How to Clean Vera Bradley Purses & Bags

Vera Bradley is a distinct line of luggage and bags and seriously, this stuff is cute.  I haven’t seen them sold in Canada, but the next time I cross the border and see a shop in the US, I am going to get myself a little something spesh VB-wise, since my entire travel arsenal (except for my beloved Sonia Kashuk makeup bag) is black.

Because they are so adorable, they get, you know, used, and with that, they get stained and grotty (remember that time you spilled mustard on your carry on while trying to eat dinner at a crammed airport gate?  I do).  So in order to keep this stuff looking fresh and vibrant, her
e’s how to clean and take care of your Vera Bradley handbags and travel gear.

Vera Bradley BagFirst things first; check that care label, baby!

As with any item like this you want to check the care lab
el first – that way, you’ll know if something is machine washable, dryer safe, etc.  If you need a handy guide on reading laundry symbols, you can download my free one here (and you can print it out for your laundry room and stick it in a frame.  Cute, right?).

Materials matter

Vera Bradley WeekenderDepending on the material used to make the bag, you may find some are not machine washable and will need to be spot treated only.  Specifically, cardboard bases and leather trims.  Let’s say your bag or item has a cardboard as a base and
gets wet, it will become soggy, lose its form and may become moldy or smelly.  Yeah, you don’t want to be that guy.  No thanks!  If you feel cardboard in the base of your bag, don’t wash it in the machine.  Hand wash instead (not to worry – see below).  Leather also warps or hardens when it becomes wet, so do your best to keep it dry.

Spot cleaning / hand washing your VB

If you notice a stain or mark on your bag you wish to remove (t
hat’s not located close to the cardboard area), here’s what you can do.

  1. Start by brushing off any loose dirt or debris (such as crusty dirt or food bits).
  2. Now, you can involve your spot cleaner of choice.  Whether it’s a laundry pen (no bleach, please!), or one you’ve made on your own (typically I’ll use a tiny drop of dish soap in a cup of water, a tiny drop of laundry detergent in a cup of water).  (Quick note here: if the stain is stubborn, pre-treat with just detergent or dish soap and allow to sit for 30 minutes, th
    en continue on).  Use as little product as possible, you don’t want to have too many suds left behind!
  3. Massage the solution onto the spot, either with your fingers or a cleaning toothbrush.
  4. Finish by gently flushing the area with clean, cool water until suds are gone and blot dry.  Alternatively, you can use a wet cloth to remove the soapy residue.
  5. Allow to air dry.

Vera Bradley makeup

Machine washable items

Sweet – this makes things so much easier!

  1. Use a lint roller or vacuum with small attachment to get rid of any little purse gems (read: gum wrappers, pennies, bobby pins, crumbs and paper clips)  hidden in the corners of your Vera Bradley (is that how you refer to it? Or your Vera? Like a Louis?). You don’t want those going in the machine.
  2. Pre treat any stained areas with your pre treater of choice (again, you can make your own or use your favourite store-bought version).
  3. Launder on a gentle cycle using cold water and regular detergent.
  4. Gently shake and re-shape the bag and allow it to air dry.

The Vera Bradley website will also provide details for your specific
item if you have further concerns about cleaning your piece.

To deodorize your bag between uses

If you use your bag for travel, it can certainly get dingy or pick up those unpleasant travel smells…check out my post on travel cleaning tips!  What you’ll want to do here is create a small sachet of baking soda and leave it in the bag between uses.  This will keep odours out and your bag smelling, well, like nothing.

Regular maintenance

  • If you have a little stain on the inner lining of your bag, try u
    sing a baby wipe to quickly swipe away an unwanted mark or stain.
  • Remove small purse gems from bottom of bag, and then quickly swipe with a lint roller or give it a speedy vacuum with your brush attachment.
  • As a general rule, try to avoid hanging the bag between uses as that can misshape items.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful and now you can clean your beautiful Vera Bradley items!  Enjoy!

Vera Bradley Bag

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