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Cleaning that middle stripe on a Gucci bag

Plenty of Gucci bags have them. That fabric stripe going down the middle of it screams “I’m a Gucci bag!” even if the bag doesn’t have an obvious label. 

Problem is, the mix of leather and fabric make it hard to clean. What would work on one material is liable to destroy the other, so what’s a thrifty gal to do?

I’m known to buy stained up beat up bags to save a few times. I bought both my Henri Bendel Jetsetter and my Gucci Boston with the idea of fixing them up. My Jetsetter is almost where I want it to be(I need to get around to dying the straps again) but the Gucci bag I want to preserve. I own several dark bags, so avoiding dyes on my Boston is the way to go.

So how to wash this stripe?

I did this on one side and didnt touch the other. I did one bout of my instructions below to clean this up. In the photos below I’m doing a second round and will be showing you the the twice cleaned front versus the untouched back at the bottom of this post.

First and foremost, do this at your own risk. I can’t guarantee this will work for all mixed material designer bags, heck not even every other Gucci Boston. This is just what worked for me. Also, none of these photos have been edited to adjust lighting, so you can see the full effect of the change.

First, you need materials. 

  1. Old toothbrush
  2. Spray bottle
  3. White vinegar(this is what I’m using, other stuff may stain, IDK)
  4. Baking soda

That’s right, we’regoing all crunch granola hippie on our designer handbag.

I like vinegar because it evaporates. This is an eco option recommended for cleaning carpets as well, suggesting to me that the baking soda may not be so harmful for the fabric material. And we can use the brush to knock free any extra debris after it dries.

Spray it down with vinegar

I wanted the baking powder to stick a teensy bit, so getting it wet first seemed like the obvious choice. 

A thin coat of baking powder to start with is a good move. I brushed it in really well, trying to get the powder nice and deep into the fabric.

Another spraydown of vinegar.

 Bubbly as champagne!

Then a crazy thick layer was in order, which I also sprayed off. 

Pat dry your bag and ensure you have the vinegar wiped off the leather portions. Hang your bag to dry for about 24 hours.

I still haven’t gotten around to cleaning the back of the bag, and the front is far from flawless as well- but the only way the above photos have been edited is to put them in the collage and editing text. I didn’t want to skew your expectation by playing with the lighting levels. I’m quite pleased with the results. 

I’m going to do another couple of rounds on the front and even out the back to match- but I no longer feel as if I’m wearing a dirty, grimey bag. 

Now, how am I going to get that fountain pen ink stain out? Its a Noodler’s Baystate ink, so it may be a lost cause and there to stay.

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