How to Clean Your Waxed Canvas Bag
Below you'll find step-by-step instructions on how to clean your canvas duffel bag, backpack, or brief.
1. Your canvas bag needs a refresh
Washing your waxed canvas bag is a do-it-yourself project. Easy, it demonstrates that you take pride in your gear, and requires some muscle and time. A well-used canvas bag might show some discoloration, stains, and after a time, may have lost some of its original luster. This can be restored through cleaning. In addition, a fresh application of wax will:
- Refreshes the original colors of the fabric.
- Restore the waterproof nature of the canvas bag.
- Show that you take pride in your belongings. Boarding Pass bags are not disposable!
2. A brush, the right soap, and other tools you'll need to clean your bag.
- Blow dryer (with heat setting)
- Soft bristle brush
- Bowl with water
- Dawn soap
- An old t-shirt, or clean lint-free cloth
- Wax for Waxed Canvas Bags
- Chill music helps, plus some elbow grease.
3. Don't dry clean it.
As the name suggests, dry cleaning is actually a dry process that uses chemicals to remove soil from bags. And the chemicals used have determined that the beautiful coat of wax that lightly protects your bag is no better than soil. Wrong they are!
Same goes for machine washing. This will literally wash out the wax from the fibers, and worse, it will permanently and irreversibly ruin the leather accents. Don't try it. You WILL ruin your bag.
4. A Little Dawn Soap.
First, de-lint your bag with tape or a lint brush, especially in the seams around the top and sides.
Fill a container with water and some Dawn soap. Clean the panels with this soapy mixture and your brush. Don’t overdo it. While your canvas bag can take it, bags come in different canvas weights.
Let your freshly washed bag dry overnight. Don’t try to accelerate the process with a blow dryer, which could shrink the fibers in your bag.
5. Wax does a great job of freshening it up.
If you are so brave, get your blow dryer, and melt some wax. If you bought your bag with Boarding Pass, a complimentary tin of wax is included with your purchase. With a cloth wrapped around your index finger, dip into your mushy wax, and apply to the bag directly, one section at a time. Aim for a consistent, even coat. Get all of the sections, and all of the edges. Leave no parts of the canvas dry. Go slow enough to avoid getting wax on the leather. For a backpack, for example, this will take about thirty minutes. Don’t rush it.
6. Even out the coat of wax with your blow dryer.
Once you’ve applied a coat of wax, you’ll want to even out your work. Magically, your blotchy waxing job will be chased into the seams and fabric. This also removes any gobs of wax from the bag. It takes about 15 minutes to get all of the wax sealed into the bag. Patience.
7. Let the bag sit overnight, and enjoy.
Once you’re done, let your bag sit overnight, as it will be moist. The next day, put it bag to use. It’s good to go until your next cleaning.