A question I get asked a lot is: "How do you clean your purses that you thrift?"
1. Vacuum the inside - The first thing I like to clean first, is the inside. I've never found anything ridiculously crazy in a purse. However, I'm always weirded out when I see crumbs. Vacuuming is the best solution to get everything (crumbs, dust, lint etc.) out of purses effectively.
If the purse is a delicate vintage one, I opt. out of vacuuming. I instead take it outside and just try to beat everything out. I then use a lint roller to take out the excess mess, if any left.
2. Gently wipe down the exterior with soapy water - I would avoid using anything with chemicals. You can also use vinegar if you feel the need to extra sanitize. If the purse is leather, that should do the trick to get rid of dirty spots.
If the purse is fabric and stained, I would mix a small amount of oxyclean to water. Text it on a spot not noticeable to make sure the dyes don't bleed. Then gently pat the stains. Never rub! That can cause dyes to bleed.
3. Scratches/nicks on leather - Shoe polish is the answer!
I'm still trying to figure out how to properly clean white/cream leather purses.
If all fails, you can always get your purses professionally cleaned. Most cobblers offer that service!
I hope that answers your questions! Feel free to reach out if there is something that I didn't discuss!