How to clean the outside of your handbag

Have you ever considered how dirty the outside of your handbag is?  While it may look clean more than likely it has germs and bacteria all over it.

Sometimes I cringe at the thought, especially when I see women place their handbags on public bathroom floors…. eew. Please use the hooks on the back of the door ladies!  They are also often placed on the floor at your feet while you are seated on a bus, at the movies, in a food court, in shopping trolleys where it then picks up all the germs, dirt and bacteria from each of these places.  Further to add to this disturbing information, what do you do with your handbag when you get home? Do you place it on the kitchen bench, dining table or on your bed?  If so, you are now spreading those germs from your bag to your table, it is an endless cycle. Are you cringing now too?

How to clean your handbag

I use my homemade antibacterial wipes to clean just about everything, except I don’t use it on my handbag or purse.  It’s best to avoid using products with vinegar as it may stain your handbag. Make a gentle cleaning solution as follows:


How to clean the outside of your handbag

  • Author: Katrina - The Organised Housewife


  • 23 drops gentle detergent
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Place ingredients into a small spray bottle.
  2. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Spritz a mist of cleaning solution onto a microfibre cloth (not directly onto your handbag).  You don’t want to saturate the cloth as this may damage your handbag.
  4. Wipe gently over handbag to remove all dirt and grime.
  5. Remembering to wipe over the straps, buckles and stitching.
  6. Wipe handbag with a dry cloth.


Please test this method in an inconspicuous area of your handbag to ensure it doesn’t damage it.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us @theorganisedhousewife

— we can't wait to see what you've made!

DETERGENT – will help lift dirt and grime. Preferably PH neutral, colour free,  fragrance free and septic tank safe. You can find at your local supermarket, Earth Choice or Fragrance-Free Morning Fresh (ph neutral). Or we stock the Dr. Bronner’s range, which is a family business committed to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality and dedicating their profits to help make a better world.

You may also like


Sue August 5, 2011 - 4:05 AM

I have this same organiser. I washed it as I had slopped coffee inside my bag (luckily it landed mostly on my organiser!). And it came up a good as new! Love it!

Nicki August 14, 2012 - 8:05 AM

I am not the most organised person by a long way as both my work desk and home prove on sight. I love the idea of the Brag Bag organisers as I love the bigger bags but can never ever find anything in them. Too often tampons and condoms on view for all to see as I tip my bag looking for my phone that has just rang off. Maybe I should practise what I preach to my kids. A place for everything and everything in its place.

marjolein October 22, 2012 - 1:09 AM

that looks so handy! I gotta have one too!

Victoria February 19, 2013 - 5:38 PM

Please do not put your handbag on the hook on the back of the public toilet door – it makes it so much easier for a thief to come along and snatch it while you’re on the toilet. Also don’t put it on the floor close to the door as they can grab them from underneath the door too. Until hooks are put inside on the toilet side walls, we can only put them on the toilet floor. But I agree about never putting them on the table or the kitchen bench when you get home. Love the blog! Many thanks

MomHomeGuide February 20, 2013 - 2:53 AM

The organizer looks great! I live in the U.S. and really need to find one! I agree with the need to sanitze handbags — they go so many places with us in a day!

Kat October 18, 2017 - 3:57 AM

I use baby wipes with a drop of tea tree oil, works like a charm.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 23, 2017 - 10:36 AM

Great tip also Kat

Angela October 21, 2017 - 9:58 AM

I agree our bags get a hard time of it. I always use a hook (if provided) while using a toilet and have thought about whether it could be stolen off that hook. Good luck to a thief trying to do that with mine. It’s quite bulky and probably too heavy to lift easily over a door and under the rail quickly enough to get away. I also have a hook I can hook my bag handle on to if at a table or somewhere else it can be used and I have a carabiner I can hang off trolleys or anything else which also protects it from being stolen. Trolleys now also have a hook attached near the child seat for our bags. We can’t always avoid the places where we may have to place our bags though. There are times when it simply has to be put on the floor or a dirty surface and we certainly don’t immediately clean it when we pick it back up and leave. So, for the sake of simple hygiene, please don’t put your handbag on a table anywhere!! No benches, counters, etc. Keep it on you, put it between your feet if you have to free up both hands, or sandwich it between you and the counter to pay, etc before putting it back on your arm, but DON’T put it on the surface.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 23, 2017 - 10:36 AM

very true Angela!!

Jeannine Barrett October 21, 2017 - 12:25 PM

I have a new tote bag made of canvas, not sure if I can use this method to clean my new bag?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 23, 2017 - 10:38 AM

You could still use the above suggestion to clean your bag, although don’t dampen too much as it may leave a water mark .


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating