Vuitton Epi Leather, Gucci Leather Hysteria, Burberry Classic Check & Chanel Classic Medium Flap with Gold Chain.

You can apply a skin cleanser, conditioner or protectant to remove surface dirt and scratches, which is also good for moisturizing the skin so it looks pristine. One highly raved about cleaner is the Apple Leather Care line of cleaners, which is able to remove many types of stains such as dirt, grease, food and excess oils from leather. Alternatively, any protective leather product such as Eagle One Nano Protectant also works well. Spray a generous amount onto a dry, white cloth and wipe it evenly over the leather material of your bag.

For stubborn ink marks and skin stains, use a traditional Asian medicinal oil such as Ax brand medicinal oil or drugstore rubbing alcohol. This little-known technique is used by bag sellers, and many Branded Bags for Less readers have also given positive feedback that it has worked wonders for their bags. Pour some onto a dry, white cloth and rub lightly over the nasty mark or stain and it should come off easily.

Patent leather

Partial patent leather examples: Coach Signature Stripe Patent (fabric with patent leather stripe and trims) & Fendi Canvas Patent Leather Bag Du Jour (canvas with patent leather trims).

Complete patent leather examples: Tods Patent Leather Tote, Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis & Coach Patent Zoe.

Of all types of materials, patent leather is perhaps the most difficult to work with. Once the color transfers to patent leather, the damage is likely to be permanent unfortunately. However, if you catch the stain early enough, it may still be possible to save the bag with an acetone-free nail polish remover or Mr Clean Magic Eraser according to some who have tried numerous methods to remove the problem.


Examples: Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas (canvas with leather trims) & Fendi Canvas B Shoulder Bag (canvas with patent leather trims).

Stains due to color transfer from clothing, paper bags and magazines can be treated easily with a white damp cloth or sponge and normal white soap. For food and beverage stains and other stubborn stains and marks, try Coach Signature Fabric Cleaner, which also works for other brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci canvas bags. Coach’s official site is giving a $10 deal on this cleanser. Apply a few drops to a white cloth and wipe the stains with light circular motions. Wipe off the excess with a clean white damp cloth. Some shop assistants and bag owners also swear by Baby Wipes on canvas.


Examples: Coach Carly Signature (fabric with leather trims), Coach Bleecker Signature Large Flap (fabric with leather trims) & Gucci Babouska Fabric Tote.

Just like with canvas bags, you can use Coach Signature Fabric Cleaner, which also works with other brands of fabric bags. Coach’s official site is giving a $10 deal on this cleanser. Apply a few drops to a white cloth and wipe the stains with light circular motions. Wipe off the excess with a clean white damp cloth.

A more economical method that some use with great success is toothpaste, especially Darlie brand. Apply toothpaste to a damp white cloth and rub on the stains in a circular motion. Carefully remove excess toothpaste from the darkened patch and allow it to dry. It works, surprisingly!

Above all…

Always be safe – remember to do a patch test on the inside or an inconspicuous part of your bag first before applying any treatment anywhere. Do not use detergent to treat your soiled bags as this can further damage the finish. Also, avoid your bags coming into contact with newspapers, magazines, colored paper bags and dark fabrics during cleaning, as the color can transfer from these items to your bags in the process.

Source by Sarah Lee