Cleaning Wool Handbag Straps?

I have an expensive wool handbag that has stains on the straps. They're stains from usage, mostly. I'm thinking body oils and such. It's supposed to be a white strap with black spots (leopardy). How would I get these stains out without harming the black spots? Would something like Goop work? I'd love any ideas. Thanks!


Shannon from NC

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December 8, 20070 found this helpful

If it is alongerburger it can be cleaned by just rubbing it with a brown paper bag


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
December 8, 20070 found this helpful

Wool is HAIR! The best thing to clean hair with is SHAMPOO!...

---> Don't "shock" the wool, this means don't change the water temp to quickly, agitate with care, & blot between 2 towels & lay flat to dry.


For sweaters, use a tiny bit of high quality conditioner to soften your woolen knitwear in the rinse water, then rinse again... Don't use conditioner for your purse handle, but after it's clean & dry, why not try a scotch guard product or even better cover just the handle with a clear vinyl (sold in many thickness' at the fabric area at most Walmart stores) Stitch together vinyl with clear fishline or clear sewing machine thread. You may be able to buy clear vinyl tubing at a hardware store... of course, Tubing may look a bit tacky... sorta like the way my grandma covered her couches with plastic, back in the 1960's. <*grin*>

December 9, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'm going to try the shampoo idea. I know nothing about wool, actually, so should I use cold water? Will warm water harm it? Also, if it has been dry cleaned in the past, would that have set in the stains and made them harder to get out?


Oh. And I'm not sure what that "alongerburger" is...anybody?


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December 9, 20070 found this helpful

In day's gone by, I learned to dye, spin, & weave wool into beautiful garments, I now wish I still had the time! But I DID learn a lot about wool when I took the classes. You can use oold or luke warm water to wash wool, either one is okay... What you DON'T want to do is to SHOCK it (as I noted earlier).... That means to go from warm to cold or cold to warm was to rinse water. Also, when the wool is wet, it's cuticles are open, this is how people "felt" wool. so when the wool is in the water try to agitate it as little as possible. The cooler the water, & the less agitation the less chance the wool will felt together. (unless your bag is ALREADY FELTED??? then, no worries...)


Fill a clean sink with cool to luke warm water (if it's to cold, it's hard to put your hand into) While the water is running, add about a cap of shampoo, If the strap is stained badly, you can wet it, then lay it flat & put shampoo directly on it. Leave it for several minutes, then rinse it out in the SAME TEMP WATER you used to wash it. Blot it dry, don't ring it out.

Here's one more tip: For any organic stains (blood, coffee, hot chocolate, grape juice, but NOT grape kool-aid etc) you can use peroxide.. straight out of the bottle, NOT the kind you bleach your hair with (it's to strong!) but the cheapy kind you but in the first-aide section of grocery & drug stores. First test it in an inconspicuous area, Then just pour it onto the stain & wait, then blot dry with a white towel. Sometimes, you have to pour the peroxide on 2 or 3 times, But you should see how peroxide gets coffee stains (that have been sitting for months) out of carpeting!


* You may want to try the peroxide first.

You might try those foaming "dry" carpet cleaners in a can... Simply foam your purse handle, then rub the foam in gently, let dry then vacuum off.

I have a feeling that even IF you get this purse handle clean, it's gonna get dirty again, so If it were me, I'd think about replacing the handle with a matching leather one. Send me a note & I'll tell you how to do it if you're interested. But, the basic's are, you cut the handle & leave about 3 inches. (before cutting you might want to stitch it so it won't ravel) Then fold about 1 inch over & in the fold add a small silver or brass type ring. Then sew this closed. Now, to the rings add a clip on leather handle... You can find one at a thrift store, (cheapest!) or a fabric or craft store or Walmart. There are several types of purse handles. The kind that are made to clip on to a ring & another type I'm going to post that will clip directly on to the spot you cut your purse handle off... This type requires no sewing. Just use a bit of fabric glue where you cut it off so the knit or crochet won't fray (no worries if it's felted)



other styles:

Check out these Swivel Clasps: A great way to attach a new purse handle!


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
December 9, 20070 found this helpful

PS ---> Take your purse to the dry cleaners... easiest & best idea yet!

December 10, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks so much for taking the time to give me detailed directions. My concern is, I've already tried the dry cleaning avenue. It didn't get it out. It's a Betsey Johnson purse. I got it off ebay from someone who shot kinda blurry pictures of it. My defense? I didn't pay TOO much for it (but enough, *sigh*) and I didn't notice the handles. I'm only assuming the stains are from use....ALOT of use. But I want to try to get my money's worth. I don't think I want to replace the handles, but I'm definitely keeping your tips in mind for another bag I have. So, after having it dry cleaned, and it still didn't get the stains question is, could the dry cleaning have set the stains and if dry cleaning didn't even work, would the shampoo idea? (I'm hoping it will, since they're different methods...) And also, the stains, if I try the shampoo, I shouldn't scrub, right? It's not felted. And also, the peroxide method? The whole purse is a spotty-pattern. How do I keep the peroxide from bleaching the black spots?


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