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What You Should Know Before You Throw Your Fabric Handbags in the Washing Machine

Aug 14, 2008
Do you experience this problem with your fabric handbags? They need cleaned long before they wear out, picking up dirt and stains from everyday use. Fortunately, there may be an easy fix. Did you know that some styles are machine washable?

Take a look inside your handbag. If you can locate the tag, you may find simple washing instructions. For example, my store purchased purse has a tag stating the following: 100% cotton. Machine wash cool gentle cycle. Do not bleach. Line dry.

If your bag is handmade, it may not include washing directions. However, if it is made from cotton fabric, there is a good chance that it is machine washable. Keep in mind, though, that other fabrics, such as silk and microfiber, may not fare well in the washer. If no cleaning instructions are provided, spot cleaning is the recommended method for these types of materials.

If you determine that your bag is indeed made from cotton and decide to machine wash it, there are a few things that you should consider before you throw it in your machine:

1. What detergent are you using?

First, take a look at the detergent. If you are using the one that you normally use to wash your household laundry, you should not have a problem. If you are tempted to use a special detergent, perhaps the one that you use to wash your delicates, take a closer look at the label. Some detergents, such as Woolite for Delicates, are formulated to work with certain types of fabric, and are not suitable for washing cottons.

2. Does your purse have a baseboard?

Some fabric handbags may have a baseboard at the bottom. Even though the baseboard may be covered in the same material as your purse, the inner material which helps it keep its shape is not. Make sure you remove the baseboard prior to putting the bag in the washing machine. If necessary, you can spot clean the baseboard to keep it looking new.

3. Not all products made with cotton fabric are machine washable.

Many accessories, such as wallets made from cotton fabric, may need to be only spot cleaned. This is because there are other materials also used to manufacturer them. Wallets, for example, may have inserts sewn into their lining to help them hold their shape, and the lining itself may be made from a fabric other than the cotton used on the exterior. In this situation, spot cleaning is the recommended method for getting rid of stains and other spots.

4. Should you line dry or machine dry?

To avoid fading and shrinking, line drying is the recommended method for drying fabric handbags. If your purse feels stiff after line drying, you may want to fluff it by placing it in the dryer on a cool or air dry setting for a just few minutes.

Following these few simple points, you should be able to keep your favorite handbags looking like new with the help of your washing machine.
About the Author
This article was written by Dawn Hall. Visit her site to shop for the best deals on Vera Bradley handbags and to read her blog about the latest Vera Bradley news, including the outlet sale, current events, and more.
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