Thumbs Up to Cleaning Vera Bradley bags in the Washing Machine

Recently, we took a poll here to see how many people actually washed the Vera Bradley bags in the washing machine. You can see the results of the poll below.

Interestingly, the overwhelming majority responded that they clean their purses "all the time" in the washing machine.

This is actually one of the reasons why I love their handbags and totes. Clutsy is my middle name (not really, but it should be!), and I know that I will inevitably spill or drip or otherwise mess up my favorite bags. Anyway, here are the results from our poll...

Have You Ever Cleaned Your Vera Bradley Purse in the Washing Machine?

  • All the time! (54%, 46 Votes)
  • No, but I may try it... (25%, 21 Votes)
  • Not a chance! (11%, 9 Votes)
  • Yes, but never again! (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Huh? (4%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 85

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For those on the fence about this issue (according to our poll, a quarter of our readers), there are some things you should keep in mind...

First, most of the purses made from the classic cotton fabrics are fine to put in the washing machine on the gentle cycle using cool water.  If the purse has a removeable base, make sure to take it out before tossing the bag in the wash.  Keep in mind, however, that many of the matching accessories are spot clean only.  To be on the safe side, when you first purchase an item, make note of the care instructions. 

Second, make sure that the detergent you are using is ok to use with cotton fabrics.  Some detergents, such as Woolite for Delicates, are not recommended. 

Finally, although cleaning most Vera bags in the washing machine is ok, drying in the dryer is not.  The best method is good old fashioned air drying.  

It is important to note that items from the Vera Bradley microfiber and silk collections should NOT be cleaned in the washing machine, nor is it recommended that they be dry cleaned.  Instead, spot cleaning is the way to go for these limited edition fabrics. 

Thanks to all who voted, and of course, if you have any tips to share regarding caring for Vera Bradley bags and accessories, make sure you share by leaving a comment here.


  1. Samantha says:

    I put my VB in the Washer with the same instructions that you gave and my tote RIPPED! The corners and the handle are torn up. My washer is fine, maybe you should actually try to do it first before putting it on a website. Now I have to go out and buy a new bag, THANKS! not really!!

  2. Hi Samantha,

    I am so sorry your tote bag ripped. I wash mine all the time, and have never had a problem with them. As a matter of fact, I have one in the washer right now – my four year old spilled juice on it yesterday. With two boys (who have no respect for “mommy’s stuff”), I can’t imagine having a bag that I couldn’t easily wash. What style/print was your tote?

  3. What about the “let’s do lunch” bag? Should I turn it inside out before washing? My little sister used it today and took a pickle with her for lunch, so now it smells. It also has a few faint stains.

    I also have a Gabby style bag from Vera, can that be washed? I just wondered what style yours was because my Gabby is my favorite and I would hate to ruin it.

  4. one thing you can try is to put it in a lingerie bag….. and I add a few clothing items to make sure there are sufficient items in the washer to work well and agitate.. I use a real large mesh laundry bag, like a lingerie bag only larger. I also air dry and stuff it to dry with dry towels, etc —– and add some sizing spray to it to give it some body – spray it while wet.

  5. Hi Dawn…I just threw my lunch bag in the washer and it did great i took a salad to lunch today and my dressing spilt out of the container all over my lunch bag it was a disaster. I was pissed…Thanks so much!

  6. Hi Abigail, Thank goodness it worked out ok – with the oils in dressing, it could have been a disaster!

  7. hi Dawn… i spilled some dr.pepper in my vera bradley backpack it went all over my inside pocket i was freaking out its in the wash now i hope it works i put the littlest bit of Surf laundry detergent hope it works !

  8. Hi Chloe, Hopefully it washed up okay! Let us know if you stop back in again how it turned out…

  9. I have the kiss lock style bag in the butter cup pattern an it is filthy. It should be okay if I put it in the washer on the delicate cycle right?

  10. Any suggestions for the Vera bags with leather handles and bottom?

  11. Bess Owens says:

    My Vera Bradley has stiff handles which are dirty so am wondering if it can be put in washer?
    I tried spraying with soap and rubbing with wet wash cloth, but could see no differece. Any suggestions?

  12. I am genuinely delighted to read this webpage posts which contains tons of valuable facts, thanks for providing
    these kinds of information.

  13. A highlighter cap was loose and got blue highlighter all over my backpack which is yellow might I add! How do I get it out in one night??

  14. Have mine in the washer I opened all of the zippers and put the setting on delicate, and I air dried it. IT WORKS!!

  15. I wash my Vera handbags in cold water, using only vinegar…no detergent of any kind, on gentle cycle. Then, I hang them to dry. They come out clean with no fading. In fact, the colors seem better after washing this way. I never wash my wallets this way, as they contain cardboard. For those, I spot clean using vinegar and cold water and a soft brush. I hope this helps everyone.

  16. What’s up, I would like to subscribe for this web site to get newest updates,
    so where can i do it please help out.

  17. Thank you for helping out, great information.

  18. Have a Disney Vera Bradley bag without a tag that tells me how to care for it if indeed it is a little soiled.
    I was planning to wash it in a garmet bag in a delicate cycle with a little bit of detergent. Drying on an air dry.
    Are both these OK?

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