Removing Cigarette Odor from Leather Handbag

I just purchased a Michael Kors handbag from another individual. As soon as the woman handed it to me, I could smell the reek of the cigarettes. They seemed like a heavy smoker from the way the bag smells. I don't really want to be rude and not get it, because I had been looking for a handbag like this for awhile. It's a leather handbag. I have tried fabric sheets, fabric softener and water mixture, coffee grounds (read that online), and vinegar and water mixture. Any other ideas?

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By L K W

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December 24, 20140 found this helpful

This is a tough one but an online search offers many suggestions. I chose this answer as it suggests several possibilities:

THE DAMP CLOTH

Try wiping down both the inside and outside of your bag with a very rung out damp cloth, then give it a dry wipe straight after to remove any moisture. Never soak yourleather bag unless you're hell bent on ruining it.


WHITE VINEGAR

Wipe it down with diluted white vinegar. Use your judgement on the strength of the dilution given the nature of your bag, but 50/50 should work in most cases. White vinegar will help kill any mold, bacteria and odours without staining.

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BICARBONATE OF SODA

While there's a million ways in which you can do this, we suggest pouring the bicarb into a small pot or even a baby sock, then leaving it inside the bag for a day or two to neutralise bad smells.


DRY GROUND COFFEE

Just like the baking soda tip, try pouring dry ground coffeeinto an open pot, small bag or sock, and leaving in your bag for a day or two. Once the coffee smell fades it should take any cigarette smoke with it.

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL/CARBON

Yep, it sounds a bit scifi, but this is actually used in water filters as a neutraliser and some medicines to fight flatulence. Hmm. Wrap up the ground version in a handkerchief, cloth or leave in an open pot to diffuse.


LAVENDER BAGS

Get 'em out of your knicker drawer and into that smelly vintage bag if the odour you're fighting is fairly light. Citrus fruit peels could work in the same way too if you're not a fan of florals.

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SOLID AIR FRESHENER

Place it on a cloth or piece of paper to prevent it rubbing onto the lining of your bag, then leave for a few days to kill any odours.


FREEZE IT

Yep, we mean put it in a sealed plastic bag to stop it getting wet, and pop it in the freeze for a few hours. The temperature should kill any mold, mildew or bacteria.
TUMBLE IT WITH SCENTED SHEETS

If you have a shoe rack for your dryer, pop your bag into a pillow case, place it on the rack and throw in a few scented sheets. Set it for a gentle cycle and repeat a few times for very stubborn smells.


STUFF IT AND SCENT IT

Spritz some perfume or Febreze onto tissue paper and stuff your handbag until it's bulging. Leave for a day or two, then give it a good airing outside, preferably in the sun. Avoid using newspaper for this as the ink could rub off onto your bag leaving stains.

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With all these tips make sure to use a little common sense and consider the material of your bag - if in doubt, head to a professional cleaner for some indepth and more specific advice.

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June 8, 20160 found this helpful

For leather clean the outside with saddle soap, condition with mink oil (cow and pig leather; a leather conditioner if lambskin or calfskin). That usually works on The outside. Then fill with cedar sachets inside and place in a plastic bag, letting it sit for a day or two. For suede, put the item in a container full of cedar chips, planks or satchets and let sit for a couple days. You can find cedar sachets at Home Depot or Lowes. I have hundreds of purses, coats, gloves and leather items....and I smoke. (Outdoors, but still...) My bags always smell fresh.

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June 11, 20160 found this helpful

I purchased a $150 Wilson Leather computer case at a local thrift store for $3.50! Same nasty smell .... I gave it a lite Lysol spray and hung it in the New Mexico sun all day long .....

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the smell was 99% gone. You have to put your nose against the leather and only get a faint smell..... Hope it works for you.

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