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How To Care for a Vinyl Purse, Vinyl Handbag, or Vinyl Clutch

E. L. Danvers is a full-time professional writer and investigative journalist based in Southern California.

Barbie always kept her purse spotless - and you can, too!

Barbie always kept her purse spotless - and you can, too!

Vinyl purses are very “in” these days, and the wide array of styles is enticing! But how to care for your vinyl purse after you bring it home?

Weatherproofing Vinyl Purse, Vinyl Handbag, or Vinyl Clutch

Unlike leather, a vinyl handbag will not need to be weatherproofed. Vinyl is inherently waterproof. Luckily, worrying about the weather is not part of vinyl purse and vinyl handbag care!

Storing a Vinyl Purse, Vinyl Handbag, or Vinyl Clutch

Vinyl, like leather, should be kept out of direct sunlight, and away from extremes of heat and cold.  You do not want to leave your vinyl purse sitting in a window for very long!  Vinyl can fade and crack if it is exposed to unusually high or low temperatures, or to many drastic changes of temperature.

Vinyl has a tendency to mildew if it is left in a cold damp stuffy place for too long.  Although a vinyl purse doesn’t need to “breathe” the way that leather does, it should still be stored somewhere with good air circulation.

The lining of a vinyl purse is also susceptible to mold and mildew, because of the air and moisture trapped inside by the vinyl exterior. 

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DO NOT stuff your purse with a plastic air pillow to help it keep its shape.  Trapped between two layers of plastic, the purse’s lining is sure to mildew.  If you need to stuff your purse to keep it from creasing, stuff it loosely with unprinted crumpled paper.  Butcher paper, copy paper, and notebook paper will work well for this.  Newspaper is not recommended, because the newspaper ink can transfer to your purse lining.

Cleaning a Vinyl Purse, Vinyl Handbag, or Vinyl Clutch

As a general rule, the less you do to your vinyl purse, the better. Unlike leather, there is no need for regular maintenance care of a vinyl purse.

If your purse gets dirty, first check inside the purse for a care tag. Typically the best course of action is to wipe it gently with a damp cloth. If you must use soap, use a tiny amount of a mild liquid detergent diluted in plenty of water.

Be sure to pat the purse dry very well, and hang it or stand it in an area with good air circulation to dry.

If you need to clean your vinyl purse often, you can purchase a bottle of vinyl cleaner. The best source is an auto parts store, where vinyl cleaner will be sold in the car detailing section. Although it is marketed for cleaning vinyl car seats and dashboards, it will work well on your vinyl purse. Meguiar’s is the gold standard in car detailing products, and although they tend to be a little more expensive than the competition, it’s worth it.


Helen Manongyao from Philippines on February 21, 2020:

thank you, it's very helpful!

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