Keeping Your Bag Clean: An All-In-One Guide

Keeping Your Bag Clean: An All-In-One Guide

Our bags truly deserve an award. Not only do they add a little spice and personality to our outfits, but they also endure everything that comes with it: days full of dust, stains, and dirt. Moreover, they don’t even get the same care as our other things do! We throw our clothes in the washing machine, we clean our phone screens, we wash our makeup brushes, but our poor bags are just stuffed right back in our closets without receiving any love. Truly sad. 

In all seriousness, our bags need just as much attention and care as all our other belongings do. If you want to ensure your bag has a long life, cleaning it is a must. Bags can be home to so much bacteria and grime. This can cause their lifespan to shorten. Cleaning them every once in a while will not only make them look better and survive longer, but it’s also just a good way to keep them hygienic.

Cleaning methods aren’t universal, though. You can’t clean a leather bag the same way you clean a nylon bag. Just imagine submerging your expensive leather bag in water, making it unrecognizable. Yikes. 

If you’re wondering how to clean your bag at a low cost, then look no further! This all-in-one guide will ensure you find ways to safely clean your bag at home without the use of any fancy shmancy products! 

  • Nylon

Nylon bags are one of the most common and inexpensive types of bags out there, which means they’re also the type of bags that are used on a daily basis. This can make them prone to collecting dust, debris, and grime. Keeping your nylon bag clean can ensure that you extend its shelf life.

In order to safely clean your nylon bag and keep it looking its best, check out the following tutorial. 

You’ll need: 

  • Cold water 
  • Laundry detergent
  • Two cloths (or a soft towel) 
  • An old toothbrush


  1. Empty out your bag. 
  2. Fill a container or bowl with cold water. Hot water should be avoided as it makes it harder to get stains out.
  3. Add some laundry detergent into the cold water. A general rule of thumb is to add half a teaspoon of laundry detergent into a cup of water. 
  4. Mix the solution until bubbles start to appear and it becomes foamy. Add more detergent if it doesn’t foam.
  5. Submerge a soft, clean towel or cloth into the solution. Squeeze the cloth after taking it out so that it isn’t dripping wet. 
  6. Start cleaning your nylon bag by gently rubbing the cloth over it. As you clean, you should see the foam on the bag. 
  7. In case of any stubborn stains, use an old toothbrush instead of a cloth. Remember not to apply too much pressure, as nylon can tear easily. 
  8. Once the entire bag has been sufficiently cleaned, wipe the bag with a dry cloth. 
  9. Leave it out to air-dry. The color of a nylon bag can be affected by direct sunlight, so never leave it out to dry in the sun. Using a hair dryer or heater is also not a good idea as it can cause the color to fade. 

And there you have it, a clean nylon bag!

  • Canvas

Canvas bags are quickly becoming popular due to their sustainability and durability. However, they’re also harder to clean, especially if they have prints and designs on them. This is because canvas bags are prone to color bleeding; a phenomenon in which the color starts ‘leaking’. 

This doesn’t mean canvas bags are impossible to clean--they just require a little extra care. Before you start cleaning your canvas bag, perform the color fading test. This test is only needed if your canvas bag has prints and designs on it. The method for the test is given below:

You’ll need: 

  • Cool or warm water 
  • Laundry detergent
  • White cloth 


  1. Add the cool or warm water into a bowl. Never use hot water—it can damage your bag. 
  2. Add laundry detergent into the water. 
  3. Mix the solution until bubbles form. 
  4. Submerge a small piece of the canvas bag into the soapy solution. Let it remain there for 10 minutes. 
  5. After 10 minutes, dab the wet area with a white cloth. 

If you see any color transfer from the print onto the white cloth, your canvas bag should only be spot cleaned as needed. If you don’t see any color transfer onto the white cloth, you can clean your whole bag in the same way you would clean a nylon bag. 

An important tip to remember is that you should only use a white cloth to clean your canvas bag, otherwise color bleeding may occur. For drying, you can dry a canvas bag under sunlight. 

  • Vinyl 
  • Vinyl bags are wonderful for a futuristic look. They’re very durable and shiny; perfect for a modern aesthetic. Their best feature: cleaning them is a piece of cake. 

    You’ll need: 

    • Lukewarm water 
    • Liquid dish soap 
    • A sponge or cloth 


    1. Add lukewarm water into a bowl. 
    2. Mix 2-3 drops of the liquid dish soap into the bowl, creating a soapy solution. Avoid powdered cleaning agents, as they can dull the finish of the vinyl. 
    3. Dip a clean sponge or cloth into the solution. 
    4. Gently wipe the sponge or cloth all over the vinyl bag. 
    5. Air-dry the bag away from direct sunlight. Never wring or squeeze this type of bag. 

    This method should remove any light stains, and give your vinyl bag an overall clean. Pretty easy, wouldn’t you say? 

  • Jute 
  • Jute is an all-natural fiber. It doesn’t require much water to grow and can decompose, making this type of bag super eco-friendly. It’s also strong, sturdy, low-maintenance, and versatile. What’s not to love about it? 

    The one downside of a jute bag is that you cannot wash it in water. Jute is a fragile material when it comes to water; it can fall apart if submerged and lose all of its dye as well. Because of this you should never soak your jute bag

    If you want to know how to clean your jute bag without accidentally destroying it, read ahead! 

