How to Remove the Stickiness from Vinyl Lining of Vintage Gucci Purse

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Susan asked: How do I remove the stickiness of the vinyl lining of a vintage Gucci purse? I have a 1980s Gucci purse that I stored without putting paper inside. Unlike the other vintage purses, this purse is the only one in which the vinyl-type lining is very sticky. Is there a way to clean the stickiness and prevent it from recurring?

In most cases, vinyl gets sticky as a result of the degrading process, so it’s not always possible to fix this problem without having the purse relined. In some cases, however, you may remove or at least minimize the stickiness with the following method.

You Will Need:

Steps to Remove the Stickiness:

  1. Before you begin, test the vinyl for colorfastness in a hidden area. Do this by rubbing a small amount on the surface with a clean cloth. Check to see if any color transferred to the cloth. Do not continue unless the results are satisfactory. (The color is not transferred.)
  2. To clean the vinyl lining, first pour plastic cleaner directly onto the cloth.
  3. Next, wipe the sticky vinyl surface with the moist cloth. Rub gently while watching for color transfer as you clean. Continue turning the cloth and rubbing the surface until the sticky layer is removed.
  4. Continue until the vinyl has been cleaned or you are not getting results. If the plastic cleaner does not work, the vinyl may have degraded beyond repair. See additional tips and advice for another cleaning option.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • P.K. Plastic Cleaner is suggested because it does not have a strong, offensive odor.  WD-40 is widely available and will work just as well, but the odor can be quite pungent if you’re sensitive to such things. Understand that WD-40 will not remove the stickiness, but will make the surface “fresh” again so that it can be cleaned away.
  • If you are unable to find a plastic cleaner, try an all-purpose cleaner such as Mr. Clean, Tilex, Krud Kutter, etc. These will remove tough residues. Avoid any cleaners that contain bleach as they will discolor the lining.
  • If the purse has sentimental or monetary value or if the lining is split, torn, or otherwise damaged, it’s best to take it straight to a professional for repair.
  • When storing items in the future, protect the surfaces with tissue paper or other protective coverings. While it is common that the surfaces will still become sticky due to aging, the severity will be lessened.

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