How to Get Stains Out of a Leather Purse

You may know what to do when you stain or spill food on your clothing (messy eaters, we feel you), but do you know how to clean stains out of a purse? Our purses often hold so much more than just our phone, keys, and wallet, including an emergency snack, lipstick, hand lotion, and anything else we can fit inside—so they're bound to get dirty over time. However, cleaning a purse out isn't as easy as throwing it in the washer and hanging it to dry. In fact, we're begging you, please don't do this. The good news, though, is there is an easy way to clean the inside of a purse and it won't even cost you a dime. With a couple of household items and a little bit of elbow grease, you'll be able to tackle the stains on the inside of your purse in just a few minutes. Watch the video above and follow the steps below to see exactly how it's done.

How to clean the inside of a purse:
All you need is dish soap, some warm water, cotton swabs, and a small bowl to work on removing purse stains.

1. Dilute a capful of dish soap with an equal amount of warm water in a container. Mix together.
2. Pull the lining of the bag out as far as possible.
3. Using a cotton swab, apply the mixture to the stain in a circular motion.
4. To keep from rubbing the pigment back into the fabric, switch to a new cotton swab or the opposite end when the stain starts to come out.
5. Repeat until the stain is removed.
6. Allow the bag to air-dry with the lining still out.

Bonus Tip: Standard liquid dish detergent can remove lipstick and lip liner stains from most cotton or polyester handbag linings, but it's best to spot test in an inconspicuous area first to ensure the solution doesn't harm the lining. For all other lining materials, it's best to take the bag to a dry cleaner, instead of trying to remove the stain at home.

Now you'll know exactly what to do every time the cap falls off the lipstick inside your bag.

I just started today.

I'm going through my purses.

I found this very chic and vintage purse.

My sister got me this bag for Hanukkah and I love this bag.

It is my weekend bag.

I'm a little bummed out because now

there is a stain on this bag.

And I know it's my fault but I don't want

to take responsibility for it.

I tried to put makeup remover on it.

It only made it worse.

So now I'm going to call my mom because she has the answers

for everything and she will be able to help

me get this stain out.


Hi, Mom.

What's shaking?

EMMA ZLOTOWITZ: I'm very behind on spring cleaning this year

and I'm going through my purses.

And I found a lipstick stain in my purse.

I don't remember when it happened.

But I tried to take it off with some makeup

remover and it did not--

it did not work.

And I want to know if you knew of anything to help me out?

Why didn't you do an online search, Emma?

Because you are the online search.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Is it a good lipstick or is it like--

I don't know.

This was not a sober doing.


I didn't need to know that.

Thank you for sharing.

I think it's easy.

Probably need like some dish soap, a little hot water.

Dish soap, yeah.

JONI COHEN ZLOTOWITZ: Cotton swabs or Q-Tips.

But a bunch of them.

Not just one.

How much dish soap do we think we need?

Why don't you take like a little bowl or something

and take like a cap full of it and put it in--


And then put it in the bowl and then

put a cap full of warm water in and then like mix

them together.

EMMA ZLOTOWITZ: Ooh, OK. I overflowed.


I mean, too much won't be a bad thing.

Take a little bit.

Pull it out, you know, so it's not like touching

the leather part of the bag.


And lay it flat.

Just like little swirly circular dabs of it.

A little bit at a time.

And then once you see it starts to like come up,

then use the other end of the Q-Tip.

You don't want to keep using the same one.

Then you're going to swirl around the lipstick mess.


How long should this take?

It depends on you, Emma.

I don't know how these things happen.

I don't even remember that purse.

EMMA ZLOTOWITZ: I got it as a Hanukkah gift

from Andrea, my sister, like 10 years ago.

Oh, it's coming off. It's coming off.

Hold it up a second. Let me see.

You can see it's starting to-- woop.

Oh good. OK.

That's great.

So now take another Q-Tip.

So you're going to go little by little until it all comes up.

Look at you.

I'm so proud of you.

What are you having for dinner?

I knew you were going to ask that at some point.

And for like a couple of minutes I was thinking of

like what should I say to her?

Because I don't have the heart to say

I only have ice cream in my apartment at the moment.


So what does that mean?

Probably going to have ice cream

and watch "Sex and the City" tonight.

Wait, do I need to drop off like containers

of like pasta sauce?


I'm an adult. I'm going to do adult things and eat ice cream

and watch "Sex and the City" and I'll probably do a face mask.

You're doing adult things.

How's it going?

EMMA ZLOTOWITZ: We're getting there.

What's that necklace you're wearing?

It looks nice. - I don't know.

You bought it for me.


That's why I like it.

We're almost there.

It's now--


The rest of the filth on your bag is a whole other issue.

Well, this is how I got the bag.

Andrea gave you a filthy bag as a gift?

There was also some questionable photos in it.

Of whom?

I don't know.

- We good? - Oh my god.

Thanks, Mom.

But you need to let it dry out a little bit.

Don't close it up.

Open it up.

OK, Mom.



Thank you very much.

I love you.

I love you too, baby.


I think it went really well.

I'm surprised how simple it was.

I am less stressed because I know how to clean my bag.

Because it's definitely not the last time

I'm going to have a lipstick stain.

My Mom and I are typically a dynamic duo

so I wasn't surprised that we worked well together.

She was helpful.

And she knew immediately what to do,

which is a gift only moms have.

Not even Google can do that.

Calling my mom was the smartest idea.

It was one of my better life choices.

The takeaway from this is you should never

hesitate to call your mom.


Date published: February 04, 2021