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Proven Methods to Remove Odours and Keep Your Leather Goods Smelling Fresh!

Written by Georgia Swain



Time to read 4 min

Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, your luxury handbag stands as a beacon of style and sophistication, a testament to your discerning taste and appreciation for fine craftsmanship. Yet, even these exquisite companions are not immune to the perils of everyday wear and tear. Over time, they may develop unwanted odors, the lingering vestiges of smoke-filled bars, spilled coffee, or even the occasional bout of sweaty gym sessions. Fear not, dear handbag aficionados, for this article is your guide to banishing these unwelcome aromas and restoring your prized possessions to their pristine, fragrant glory.

Uncover the Origin of Odor

Before you start tackling the odor, it's important to identify its source.

By accurately identifying the source, it can enable you to choose the most effective means of removing it. Some common sources of these odours are listed below:

  • Smoke

  • Food

  • Perfume

  • Sweat

  • Mold and mildew

  • Pet dander

Banish Smoke Smells from Your Designer Leather Handbag

Combating lingering smoke odors in your prized handbag requires a multi-pronged approach.

One of the most tasking odours to get rid of from your luxury handbags, is the smell of smoke. However, there are a few tips that you can implement in order to remove this smell.

By initially starting with airing out the bag, in an open area with ventilation, can help get rid of any musky smokey smells. Following this, take a small container filled with white vinegar and carefully place it in the bag. This will gradually act as an absorbent and absorb a majority of the odour. If the smell still persists, place the baking soda in a sock and place the sock within the bag. Within several hours, it will rid the bag of any excess smells.

Caution: Make sure that when airing the bag it isn't placed in direct sunlight as this can cause certain materials structures to weaken and in time can lead to discolouration. 


Techniques to Eliminate Food Odours in Your High-end Handbag

Addressing persistent food odors is crucial to maintain your handbag's freshness and prevent lingering unpleasantness.

Another difficult odour to remove is that of any food. Specially if the stain and smell is left to sit for a long period of time. In order to tackle this in the most effective way possible, start by wiping down both the interior and exterior of your handbag by damping a cloth with a little water, followed by placing a sock filled with backing soda on the inside for 2 days. 

By leaving it in for a longer time period enables the baking soda to absorb the smell of these foods and leaving your bag fresher than ever! However, if the odour is significantly strong and none of the above-mentioned methods work, you may have to take it to a professional cleaner who will restore with the help of mild chemicals. 


Removing the smell of sweat and mould from your luxury handbag

If you are someone who loves to have their handbag with them 24/7, without the proper maintenance over time it can hold onto the smell of sweat. These sweat odours are caused by bacteria, which is usually loosely found on the exterior surfaces and doesn't tend to embed its self in the material of the handbag. 

Two tricks to get rid of this smell are firstly, start by cleaning the bag with a damp cloth prior to trying to remove the odour to get rid of these bacteria and secondly, using charcoal briquets carefully place them on the inside of your handbag. Make sure that the charcoal is wrapped in tissue paper to ensure you don't scuff the interior of your handbag. And yes, this removes odours from leather bags too!

However, mould and mildew is close to impossible to remove from your handbag on your own without causing further damage. If the mould has set in overtime due to improper storage, do not try to clean it yourself, rather take it to a professional cleaner immediately. 

For more stubborn mold and mildew problems, it's best to consult a professional handbag cleaner who has the expertise and specialized products to safely and effectively remove these persistent odors.

Image of smell free designer bag.

Tips for preventing odours in luxury handbags

Preventative measures are key to keeping your handbag smelling fresh and preventing unwanted odors from developing in the first place.

Why wait for your handbag to develop stubborn odours? Practice these tips below regularly to ensure your handbag remains in prime condition year round.

  • Keep your bag clean. This is the most crucial factor to ensuring that your bag doesn't pick up any unwanted odours. Regularly take time to wipe down the inside and outside your bag with a damp cloth.
  • Store your bag in a cool, dry place. Make sure that you avoid leaving your bag in areas that are exposed to humid conditions or direct sunlight to keep the structure and colour of your favourite bags intact.
  • Stuff your bag with acid-free tissue paper. This will help to absorb moisture and prevent odours from developing.
  • Use a reusable silica gel packet. Commercial products when purchased often come with silica gel pouches. Re-use these pouches by placing them with your bag on the inside and watch them absorb moisture and prevent odours indefinitely.

Clean up spills immediately. If you spill something in your bag, address the damage to it as soon as possible with a clean cloth.

With these simple yet effective methods, you can now breathe easy and enjoy your luxury handbag without the lingering discomfort of unpleasant odors. By following these tips and incorporating them into your handbag care routine, you can keep your beloved accessory fresh and fragrant, ensuring it remains a cherished companion for years to come. So, embark on a journey of odor-free luxury and let your handbag shine as the epitome of style and refinement, free from the shackles of unpleasant scents.


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