These popular purses can look great again with proper cleaning. This guide is about cleaning a Dooney and Bourke purse.
Here are questions related to Cleaning a Dooney and Bourke Purse.
How do I remove ink from the outside of my Dooney and Bourke heart purse?
By RC from KY
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.
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 can I wash this bag? I tried to wash it with soap and water in the sink and the bright pink fabric on the inside faded to the grey exterior. I cannot get the color bleed out of the grey exterior.
I have taken my Dooney and Bourke out of the dust bag. The straps have white film on them. What causes this?
By Rosemary C.
What kind of fabric lines a Dooney and Bourke bag? I'm referring to the hot pink lining in their popular designs.
By Sarah B
I have the Dooney and Bourke white leather purse with pics of purses and flip flops on it. It is turning a yellowish color. The bag is in great condition, but looks "dirty". What should I do to restore it to its original color?
By Mary G
There is a yellow purse in the picture here: Dooney purse. Is that yellow tint normal?
I bought this light pink leather purse from someone and it has a grayish stain on the bottom front corner lining. How do I get that cleaned?
By Lu C.
How do you clean the DB purse pictured on this site? Purse Mine looks like this one which is discolored! I have tried all the suggestions posted and nothing budges my problem! I even tried pure Clorox (very carefully) on a small area thinking I could bleach it out. Help.
By Shirley R
In searching the internet I came across you. Your post for cleaning those popular purses says that they can look great again with proper cleaning, but you don't mention which of the UGG products works on the purse. Please let me know. I would be interested in trying the product. Thank you.
By Janet D. from Lutz, FL
I was given a Dooney and Burke by my mom. She said I could have it and clean it up. So I cleaned it with Gain, a toothbrush, and water. It cleaned well, but the problem is I got the leather trademark on it wet and it looks bad! It bled on the fabric and it has water marks on the leather.
Did I ruin it? Or is there any way to fix this at all?
I have a Dooney and Bourke purse in crimson red, something spilled on it. I tried to clean the purse and now it's faded. How do I match this color? It's a dark red.
How do I clean my Dooney and Bourke fabric handbag with a leather strap and handles?
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to clean a fabric Dooney and Bourke purse?
How do I clean a nylon fabric Dooney and Burke handbag?
How do I clean my fabric Dooney and Burke purse?
Do you have knowledge about this guide topic? Feel free to share a solution!
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Is any one familiar with cleaning a Dooney and Bourke purse. I know they are leather so do I use a leather cleaner? Any suggestions?
No need to buy any expensive leather lotions. This not only cleans and softens the leather but it also protects it against moisture from rain, etc. If your purse ever gets wet, allow it to dry and then re-treat it with the hand lotion containing lanolin. Hope this helps. (08/01/2005)
By Joyce H.
By Samantha Charest
By Cheryl Petrucelli
"Kiwi Saddle Soap is a traditional blend of ingredients which cleans, softens and preserves smooth leather. It contains a fine soap to thoroughly clean away dirt and grime, even salt stains. Kiwi Saddle Soap is formulated with glycerin and lanolin to make leather soft and supply, with a quality wax for added protection.
Directions: Remove excess dirt with a stiff brush or damp cloth. Rub surface of Kiwi Saddle Soap with a moist cloth to develop lather. Rub well into leather. Wipe off excess lather with a damp cloth. Repeat procedure if necessary. When leather is dry, buff with a soft cloth to develop luster. Not for use on suede."
So, I guess lanolin is good for leather cleaning but I would drop into Wal-Mart or any general store and buy some Saddle Soap since it's so cheap. I paid a few dollars for it. Hope this helps! ~Susan (08/18/2006)
How do I clean the inside of my Dooney & Bourke? There are make-ups marks on the cloth.
Kimberly from Inman, SC
Classic All-Weather Leather
All-Weather Leather products should be gently wiped with a water-dampened cloth. Difficult stains can usually be removed with water and a mild soap. Stains that contain dye, such as lipstick or ink, should not be treated with cleaning agents or leather creams. The oils in such products loosen the pores of the leather, defeating the shrinkage process that makes All-Weather Leather impervious to moisture. The leather trim is not treated in this manner and can be cared for with any quality leather balm or cream.
All signature fabric can be cleaned with a water dampened cloth and a bar of Ivory soap, if necessary. No creams or cleansers should be applied to any leather surfaces; they have been treated for water repellency through a ScotchGuard process.
With its built-in resistance to staining, Cabriolet cloth can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or a soft bristle brush used very gently. For greasy or more stubborn stains, use a damp, soft cloth or brush, along with a mild bar soap. The "naked" leather trim on the Cabriolet bags is vegetable tanned, which encourages a deeper, richer color and sheen as it ages. Emollients, such as creams, oils or polishes, may alter this natural aging process and cause unintentional discoloration. Water spots and natural leather markings simply blend into the uniform honey color of the leather. (10/03/2006)
How do I clean my Dooney & Bourke purse? It is black with brown trim and the black looks faded some. Dee Janey from Sacramento, CA
1. Run bar of soap under worm water
2. rub toothbrush on soap
3. gently scrub bag
4. rinse with water lightly, then dry as much as possible with white towel.
*don't let the soap sit on the purse for more than 2 min! GOOD LUCK! (06/17/2007)
By Just A Girl
By joey from phoenix