One of the issues that I sometimes encounter when buying second-hand bags is bag odor. Some bag odors are just manageable and some are just totally out of control. I’ve experimented in a lot of ways on removing it and I’m gonna share with you how to get rid of bag odor.
I’ve been selling online for years and I’ve started selling bags. I still do sell bags nowadays but not as much as clothes. Here are some tips that could help you remove bag odor.
How Do You Get Rid of Bag Odor
Wipe Clean and Air Dry
For washable bags, you can just wash them with lukewarm water and with gentle soap and let them dry under direct sunlight.
For non-washable bags such as genuine leather and faux-leather, prepare vinegar, dishwashing soap, and lukewarm water mixture. Put one drop of dishwashing liquid, 1 part water, and 1 part vinegar. Sometimes, I also add a small amount of fabric softener to add a little bit of fragrance to the mixture.
Dip a clean cloth and squeeze out excess water. Make sure that the cloth is DAMP and not WET to minimize the chances of damaging the bag.
After wiping the exterior and interior, let them dry. You can do this multiple times until the odor is removed.
Another way of removing bag odor is by putting baking soda in it. Before I put baking soda in it, I still clean the interior (and exterior) of the bag using a vinegar and water solution.
To avoid creating a mess inside the bag, I personally don’t sprinkle baking soda inside the bag especially if the bag has a suede interior. I put the baking soda in a small container and I put the container inside the bag and close it.
For tight pockets, I usually put baking soda inside old stocks to avoid spilling the powder all over the bag and I put this inside the pockets and other compartments.
Perhaps you’re wondering how and why it works? Many odors are caused by acids and baking soda reacts with acids. It neutralizes them releasing carbon dioxide in the process. When baking soda and acid react, there are new substances that formed and usually, they have different or less noticeable odors.
Kitty Litter and/or Dry Coffee Grounds
Another way to remove bag odor is to put kitty litter and dry coffee grounds in your bag. Again, before you do this, it’s best to clean the bag first using vinegar and water solution and air dry it.
Just like baking soda, to avoid spilling kitty litter and dry coffee grounds in the interior of the bag, put them in a container and place the bag on a shelf where there’s no chance of it falling off.
Close the bag and let it sit there for a few days.
The kitty litter will absorb the moisture and deodorize the bag. The dry coffee grounds have a similar effect plus it adds the aromatic smell of coffee. However, if you don’t like the smell of coffee, then this is probably not the right solution for you.
Reusable Silica Gels
Silica gels absorb moisture and moisture is what attracts bacteria that creates the bad odor in bags. If you remove the moisture then it will also remove the moisture that the bacteria feed on.
All of my bags have silica gels in the main compartment and in all of its pockets and small compartments. I use reusable silica gels to help me save costs. Usually, reusable silica gels change color (clear to blue or pink or orange) and when it does, then that’s the time you need to reheat the silica gels to release the moisture that it had absorbed. There are multiple ways to do this and you can check Youtube tutorials on how to ‘recharge’ your silica gels.
Dryer sheets don’t remove the smell however it masks the odor. This is great, especially for fabric interiors. However, some study shows that dryer sheets have chemicals that may be bad for someone’s health especially to those who have respiratory issues such as asthma.
Before you use dryer sheets, make sure to read about it or to consult health professionals first.
Personally, I only use dryer sheets on my bags that have fabric interiors. So far it works! I only use dryer sheets with a gentle fragrance.
Wash Scent Beads
Just like dryer sheets, wash scent beads do not remove the odor by they mask the odor instead. It works great on fabric interiors and some online reports said that they’re used also on leather interiors. But be careful in using them in the leather interior as there might be some adverse effects.
It would be safe to put them in a container and not directly to the interior of the bag.
This is something that I have personally not tried yet because I don’t like the smell of it. However, some people have mentioned using Lysol and other deodorizing sprays. A little caveat though, be careful in spraying your bags especially if the interior is leather or suede because they may have an adverse effect on the leather.
How to Prevent Your Bags from Developing Bag Odor
One of the best ways to prevent a bag from developing an odor is by controlling the moisture where your bags are stored. Moisture is one of the main reasons why bags develop bad odors.
Personally, since I buy and sell bags I have a dedicated room where I store my merchandise. I have two small electric dehumidifiers that take a turn in absorbing the moisture inside the room.
You’ll be surprised to see how much water it collects on a daily basis.
Another way to prevent bags from developing an odor is by using them frequently (and cleaning them afterward of course). This will ensure that your bag gets aerated frequently.
How about you? Have you tried removing bad odors from your bags? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations in the comment section below. Thanks!How Do You Get Rid of Bag Odor Click To Tweet