Whether it’s a newly bought bag or a gym bag, I’m going to tell you a few tricks on how to remove odors from bags. And, I promise they work!
Allow the Bag to Air Out Outside
A good airing out is sometimes all that a bag needs to smell better. Allow the bag to sit outside for a day. After a few hours, check to see if the smell has improved. If this is the case, you do not need to take any additional steps to mask odors.
Choose a sunny day to air the bag so it doesn’t get rained on. For a similar effect, you could simply leave the bag in the garage with the door wide open or on a covered porch.
Remember to bring the bag inside to thoroughly test the smell. You may not be able to detect all odors outside.
To Remove Odors, Clean the Inside of the Bag With a White Vinegar Mixture
Make a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and warm water. Stir in a drop of dish soap to produce suds. Then, using a clean sponge or rag, squeeze out the mixture. Using a damp sponge or rag, scrub the inside of the bag, rewetting as needed.
Keep in mind that the sponge should not be soaked. Check that it is only damp.
If you are unsure of the material of the bag, dab a small amount of this solution in a hidden location and leave it for a few minutes.
Note: If there is no discoloration or damage, it should be secure for the rest of the bag.
You can also fill a spray bottle with plain vinegar and lightly spritz the inside of the bag.
If the Odor Persists, Use a Store-Bought Deodorizing Spray
Spray a commercial odor eliminator, such as unscented Febreze or Lysol, inside the bag. Allow the bag to air out by leaving it open. Check to see if the odor has been eliminated after the spray has dried.
You could also use a scented product, but the smell may be too strong. And, remember, only spray the interior of a handbag when cleaning it. It may leave a mark on the bag’s exterior, especially if it’s made of leather.
Sprinkle Baking Soda Into the Bag to Absorb Any Lingering Odors
Baking soda can help to eliminate odors in your home, including inside your bags. Put some into the bag, or sprinkle some in a plastic bag and leave it open within the bag. Close the bag and allow the baking soda to absorb the odors for a few hours.
A baking soda pod designed for refrigerators can also be used. This keeps the baking soda contained and prevents you from making a mess with it.
For One Week, Place Kitty Litter Inside the Bag to Absorb Bad Odors
Usually, kitty litter contains deodorizing elements and can function similarly to baking soda. Leave some in a cup or open plastic container in the bag. Seal the bag and set it aside for up to a week to absorb the odor.
Place the bag in an area where it will not be knocked over. It will be difficult to get all of the kitty litter out of the bag if it spills.
For a Potpourri Effect, Use Dry Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds can absorb odors while also providing a pleasant aroma to mask any remaining odors. Fill a coffee filter halfway with dry coffee grounds. Twist the top shut and secure with a rubber band. After that, seal the bag and let it stay overnight to see if the odor improves.
If you like the smell, leave the coffee grounds in the bag to maintain the effect. Place the filter in a safe location where it will not be damaged.
For an even stronger effect, experiment with different coffee flavors such as French vanilla or hazelnut.