These popular purses can look great again with proper cleaning. This guide is about cleaning a Dooney and Bourke purse.
I got a Dooney and Burke purse at a yard sale. It's pretty dirty with surface dirt. Does anyone know how to clean it?
Is it leather or fabric? Here are some links:
How do I remove ink from the outside of my Dooney and Bourke heart purse?
By RC from KY
Which type of purses? Leather, canvas, cabriolet, coated cotton? Linings? How to do it? Thanks.
I have a Dooney and Bourke bubblegum colored "IT" bag. The pink leather has started to appear faded, almost whitish and there are a few spots like that on the purse? Does anyone know why this happens or how to clean it? Thanks!
Isabel from TX
The phenomena described here is not a problem with staining or the leather on the handbags. The D&B "IT" bags and others that have the leather trim and the graphic prints actually consist of cotton that is coated, very much like a rain coat.
Dooney & Bourke needs to improve the surface treatment because this is an extremely common problem on their coated cotton bags and no doubt the reason why a lot of people deride D&B as "cheap" compared to Coach or Louis Vuitton. (LV monogram bags consist mostly, also, of canvas but with bulletproof durability and a much heftier price tag to match.)
As far as I know there is no repair Dooney & Bourke can make other than offering a credit (which also echos my own experience when I approached them a couple years ago about the same problem). It's not clear why some of these bags have no problem whatsoever for 5 years or more and others start fading even when they are left mostly untouched in a dark closet. Heat and sunlight only accelerate the problem.
It is my impression as someone who once worked in a repair shop that there is an underlying defect or impurity in sealing the cotton such that the coating does not remain at the surface of the canvas as it should. All the handbags start off looking the same but within a year or two, regardless of whether they are used and even if you never apply any type of cleaning product to the canvas, the fading sets in.
From what I can tell, it's not that the color is wearing off from normal use but that it is being absorbed into the grain of the fabric. The result is the appearance of dull gray clouds or generalized fading, a problem which is most apparent on the black and brown graphical bags.
At the first sign of problem, it may slow the progression to condition the canvas surface with a leather conditioner or to to rub in some colorless shoe wax/polish (something I will be trying out on my own bag, actually). The bottom line here is that if you're going to salvage the bag you'll have to be willing to experiment (just be sure that none of the treatments you apply to the canvas touch the colorless "naked leather" trim unless you wish for it to darken down considerably).
Should anyone find a solution that prevents the problem in the first place, please post and let the rest of us know.
How do I clean my white fabric Dooney hand bag? I put it through the gentle cycle in the washer and hung it to dry and it is still not clean!
I contacted the the company and they told me how to clean mine. Just look them up on the internet and send them an email.
How can I clean my fabric Doonie bag? I got black stuff on it this morning and I am freaking out because it is brand new.
Their website has directions for cleaning different types of bags: http://www.dooney.com/OA_HTML/ibeCC ... %3DdVWChEGqeye7tecZkAniZiTB%253AS%7E
My son spilled his glass of milk on my Dooney and Bourke fabric purse. Will it stain and how would I clean it?
By Amanda P
You can contact Dooney & Bourke by phone or email, they should be able to tell you how to clean it. They also have a link where you can get live help from 9AM to 9PM (EST) Monday through Friday. Here is a link to their contact page. The link is long, you might have to copy and paste it if clicking doesn't work.
I need help in cleaning a borrowed Dooney and Bourke handbag. The inside of the handbag has dirt and a few ink stains on the fabric on the inside. This was borrowed so I need help. If I can not get it clean I will have to purchase a new bag and they don't make this type of brown giraffe print anymore. Thanks.
By Jean from TX
For the ink, I would recommend spraying a clean, dry cloth with some hairspray, and then try to rub a spot of the inside of the purse with the cloth to see if that will remove it. Hairspray on ink has always worked for me to remove it, but since you have a borrowed item, just be careful. It should work however. Let me know if it does. Thanks.
