How to get a smell out of a bag

880

30th anniversary cuff
O.G.
Aug 31, 2008
12,633
41,529
Hey y'all, I bought a pre loved Gucci Marmont bag with the microfiber lining. When the bag came it was in pristine condition....except the interior smelled extremely metallic, like I couldn't stand it.
It's been 4 months now, and I have put baking soda 4x and let it sit for 1 week at a time, I used charcoal bag deodorizers, I had it sitting open by a window in sunlight, and I used coffee and let it sit for a week and then baking soda after.
This strategy has helped 80%, but there's still a faint smell....anyone have a trick that will work to get the remaining smell out?
Lover girl, if you search read prior pages on this thread, and possibly others in this handbag maintenance section, there Are lots of suggestions like what you’ve done above, and there are others like stuffing with newspaper, Using febreze Etc! Good luck and please post back if you’ve tried anything else that works! :smile:
 
  • Like
Reactions: RT1

sneedonist

Member
Apr 26, 2016
219
158
I bought a vintage LV epi backpack and it reeked of musty/dusty smell. I tried everything, it seemed. I almost gave up and was about ready to reconsign it and take the loss, then I tried the silica gel packs that are packed in shoe boxes, OTC pills, etc. I put about twenty in there. Zipped it up for a few days. The smell definitely lessened and it seemed the silica gel packs took in the smell. So I put a new set of twenty. Zipped it up again for a few days. May have had to repeat one more time until it was completely gone. Highly recommend silica gel packs. Fish them out of your vitamins, shoe boxes!
 

Farkvam

Member
Dec 18, 2020
335
1,015
I recommend the silica packs as well, but mostly lavender and sunshine!
My vintage bag arrived with a musky old closet smell and my first course of action was to give the bag a very gentle wipe with a microfiber cloth (first dry, then a lightly damp cloth inside), and lightly clean the leather pockets with leather cleaner. After it dried I put about twenty silica packs in there to remove any must and make sure it dried properly.

The most helpful thing has been lavender though. It's quite expensive to buy dried lavender sachets for your closets and drawers, which is what everyone recommends, so I bought a $3.99 box of lavender tea with 25 tea bags in it. The lavender works wonders. It's even bringing back the original yummy leather smell somehow. I place about ten inside at a time on a paper towel (in case the teabags have oils on them) and refresh after a few days. I also place some in a plastic bag with the purse so that the lavender smell infiltrates the outside of the bag too.
The other thing is to let the bag sit outside in the sunshine, obviously not so much it bleaches the bag though!
 

Ellen Cherry

Well-shod old bag
Jan 2, 2022
77
121
I have a strange odor problem with a Coach Campbell bag I bought new about five years ago online. I only paid around $100 for it, but when it arrived it looked a little too "old lady" for my tastes so I vowed to resell it. Fast forward to about a week ago when I finally decided to dig it back out.

Unfortunately, I left the plastic protective wrapping on the purse. I thought (at the time) that a buyer might dig the wrapping, which would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was indeed NWT. But I now know it was a mistake and the entire purse reeks of plastic, not a whiff of leather scent at all. I've had it hanging inside with a couple of bamboo charcoal bags inside and it's made not one whit of difference in a week.

Is this a lost cause? Might lavender (or lavender tea, as @Farkvam above mentions) be helpful? Wait until spring and set it out in in the sunlight? Any other ideas?

I still intend to sell it, but pouting over it for the last few days has gotten me a little attached, so who knows what I'll do. Either way, I don't want it to reek.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Farkvam

Farkvam

Member
Dec 18, 2020
335
1,015
I have a strange odor problem with a Coach Campbell bag I bought new about five years ago online. I only paid around $100 for it, but when it arrived it looked a little too "old lady" for my tastes so I vowed to resell it. Fast forward to about a week ago when I finally decided to dig it back out.

Unfortunately, I left the plastic protective wrapping on the purse. I thought (at the time) that a buyer might dig the wrapping, which would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was indeed NWT. But I now know it was a mistake and the entire purse reeks of plastic, not a whiff of leather scent at all. I've had it hanging inside with a couple of bamboo charcoal bags inside and it's made not one whit of difference in a week.

