Washing Vera Bradley

     Some of you know, I reallllly reallllllllllly like  love Vera Bradley. So much so, that I’ve named my car Vera. As a result, I have way too much! I’m not always the most careful &, like everyone else, spill things. Sometimes, those things end up on my Vera Bradley bags. But Good news! Since they are cotton, they are machine washable! No, that does not mean you can throw it in with everything else…I don’t recommend that method either. Unless, of course, you want faded colors and misshapen purses. Here’s what it does mean-

Tutorial Time!



First, remove any cardboard or other non-washable pieces. 


You’ll want to flip your bag(s) inside out. Be sure to shake off each item to loosen dirt, etc. 


Even the tiniest pouches. 


Use a mild/simple detergent.

Or you may use 1/4 c. vinegar…I didn’t have vinegar

& I didn’t want to imagine all my Vera Bradley smelling like vinegar. 


Machine wash on COLD & delicate, if you have that option. 


Throw in a Shout color catcher, or two if you’re doing a large load.

I used two. 


Once the cycle is complete, remove from washer. Do not place in dryer! Flip everything inside out, reshape, & hang to dry. Do not replace cardboard pieces until bag is totally dry. 


Now you have happier cleaner Vera Bradley! 

40 thoughts on “Washing Vera Bradley”

  • I just washed my vera backpack. Turned out fine. I washed it inside out, using 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and about a teaspoon of Tide, in cold water, on delicate cycle. I’m hanging it to dry now. It doesn’t look faded or “washed” ( like I’ve seen on other people who have washed their Veras ). It looks great. However, my backpack was only 6 mos old and in good condition. Obviously if you attempt to wash a worn, tattered vera, it’s not going to come out very well. The bag needs to be in semi good condition to begin with.

    • If the only metal part is the ring, it should be just fine in the washer; just be sure not to dry it or you’ll have a lot of noise!

  • Ok. You’re officially awesome. I am addicted to Vera Bradley’s Cambridge pattern. LONG since retired. And I want to keep my collection looking spiffy. Thank you so much for this.

  • Well, I purchased a backpack to use for school. I have taken the cardboard out of the bottom…but there’s also a material inside of the backpack that is kind of squishy. Do you think that it would be okay to wash it anyways? I just don’t want to mess it up.

  • My vera bag has a cardboard piece in the bottom but I don’t see a way to remove it. Can you help me by telling me how to remove it? Thanks!!!

  • And then you coat them with Scotchguard, so you don’t have to repeat the process again too soon??? 😉 I don’t have any VB’s (I don’t think I’ve ever seen them here in Aus), but my BF who moved here from NH LOVES them. I will have to see how she cleans hers. Thanks 🙂

  • i accidentally forgot to take the cardboard out and it got a little wet because i realized after 3 mins i forgot to take it out and if i leave it out to try will it be ok?

    • It will be soggy for sure, but may be alright if you let it dry out. Otherwise, you could try cutting a piece of cardboard to the same size & trading them out. Hope that helps!

  • I’m confused. You said to turn the bags inside-out and shake to remove crumbs, etc. Later in the instructions you said to turn the bags inside-out to dry them. So…are you turning them right-side-out for the actual washing, then inside-out to dry them…or what?

  • My Vera bag feels like it has cardboard in the bottom but there is no way to remove it. I have washed other Vera bags with removable cardboard with success. This bottom is completely sewn in. Any suggestions?

    • My old bags have the removable cardboard bottoms, but I’ve read that if the hard bottom is completely sewn in, it is washable. I’ve even washed zip-around wallets and turn-lock wallets (by hand). They turned out fine. Actually, the only bags I have washed, I’ve washed by hand … and I hang them to dry (after I hit them with a hairdryer for a few minutes to get them started.

    • Some of them may be sewn in & not removable. If that is case I would not suggest washing it & ruining the cardboard. Try spot treating or hand washing the outside only. If you can see the opening, the cardboard should be removable. It may just be difficult to pull it out. Hope that helps!

    • Turn the bag wrong-side out. The cardboard should slide out. If there is no way to get it out, it’s probably not cardboard…and can be washed anyhow because that material used for the “hard” bottom is washable, it’s not cardboard.

  • I used vinegar often for laundry use. I usually do an extra rinse and you can never smell it on the item. I can’t stand vinegar taste or smell but love it for laundry! Thanks for the info. I am going to try a backpack today … wish me luck!

    • Celia, I’m sorry you’re having such trouble! I;m not quite sure what you need to do, but you could try spraying them with stain remover before hand & letting it soak in for a while before washing. Other options may be adding baking soda to the laundry, or oxiclean.

  • I just spoke with someone from customer service from Vera Bradley and she told me that if your purse, bookbag, etc had a base at the bottom but was sewn it, it could be washed! She said to just wash it on a delicate cycle with cold water and use a mild detergent. Let it air dry. Thought I would pass it on! 🙂

  • I threw mine in with my sheets and towels, used Persil two in one, did take the cardboard out, and the bag looks like new. As for dirty straps, don’t leave it so long between washings next time. A vigorous dose of Biz and then another wash with detergent with oxyclean might help, but you may have just learned a lesson. These bags aren’t meant to last a lifetime, but they do last a very long time, my daughter who is 27 has one from when she was a freshman in high school and it looks great, she washes the heck out of it. I wouldn’t be too delicate with the washing, I’d use more than just vinegar, we are trying to get out dirt, not just sanitize. Just IMO

  • Hi.. has anyone cleaned a black microfiber vera purse? So nervous to put in the wash machine. The handles are looking white/faded.. hoping something can revive my favorite purse…

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