How Should You Wash Your Canvas Tote Bag?

Canvas bags just last and last – pick one up now and you’ll be using it to haul your groceries or just about anything else you can carry for years into the future. That said, canvas does need to be washed every couple of months to keep it smelling and looking fresh.

Since that’s the case, you want to do it right. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to canvas bag cleaning.

General Cleaning

Canvas bags can generally be thrown in with a basic load of washing. Most canvas bags are colourfast, so you don’t need to worry about the colours running and ruining both your bag and everything else in the machine.

Removing Stains

Heavy stains can be a little tougher to get rid of, but you can still usually get your canvas bag looking as good as new. Thoroughly damp the stain before using a soft scrubbing brush on the affected area – it’s best to blot instead of rub to get rid of stains. You might also want to try using some liquid detergent to remove particularly heavy stains – just apply it directly to the canvas. It would be advisable, however, to use a mild detergent to ensure that the color of the bag doesn’t come off along with the stain. Those looking for some options for good detergents can check out a site similar to Make sure to read the labels mentioning the ingredients before ordering one, though.

Dealing with Decorations

Some canvas bags will come decorated with ornaments and panels that aren’t washable. They might also have an internal frame designed to hold the right shape. These items should be removed. If you cannot remove them, simply try cleaning by hand or spot washing any affected areas.

Cleaning by Hand Washing

There’s something a little old-timey about canvas, so why not give yours a hand wash. Fill a basin with warm water and soap, soak the bag thoroughly, then use a soft scrubbing brush. You don’t have to blot the entire bag – that’s only for particularly nasty stains. Just use the brush in a circular motion to avoid any wear.