Is this a lost cause? Might lavender (or lavender tea, as @Farkvam above mentions) be helpful? Wait until spring and set it out in in the sunlight? Any other ideas?

I still intend to sell it, but pouting over it for the last few days has gotten me a little attached, so who knows what I'll do. Either way, I don't want it to reek.
If you intend to sell it or not, I would still try the lavender tea bags inside and outside the bag (making sure not to make direct contact with the bag). It'll make it smell strongly of lavender for awhile but after some time it'll dissipate and hopefully leave behind the original smell of the bag, or a neutral smell.

If you keep it longer, the sunshine and fresh air helps. If you keep it permanently, simply using it and filling it with your own items is one way of getting rid of an unwanted smell.
Hope that helps!
 

Shelby33

Tired AF
Sep 12, 2015
10,905
30,818
Boston
I have a strange odor problem with a Coach Campbell bag I bought new about five years ago online. I only paid around $100 for it, but when it arrived it looked a little too "old lady" for my tastes so I vowed to resell it. Fast forward to about a week ago when I finally decided to dig it back out.

Unfortunately, I left the plastic protective wrapping on the purse. I thought (at the time) that a buyer might dig the wrapping, which would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was indeed NWT. But I now know it was a mistake and the entire purse reeks of plastic, not a whiff of leather scent at all. I've had it hanging inside with a couple of bamboo charcoal bags inside and it's made not one whit of difference in a week.

Is this a lost cause? Might lavender (or lavender tea, as @Farkvam above mentions) be helpful? Wait until spring and set it out in in the sunlight? Any other ideas?

I still intend to sell it, but pouting over it for the last few days has gotten me a little attached, so who knows what I'll do. Either way, I don't want it to reek.
Can you put it outside for a few days?
 

Shelby33

Tired AF
Sep 12, 2015
10,905
30,818
Boston
I intend to do it! The sun is out for the first time today since before Christmas, I think. Wish me luck!
We have not had sun either! However some leathers can fade so maybe watch out for that. This is the best way I've found to get a smell out of a bag.
Good luck!
 

Lake Effect

Member
Feb 25, 2017
6,928
26,008
I have a strange odor problem with a Coach Campbell bag I bought new about five years ago online. I only paid around $100 for it, but when it arrived it looked a little too "old lady" for my tastes so I vowed to resell it. Fast forward to about a week ago when I finally decided to dig it back out.

Unfortunately, I left the plastic protective wrapping on the purse. I thought (at the time) that a buyer might dig the wrapping, which would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was indeed NWT. But I now know it was a mistake and the entire purse reeks of plastic, not a whiff of leather scent at all. I've had it hanging inside with a couple of bamboo charcoal bags inside and it's made not one whit of difference in a week.

Is this a lost cause? Might lavender (or lavender tea, as @Farkvam above mentions) be helpful? Wait until spring and set it out in in the sunlight? Any other ideas?

I still intend to sell it, but pouting over it for the last few days has gotten me a little attached, so who knows what I'll do. Either way, I don't want it to reek.
My go to are these packets, freshwave odor removing packs. A local grocery store carries them. Now, they do have an intense smell themselves. I had a vintage unlined leather Coach pouch that had a weird smell. I propped it open with a cut straw, put a pack in a little dish and put it inside it. A few days later, it now smelled like the packet, per the label, plant oils. So I took the packet out and let it air out a few days and the smell of the packet dissipated.
Yeah, a two-step process, but hey, it works. For less than $10. They work great in my little galley kitchen when I am sautéing and the smell lingers.
 

Ellen Cherry

Well-shod old bag
Jan 2, 2022
77
121
My go to are these packets, freshwave odor removing packs. A local grocery store carries them. Now, they do have an intense smell themselves. I had a vintage unlined leather Coach pouch that had a weird smell. I propped it open with a cut straw, put a pack in a little dish and put it inside it. A few days later, it now smelled like the packet, per the label, plant oils. So I took the packet out and let it air out a few days and the smell of the packet dissipated.
Yeah, a two-step process, but hey, it works. For less than $10. They work great in my little galley kitchen when I am sautéing and the smell lingers.
Thanks for the tip!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shelby33