I’ve heard that some of my fellow female humans feel the urge to buy new outfits, shoes and handbags to greet the new season.
While I totally understand the instinct to wear bright colors, buy new things and join the songbirds and posies in glorying in spring, I really dislike shopping.
Besides, I like old things. I get attached to things like wallets and bags.
In fact, the very scuffs on the bottom of this purse, and the mildewed perfume stain in the lining (product of a street vendor in Rome) remind me of how much my good old bag and I had been through together.
Maybe it was the association with Rome that made me think of it, but on a whim, I googled “olive oil/purse cleaning”. Whaddaya know. Seek and ye shall find:
“To get that life and shine back into that old leather purse, here is a super tip. Take a little olive oil and apply it all over that purse or leather handbag. leave on for thirty minutes and then use a clean piece of cloth to rub is vigorously. You will have a clean shiny purse once again.” – WackyHomeTips.Com
For the lining? Well, it turns out that the combination of eucalyptus oil, vodka, and distilled water I’ve been keeping in a spray bottle for cat-odor-repellent, is just the thing for removing funky smells from a handbag lining.
“Many of our costumes are very fragile—our company’s Cinderella costumes are probably 25 years old—and we try to minimize the exposure to harsh chemicals for such precious works of art. In fact, the practice of using vodka to freshen both costumes and wigs has been around for hundreds of years.” – Gretchen Bourg, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Madison Ballet, on IceMom Blog
Yay, Wisconsin! I tried it. It works. Turn your purse inside out, spray the lining with about a 50-50 combo of water and vodka (white vinegar or rubbing alcohol work, too), and let it sit in the sun for a few hours.
There, now, it’s clean! How you fill it up again is up to you.
Photos by me and philipyk.