How can I clean the fish smell out of this bag?

So my Grandma bought me this beautiful bag for Christmas. She took me shopping to the nearest shopping mall, and I saw this beautiful galaxy print rucksack with (what I think is genuine) leather straps and flaps. She bought it for me and I didn't see it again until Christmas.

I first noticed the fish smell when I had unwrapped it and sat it down next to where I was sat. At first I thought I had started my period, and I was panicking that everyone could smell me. I was confused when I figured that I hadn't, I couldn't find the sours of the smell.

I got home and took it out of the bag I put all my gifts in and instantly I was confronted with the strongest smell of fish ever. Everything that was next to it also had started to smell too, it was just awful!

I didn't know what to do with it at first so I wrapped it up in a plastic bag and left it, then my house started smelling of fish! I looked up this method where you put a load of bicarbonate soda in a sock and then put it in a plastic bag with the smelly bag, the soda is supposed to absorb the smells but it hasn't worked.

A few people have suggested I just spray it with perfume and ferbreeze but it already smells so much I don't want to make it smell more. And I don't want to ruin the leather either! I would stick it in the washing machine but its brand new and that would also wreck the bag. I thought about hand washing it with a sponge and a little bit of dish soap but apparently this can also wreck leather.

I found out the reason it smells so bad is because they sometimes treat leather with fish oil, so this can't be a rare problem! I just want to be able to use my bag without it making everything I put in it smell, or make it look like I'm on my period and I smell.

I can't take it back because it was a gift, and I don't want to tell my grandma out of embarrassment because I asked her to buy it for me.

Any ideas on what I can try?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Saddle soap is made for cleaning leather. Try a small amount in an inconspicuous area of the bag first to make sure it will not cause any problems with leather dyes and finishes.


Most Helpful Girl

  • Girl, I have the same problem with my purse, at first I couldn't understand where that smell was coming from but then I realized it was from leather handles. The rest of my purse is made from fabric so I washed it and air dried for 2months, nothing helped now I just hope that the smell will fade away in some time. Please let me know if you find a way to get rid of it.


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What Guys Said 1

  • did you washed it?

    • If you had read what I wrote you would know that I can't wash it because its leather. And leather cracks and becomes stiff when you wash it.

    • Show All
    • i think it worked? a bit

    • Havn't tried it yet, I will let you know if I try it!

What Girls Said 2

  • try air drying it for a day. ... leave outside for a few hours

    • I might try that as some point, mabie stick it out the window and dangle it there for a few hours

  • Go on pintrest I'm pretty sure u can find something on there. They got all kinds of questions answers for diy

    • Unfortunetly nothing helpful turned up... Thanks for the site though!

    • Yeah sorry :( maybe find a different leather oil?