HOW TO CLEAN AND CARE FOR YOUR CANVAS BAG
Whether you treat your bag like it’s wrapped in cotton wool, or you run it heavily through its paces, at some stage, it will get dirty and you’ll be wondering how to clean it.
Cleaning bags that are made of a combination of materials such as the canvas, leather, metal alloy and plastic components that Proyager bags are made of, can seem like a tricky and scary process. Water is an enemy to leather while scrubbing your canvas too vigorously will damage and degrade the fibres.
We’ve made it easy for you to care for and clean your bag with some handy, super easy stress-free tips. We cover 3 main methods of cleaning your bag from simple brushing through to a full machine wash depending on your specific cleaning needs. Use your judgement here since only you know the condition of your bag.
Next, we offer recommendations on some great cleaning products you can use to safely clean your bag. These cleaning products are environmentally friendly, great at lifting most stains, and gentle on both the canvas and leather parts of your bag. *If in any doubt at all, please consult your friendly local dry cleaner for advice, or have them clean it for you.
Finally, we’ve provided you with some general care tips to help you keep your Proyager in great, long lasting condition.
But hang on…before we move on to our cleaning tips, your bag may need a little prepping, especially if you are spot cleaning or machine washing it. Prep your bag by emptying it of all of your precious belongings first. The last thing you want is for your precious tech, phones and other important belongings to be submersed in water and consequently destroyed! Once you’ve emptied your bag, pull the lining from inside of the bag outwards and give it a good shake to free it of any small messes that may have accumulated inside the main compartments and pockets over time. Now you’ve completed your quick prep, it’s time to clean your bag!
Tip 1: Brushing and dusting your bag (for mud and dirt affected bags)
Cleaning the canvas:
If you’ve been dragging your bag through mud or your bag has somehow landed in a big dirty puddle, make sure you dry your bag out first. Once it’s dry, the dirt will come off much more easily.
Use a soft brush to gently brush the dirt off the canvas, being careful not to scrub too vigorously as this will damage the fibres and reduce the long term wearability of your beautiful canvas bag.
Your canvas should now be free of dirt and ready to use again.
Cleaning the leather, metal, plastic and polyester fabric lining:
The leather parts can be wiped clean with a leather cleaning and conditioning product available at most supermarkets and convenience stores. All other materials can be wiped clean with a slightly damp cloth and then thoroughly dried.
Tip 2: Spot cleaning your bag (for a range of stains)
There are many different types of stains your bag could be subject to over its lifetime from ink stains, to food stains, to drink stains, muddy stains that simply won’t brush off, and more. Although we won’t cover all of them here, these general tips will help you lift most stains from your canvas.
Cleaning the canvas:
Don’t immerse your bag fully in water. Using cold water, dampen a soft cloth. Dab the cloth into some mild detergent or a liquid soap/soap flakes dissolved in water (see cleaning product recommendations below) and proceed to dab the affected area in a circular motion until the stain lifts. Then use a clean damp cloth and continue to dab the area until the soap is lifted from the fabric. Be careful not to scrub or rub the area too hard as this can damage the fabric. Keep your bag hung out in a ventilated area until completely dry.
Cleaning the leather:
Use a leather cleaning and conditioning product available at most supermarkets and convenience stores. Gently wiping the affected area will remove most stains.
Tip 3: Full machine wash (for a good, overall clean)
Yes, you can machine was your Proyager bag!
But…you said that water is leather’s enemy?...and isn’t machine washing too rough on my canvas bag?
The simple answer is no. At Proyager, we machine was our own bags when brushing and spot cleaning is simply not enough after very heavy use of our bags.
There are a number of cleaning agents that are safe for the environment and gentle enough on the leather parts to safely clean your bag without damaging it beyond recognition. We highlight a few of our favourite cleaning products below but here, the most important things to remember if you do need to machine wash your bag are:
- Use the gentle machine washing cycle only
- Do not use the spin cycle
- Do not tumble dry
- Leave your bag hanging out in a well ventilated area to dry. In warmer weather your bag will dry in hours while in colder months, you may need to leave your bag out to dry for a day or so
- If in any doubt at all, visit your friendly local dry cleaner
Cleaning products we recommend:
Sard Wonder Soap
A leather cleaner and conditioner of your choice (either liquid or wipes) conveniently available at your local supermarket or other convenience store
Similar organic and environmentally soaps that contain an olive oil or other oil element to keep the leather nourished and prevent it drying out while safely providing your bag with an all over clean.
You may also decide to DIY. The world wide web has an abundance of resources to help you make up your own home cleaning products that are suitable for cleaning leather and canvas and you may very well already have the ingredients you need in your kitchen such as olive oil and vinegar. If you do decide to make up your own environmentally friendly cleaning mix, please be sure to spot test an inconspicuous area of your bag first to check if there is any undesired effect on the materials you are cleaning. If in doubt, please consult your friendly local dry cleaner.
Some more useful general care tips:
- Keep your bag well maintained to make it last even longer by keeping it clean when it gets dirty or stained
- Our bags are water resistant, but not water proof, so it will get wet to varying levels depending on how heavy the rain is. The canvas we use will absorb a lot of water and as the fibres expand with the intake of water, this prevents more water from seeping through = water resistance. The amount of water your canvas bag can take in does have its limits though, as with other canvas bags you have owned in the past from any brand. Prolonged exposure to very heavy rain will result in the water starting to seep through the canvas. Make sure you keep your bag hanging out in an airy space to thoroughly dry.
- When you’re not using your bag, don’t leave it in your closet or any closed space. As with any fabric item from clothes to accessories, not letting your bag air may lead to musty odours and could encourage mould and mildew, especially in damp environments. Keep your bag hanging from an ornamental hook on the back of one of your doors at home or on your stylish coat and accessories rack near your front door. Not only will your bag be fresh and ready the next time you use it, it’ll also be a super stylish accent to your home décor as it hangs off your wall, door or rack when you’re not using it!
Last but not least, we must emphasise that if you are unsure of the type of stain on your bag or, not confident to clean it yourself, or, you’ve tried cleaning it but haven’t had success with these general cleaning tips that work for most dirty problems your bag might encounter, we encourage you to visit your friendly local dry cleaner to ask for more advice or have them clean it for you.
Now that your bag is clean, it’s time for more adventures with your Proyager!