    You’ll need: 

    • Cold water 
    • A cloth 


    1. Wet your cloth with cold water. 
    2. Wring out the cloth as much as you can. Try to get it to a point where it’s damp instead of wet. 
    3. Wipe your cloth all over the jute bag.

    And that’s pretty much it! Jute bags don’t require intense washing to be clean; a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth is all they need. If you have a particularly stubborn stain, you can add detergent into the cold water to create a soapy solution. Follow the rest of the instructions as given above. 

  • Fur 
  • A luxurious material, fur bags can take your elegance to the next level. They are loved for their ability to add sophistication to any outfit. 

    There are two types of fur bags: real fur and faux fur. Real fur is the real hair of an animal, while faux fur is used as a synthetic and ethical substitute. The same cleaning process can be used to clean both. 

    You’ll need: 

    • A gentle comb 
    • Lukewarm water
    • Mild shampoo 
    • Dry cloth 


    1. Before proceeding to clean your bag, gently comb out the fur to remove any tangles and knots. This helps to keep the fur intact. 
    2. Add a cup of lukewarm to a bowl. Do not use cold or hot water, as these can damage the fur. 
    3. Add about half a teaspoon of mild shampoo to the water. 
    4. Mix the solution until it turns foamy. 
    5. Using your hands, gently work the foamy solution onto the fur. Don’t add too much of the solution, and be gentle. You might rip out the fur if you’re not.
    6. Use a clean, dry cloth to remove the water solution from the fur. 
    7. Let it air dry under a fan. 

    When cleaning fur bags, it’s always a good thing to remember that the fur was once the hair of an animal (or was created to be like it). Treat the fur bag as gently as you would treat your own hair. 

  • Straw 
  • Although straw bags can be used for many occasions, they’re most loved for their perfect beach aesthetic. However, with the beach comes sand that gets stuck in all the wrong places. You’ll want to make sure your straw bag can survive to the next summer season by keeping it clean! 

    You’ll need: 

    • Lukewarm water 
    • Liquid dish soap 
    • A cloth 


    1. Add about a cup of lukewarm water into a bowl. 
    2. Mix half a teaspoon of liquid dish soap into the lukewarm water. 
    3. Dip the clean cloth into the water mixture. Using very gentle movements, clean your straw bag by moving in the direction of the straw. Don’t be too aggressive as this can damage the straw, and don’t get it too wet. For stubborn stains, use an old toothbrush.
    4. Dry the straw bag away from sunlight. Avoid keeping it in a humid environment, as this can cause mold. 

    Using this method will keep your straw bag looking summer-ready for when the beach season rolls around again! 

  • Rexine/artificial leather 
  • Leather bags are a timeless classic. Although they are loved for their durability, feel, and versatility, they’re also often criticized for the animal cruelty involved in making them. Because of this, rexine or artificial leather has started to gain popularity. 

    Rexine leather gives you the same elegancy of a real leather bag, just without the claims of animal abuse. Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly! Learn how to keep your rexine leather bag in top shape by reading the following tutorial: 

    You’ll need: 

    • Warm water 
    • Liquid dish soap 
    • Two cloths 
    • A towel 


    1. Add a cup of warm water into a bowl. 
    2. Add 1-2 drops of liquid dish soap into the water. Mix well until the water turns soapy. 
    3. Dip one of the cloths into the water. Squeeze it out well—make sure it’s not dripping wet as too much water can damage any type of leather. 
    4. Using gentle motions, lightly wipe the wet cloth all over the leather bag. 
    5. Dampen the second cloth with clean water. Wipe it all over the leather bag to remove the soapy solution. 
    6. Dry the whole bag with a towel. Let it further dry under a fan.

    An important point to note is that rexine leather doesn’t need to be cleaned very often. The lesser you clean it, the longer it will live. Only clean it in necessary situations

  • Real leather 
  • The most frightening of all bag materials to clean, leather bags are a beloved accessory. Real leather is expensive, and although it is durable, it needs proper care to thrive. This makes cleaning a real leather bag a scary thought, but don’t worry! The following tutorial will make sure your leather bag stays both dirt and damage free! 

    You’ll need: 

    • Distilled water 
    • Baby soap 
    • Two cloths 
    • Leather moisturizer (optional) 


    1. Add the distilled water into a bowl. 
    2. Mix in 1-2 drops of baby soap into the distilled water. This will create a gentle cleaning solution. You could also use a general leather-cleaning agent instead. 
    3. Dip a clean, soft cloth into the solution (or the leather-cleaning agent). Squeeze the cloth out until it is damp instead of wet. 
    4. Gently wipe the damp cloth over the stained area. 
    5. Using a second cloth, dry the dampened area. 
    6. Let it dry under a fan. Avoid sunlight and heat; these can cause the leather to crack. 
    7. To ensure that your leather bag doesn’t take any damage from the cleaning, apply some leather moisturizer on the cleaned area. Never use any other type of moisturizer as they can permanently damage the leather. 

    You should only spot-clean real leather bags. Use the above method for removing stains rather than for giving your bag an overall clean. If your bag really needs some special attention, consider taking it to a leather cleaner’s! 

    And there you have it, an all-in-one guide to keep different kinds of bags clean and happy! Might wanna bookmark this article for later! 

    NOTE: Always check your bag’s label for care instructions. Disregard the above cleaning methods if they do not agree with the care instructions. Avoid cleaning any hardware with these methods. 




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