Cleaning Cloth Tote Bag Handles?

I need some help I have a Coach Hampton tote and the handles are cloth with white. I'm trying to clean it with mild soap and a damp cloth but the dirt seems to be getting darker. I would like it to be white again. Does anyone have any suggestions?


Jenn from Marietta, GA

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
December 26, 20070 found this helpful

Do the handles of your tote bag look like the ones on this website?

I own several L.L. Bean canvas tote bags and I clean the entire bag when it gets dirty, by soaking the tote bag in my laundry tub with warm water and some liquid laundry detergent. I use a scrub brush and gently scrub the bag and the handles. Rinse well, and set it on a towel to dry.

If the handles are white you could try some diluted bleach and soapy water, rinse well and dry.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 104 Posts
December 26, 20070 found this helpful

I would find the 800 number for Coach and give them a call with this question. Their handbags are not cheap in my opinion and I wouldn't want you to use the wrong cleaners and make matters worse.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
December 27, 20070 found this helpful

Well, If it were me, the first thing I'd reach for is my old stan-by: plain old HYDROGEN PEROXIDE... (like you buy in the first aid area. Not the stronger type for bleaching hair!) Just pour it straight from the bottle onto dry or wet fabric... Then let it fizz & do it's thing for about 15 min, then repeat this again if necessary, when it looks good, then just blot the area dry (no rinsing is required) it leaves no residue, but you CAN rinse if you think you need to. Lastly, Blot it dry with a clean white towel.. Peroxide will only remove Organic or natural stains... (No artificial dyes or coloring) but it works wonders on blood, coffee, chocolate, red wine & grape juice!


Second idea: Many people swear by SHAVING CREAM for cleaning many things, including: leather, car upholstery, carpets & spots on clothes & wool or fabric coats, etc. In fact, I just used some Old Spice brand shaving cream on Christmas Day to clean my beat-up, black cowboy boots... I wanted to wear them to match my black skirt for Christmas, but they were SOOOO dirty, AND the heals were moldy& nasty looking from sitting in a dark, damp closet for years. When I pulled them out of the box in the closet, Boy! was I in for a shock!... Needless to say, The shaving cream cleaned both the leather uppers & the heals & soles as well... They now look as good as new!... I'd try to stick with a WHITE color shaving cream if it were me... & IF you can find a brand that's unscented, or is scented like lime that might be better than walking around with a strong "Male Scent" clashing with your perfume!


* I'd just brush off as much dirt as possible then foam on the white shaving cream, then with a toothbrush (or a wash cloth or sponge) just kind of scrub the foam into the handle & leave it for 20 min or so, then rinse it out, blot & do it again if you need to.

As a third idea: Try a MISTER CLEAN MAGIC ERASER, (or even Regular Mister Clean for cleaning floors!) The Mister Clean Magic eraser is supposed to be just wonderful!

Fourth idea: There's always BLEACH or a Clorox BLEACH PEN... be sure to carefully dilute the bleach first so you get no holes...

Fifth Idea: OXCLEAN or a OXCLEAN type knock off product.

Of course, we all forget the way our ancestors used to get things white, back in the "Prairie Days"... Sunshine!... Yes, a day in the sun will whiten, bleach, disinfect & kill viruses too!


As a last resort: This is SURE TO WORK!: (over dirt or ANYTHING!)
Even though it's fabric... If you get really desperate, use a liquid WHITE SHOE POLISH (like for baby or nurses shoes) OR, an even better idea is to go to a craft store & buy WHITE FABRIC PAINT... (Make sure it's JUST white with NO sparkles... ) or WHITE FABRIC MARKERS. This is SURE to work!

I know you don't have a "stain" per say... but everyone should read THIS:

* For others: If your fabric is NOT white, be sure to pre-test before using any stain treatment in a small inconspicuous area first!


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 378 Feedbacks
December 27, 20070 found this helpful

I would just use some white shoepolish on it.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
December 27, 20070 found this helpful

Next time, spray the canvas/white parts with Scotchguard or the equivalent to make them easier to keep clean and to clean when evenually soiled...(You can mask the leather parts with paper/tape to keep them protected when you spray the canvas...the leather doesn't like the chemicals...)

December 27, 20070 found this helpful

If it were mine I'd rub cornstarch in the handles, let it set and then brush it out. See if that won't work. That works on lots of things.




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