I have a Dooney and Bourke brown purse and recently noticed a white dingy stain on the bottom of my purse. I tried using a leather cleaner, but it did not work! How can I remove the stain?
By Rebecca from McAllen, TX
I am disgusted with dooney and their lack of customer service. I have a it bag. I have so many bags i carry them for about 1 week a year each. After 3 years the coated cotton began bubbling. I went through the same process of mailing the bag in, paying myself. I was offered the credit but you didn't mention not only do you get the credit but you have to spend the same amount out of pocket too. For example $75 credit, you must spend $75 also and get a bag worth $150 or more. So I had the bag sent back, though I rarely carry it. Then my coated cotton Miami bag, not only started bubbling but it also faded to a gray when it was once black. This time I refused to send the bag in. I demanded to speak to a supervisor. Who basically said, once you have had a bag for a year (doesn't matter if you only carried it for a week) they don't stand behind it anymore. All they will ever offer is the trade in. I tried every tactic on her. She didn't care and she truly didn't care that she was losing several (me and the ladies in my family) customers based on the outcome of this conversation. Dooney does not stand behind their product, stick with Coach folks!
How do I clean my Dooney and Bourke purse? It is the type that has all weather material and leather trim.
By Margaret from Buffalo Grove, IL
Try saddle soap. It works on anything (leather and plastic) and cleans nicely. You can get it at a shoe store. (09/18/2010)
How can I get tanning oil out of a leather purse? I have a 200 dollar Dooney and Bourke leather purse and spilled tanning oil on it. Anybody know how to get it out?
How do I remove stains from a Dooney and Bourke purse? It is a yellow stain.
By normswife from Jacksonville, FL
Dooney and Bourke home page. You can also click the 'Live Help' link at the bottom of the page:
I have found a solution! Note: This is not for the faint of heart!
I have a white DandB bucket bag. I wanted this purse so badly. I took excellent care of it. I was devastated when I noticed it yellowing. I have never had the purse around smoke of any kind. It didn't make sense that it would be changing color. The bottom is completely perfect, still. I decided that enough was enough, nobody has yet posted anything online that gets rid of the yellowing so I decided to figure it out on my own.
I clipped away a tiny piece of plastic and noticed that the fabric under it was yellowed just as badly as the plastic coating. I decided that all the scrubbing in the world would not penetrate to get rid of all the stains. This is where you need to be brave and trust me. I ripped the plastic coating off of one entire side of my purse. I know it was a scary move, but it needed to be done if the purse was going to be saved!
I tried every cleaner I could think of. Nothing, not even a bleach pen was working. Then my mom suggested I use fels naptha soap. This is a yellow bar of soap that can probably be found near the detergent of your local Kmart/Wal-Mart/Target.
I wet the side of my purse and scrubbed the fels naptha all over. Then I took an old toothbrush and scrubbed even more until I had a good sudsing all over the purse. I set the purse in front of a fan to allow it to dry. When the purse was dry, I then took it to the sink and washed it off with a white wash cloth. I set it back in front of the fan to dry again and was amazed at the results!
I repeated the process, only the second time I added a layer of Colgate baking soda and peroxide whitening with oxygen bubbles brisk mint paste. I noticed that this made some improvement when I tested it on a small section of the fabric, so I figured, why not? Every little bit helps. (07/28/2009)
Here is how dark my purse was before compared to the bottom. (07/28/2009)
Here is what the side that I have started working on now compares to the bottom. It's not 100% yet, but there are just a few darker spots left and I'm sure with a couple more washes I'll be able to proudly take this purse back in public! Thanks for nothing Dooney and Bourke! (07/28/2009)
After scrubbing my purse, I wanted to try something different on the other side.
I went to my local store and decided to try some Oxiclean. I highly recommend using OxiClean MaxForce. I used the spray bottle. It worked like a charm! I sprayed the purse and rubbed it in really good and let it set for about 10-15 minutes. Then I rinsed it off in the sink in hot water with some detergent. My purse looks as good as new, minus the plastic coating.