7 Simple Steps to Clean & Repair Your Designer Straw Handbags

How to clean and repair your designer straw handbags in 7 steps
A designer straw handbag is a summer staple that adds a big dose of elegance to your linen dresses and beach cover-ups.

If your straw bag is in need of repair, follow these tips to restore the beauty of your purse or handbag and brighten its color without damaging the delicate material.

Prepare your designer straw handbags for safe cleaning.

Colored straw bags may be sprayed with dyes that are easily removed during cleaning and repair. Test for the handbag's colorfastness on the inside edge or bottom of the purse, before wiping it entirely with a damp cloth.  To maintain the bag's shape stuff the straw bag with tissue paper before cleaning or repairing the purse.

Create a soapy mixture to remove surface dirt.

Mix two to three drops of dish soap or baby shampoo into a basin filled with cold water to start cleaning your handbag.

Dip a white cotton rag or old T-shirt into the suds.

Wring the water out of the cloth, until the soft material is damp to the touch.  If the cloth is dripping wet, the straw purse will soak up the excess water and create a permanent stain.

Lay the designer handbag on its side or at a 45-degree angle.

Wipe the entire straw purse down with the clean damp rag.  Wipe gently and in the direction of the straw purse's weave; do not attempt to wipe against the grain of the straw handbag. Doing so may cause damage to the straw fibers.

Let the straw purse dry completely away from heat.

Place the purse on a table in a well-ventilated area to dry overnight.

Repair any tears in your handbag with rubber cement and fabric.

For straw bags without lining, repair a small tear with the cement. Smear the cement on the inside of the handbag on the back of the tear. Place the fabric on the inside of the tear. Press the fabric up against the ripped straw purse to seal for 15 seconds.  Let the straw handbag dry overnight. Remove excess glue with a pair of tweezers or your fingernail.

Brighten the color of your designer handbag.

Dilute alcohol with water. Blot this mixture lightly over the surface of the straw using a cloth baby diaper.

7 steps to clean and repair your straw designer handbags

Additional designer straw handbag and straw purse repair tips:

  • Remove the tissue paper from the straw bag once the purse is completely dry.
  • Never submerge your straw purse in water. Clean the surface with cold water and an old rag only.
  • Lift stubborn dirt stains with a small bristled brush.
  • For rips in your handbag that cannot be repaired at home, send the handbag to a professional. Recommended handbag restoration companies are Avelle and Artbag.
  • Expensive designer straw handbags and straw purses may have a thin coat of shellac to protect the color from fading and rubbing onto your clothes.

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  • Debby goode
    September 19, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you so much for the excellent advice. I have a pretty purse hook in all of bags so they never touch a nasty floor. Could you please tell me the best way to store my straw bag? My bag is a Ralph Lauren, staw tote that I use for summer and I’m putting it away now for fall. It’s many years old but still looks fabulous and I love it. I’m very gentle with my bags. I am beginning to wonder if there is a better way than just placing it in a dry cloth bag. The straw looks dry and brittle now. Do you know if there is a spray, perhaps that I can put on it to preserve it. Thanks so much for your help. Our bags become like our children, don’t they…Debby

  • Gina
    August 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    How to fix the STRW HANDLE (broken, unraveled) on a straw handbag? Or where to take it to get it repaired on west coast. Thank you.

  • Steve Van
    May 15, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Great.
    The straw in Viet Nam is quiet cheap. For strawbags, we mainly use the natural color.
    Thank you for good advice.