Ways To Clean Your Canvas Bag & Extend Its Shelf Life

For those thinking of going green, canvas bags are a great way to reduce our plastic usage by taking it with us whenever we go shopping. Its versatility allows it to be carried on more than one occasions; be it to carry our groceries, gym items, or to store our everyday things.

After numerous uses, your canvas tote bag will eventually get dirty – just like anything else. When you see a fresh stain, spot cleaning is a great way to keep the bag looking all fresh and spotless.

But after a while, cleaning the entire canvas bag is a much-recommended course of action if you want to get rid of any debris, germs and stains that might have accumulated without you knowing.

To keep your bag in tip-top condition, here are some tips!

Check if the colour bleeds

If your bag is plain white; feel free to skip this step. If it’s customised with attractive visuals, then carry on.

Fill a bowl with some water and dip a section of the bag into it to test the canvas for colour bleeding, fading or transfers.

Let the already-wet portion sit in the water for at least ten minutes. After, check the water to see if any dye has bled into it.

Then, get a dry towel and place it over the wet portion of the bag to wring it. If colour transfers on the towel, then your bag is not colourfast, which means you shouldn’t wash it with other materials!

Prepare the bag for cleaning

Make sure the bag is free of any contents.

Check the pockets, open any zippers or go the easy way by flipping it upside down to remove morsels of food, dirt paper and any other little thing hiding in the bag.

While you’re at it, turn it inside out and use a lint roller to remove specks of dust and crumbs around the surface. This is a crucial step because you don’t want to have the dust stick on your bag or have pieces of food stick during the washing process.

But remember – before you begin, read the labels for instructions, if any! It’ll ensure you don’t let any harmful materials come into contact with your bag and damage it.

Remove any stains

It’s best to remove stains before washing them.

Some stains go away with liquid detergent and a cloth. So if the stain remains even after rigorous cleaning, try getting it off using a stain remover but as said before – make sure you follow the instructions carefully if you don’t want to risk damaging your bag!

Certain stain removing products can cause canvas burns or discolouration, and you don’t want that. Once everything looks as good as it can get, use a clean cloth and apply a damping technique to remove the stains. Avoid scrubbing as it can cause colour transfers or canvas damage.

Time to wash

Usually, plain-coloured tote bags are safe for washing machines. Depending on the printing technique, a washing machine with cold water should suffice.

Other bags with leather trimmings, adornments and sensitive prints need to be washed manually.

After you’re done, the tote bag might look wrinkled and crumpled – but it’s nothing a few gentle tugs can’t fix. Then, leave it to air dry and it’ll be as good as new!


If you have a good amount of tote bags with you, roll them up and store it in a paper box for safekeeping. The main goal of a tote bag is to last for years to come. And if you want that to happen, you must know the correct way to clean it so it can look as good as brand new always. Even though tote bags are known to be sturdy and durable, they are also susceptible to wear and tear, which is why they need regular cleaning and maintenance.

From red packet printing to tote bag customisation, your one-stop-shop for all things pertaining to design, branding, print and production. For any enquiries, feel free to contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff for further information!

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