How to look after canvas bags

With more and more people moving away from single use plastic bags and switching to eco friendly alternatives there has been a rise in people using canvas bags. Canvas bags are a great option as they are very sturdy and can be used many more times than other types such as paper bags.

The whole reason many people are switching to canvas bags is because they are reusable, with this in mind it is important that people get maximum usage out of their canvas bag before having to purchase a new one. In order to get the maximum life out of your canvas bag there are steps to take to ensure you can use it for a number of years.

Storing canvas bags

A key part to maintaining your canvas bag is looking after it whilst you are not using it. Storing your canvas bag properly will help to ensure that it maintains its shape and condition. Some key tips for storing your canvas bags include:

  • For new canvas bags use a protective spray all over to treat the material and also protect against stains
  • Stuffing your canvas bags with white tissue paper when they are not in use will help to stop the bag from losing its shape. White tissue paper is recommended as other types of papers such as newspaper and magazines can transfer ink ruining the appearance of your bag
  • Do not store your canvas bags in plastic bags, doing this can encourage moisture and therefore cause mould to grow. Insteads of a plastic bag use a fabric carrier such as a pillow case or cotton laundry bag. The main idea is to allow air to get to your canvas bags but also prevent dust building up when they are not being used.

Hand washing

Before washing your canvas bag it is important to read the label with washing instructions. You also need to consider any additional elements on your bags that pose a problem when washing e.g. print, buttons, zips etc. In order to wash your canvas bag without damaging it, you should follow these tips:

  • Make sure you empty the contents of the bag before washing
  • Start by focusing on any obvious stains, firstly use a damp cloth to try to wipe away those stains. If the stain is stubborn you may need to use some detergent or stain remover, which can be sourced from (in case you don’t already have one). Try testing the stain remover on the less visible part of the bag first, however.
  • Gently submerge a section of the bag in a bowl of warm water
  • Wring out excess water from the bag before wiping with a sponge in circular motions
  • When wiping away dirt and debris try to avoid coloured parts of the bag as this could cause the colour to run
  • If the rinsed section of the bag appears to be fine you can then submerge the whole bag into the warm water and repeat the previous steps 
  •  If the canvas bag appears to have some dirt remaining you can start adding small amounts of washing detergent
  • After you have finished cleaning be sure to thoroughly rinse out the bag with clean cold water
  • When leaving your bag to dry ensure you stretch it out to its original shape and flatten out any creases, then you can hang it on a washing line

Following these tips and methods can help to maintain your canvas bag and preserve the lifespan allowing you to use your bag for many years to come.