How to Get a Musty Smell Out of Your Leather Purse

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Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloth

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Bowl

  • Charcoal briquettes

  • Shoe spray

  • Baking soda

Replace the lining in your leather purse if it smells musty.

A high-quality leather purse is a fashion item you can have for many years. But if you improperly store your leather purse in a damp area, it will pick up musty odors from mold and mildew. Prevent musty odors by storing your leather purse in a dry area. If they already set in, you can still get the musty smell out and restore it to its original rich scent.


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Step 1

Take your leather purse outside every day to soak up the fresh air and sun. Each day, the musty smell from your purse will dissipate until the odor is gone completely. Keep the purse open when it's outdoors to allow for interior ventilation.

Step 2

Mix even amounts of warm water and rubbing alcohol into a bowl. Dip your cloth into the liquid, and wring out the excess. Wipe down the exterior of your leather purse with your cloth to get rid of the musty odor and to kill mold and mildew.


Step 3

Place a few charcoal briquettes in your leather purse to absorb musty odors. Change out the charcoal every couple of days until the musty smell is gone. Charcoal can stain fabric, so place your briquettes on a piece of tissue or a paper towel.

Step 4

Spray your leather purse with shoe freshening spray. These sprays are used to freshen and absorb odors from shoes and other leather goods. Lightly spray the outside of your purse with the shoe spray, and then take it outside to dry. Shoe sprays are available at leather goods stores, boot retailers and some shoe stores.


Step 5

Pour baking soda into a bowl, and place it near your leather purse to absorb the musty smell. Baking soda neutralizes and absorbs odors from fabric and leather, like it does in the refrigerator. Replace baking soda every two days until the musty smell has dissipated.


Immediately dry your leather purse if it gets wet to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.


Don't put your leather purse in the washer or dryer in an attempt to get the musty smell out. This ruins the purse and may even worsen the odor.