My bag smells terrible.
February 26, 2011 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I managed to spill clam chowder in my beautiful new purse. It smells awful. How do I fix it?

It's brand new, less than 10 days old. I'd usually just throw it in the washing machine but it's faux leather and that would probably ruin it. The lining is made of cotton, I think, and the bag is bright red. Help?
posted by chichimimizu to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
Fill it with warm, not hot, water and dish soap. Swish and dump. Do this again, lightly washing the spot where the chowder was. Repeat until non-stinky.
posted by Night_owl at 9:26 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Can you turn it inside out? Or pull the lining so it's poofed out? After washing it with water, i'd hang it outside, as inside out as you can get it, for several days. Try to find a spot where it can get direct sunlight.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:52 AM on February 26, 2011

Yes to getting direct sunlight on the lining, but try not to expose the leather to that much direct sun.
posted by Night_owl at 9:53 AM on February 26, 2011

I would try what BlahLaLa suggests using a solution of mild dish soap and water. Dawn is a good one to use. However, test a small spot first in an inconspicuous place for color fastness to make sure the dye does not run. Once the lining is thoroughly dry, see if there is any chowder scent left and if so then trying spraying on some Febreze (not to gross you out, but Physical Anthropologists swear by this for lingering "dead body" smells.)
posted by gudrun at 10:15 AM on February 26, 2011

If that doesn't work, while you've got the lining out, I'd spray it with white vinegar. Let that sit and then rinse it again.
posted by amanda at 10:38 AM on February 26, 2011

If, after you've washed it, it still has lingering smells, place some ground coffee inside, zip it up, and let it sit overnight. I don't know what the shape of your purse is, so a shallow dish might work, or a sock filled with the coffee might be better. Alternately, you could just dump the coffee in and vacuum it out, but that seems like more of a mess than necessary.
posted by corey flood at 11:00 AM on February 26, 2011

Yeah nothing beats white vinegar for anti-stink operations, except perhaps the stuff you can get at the feed store that they use to wash out milk containers.

If you have access to a wet-dry vac you might try spraying some vinegar or other cleaners, letting it sit for a minute, then vaccuming it off. It's how I've dealt with couch/chain stains and even wax (with the help of a hairdryer) as well as floors too gross to effectively use a mop on.

If you don't own one you could use the coin-operated ones at the gas station meant for inside your car.
posted by phearlez at 11:04 AM on February 26, 2011

You could try an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature's Miracle (available at pet stores and some hardware stores). But test on an inconspicuous place first.
posted by torticat at 11:16 AM on February 26, 2011

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