Life Tips

How to Clean a Canvas Backpack: The Complete Guide

How to Clean a Canvas Backpack

Canvas backpacks are very popular, and there are lots of reasons why. Not only are backpacks made of canvas extra-sturdy and strong, when it comes to looking cool, they can’t be beat. They also come in a huge variety of colors, sizes, and designs, so everyone can find a canvas backpack they love. The only thing many people wonder about these backpacks is how to clean them, but the task sounds a lot harder than it is. In this article, we’ll go over some basic tips to get your canvas backpack nice and clean once again.

What Is a Canvas Backpack?

These days, canvas items are usually made out of cotton or linen, but they are almost always a plain-woven type of fabric. This means they are made by the manufacturer weaving the material over and under, similar to a picnic basket. In addition to backpacks, plain-woven canvas can also be used to make shoes, tote bags, sails, and numerous other types of clothing and bags. Even better, canvas items tend to be affordable for most people.

What Is a Canvas Backpack

Now let’s take a look at the best way to make sure your canvas backpack is as clean as possible.

Step 1: Preparation

Canvas bags have to be prepared before you get to the cleaning part. For this step, you can use either a soft clean brush or a whisk broom to clean the dirt and debris that’s on the inside and outside of the bag. If you choose the whisk broom, you’ll have to make sure to use a gentle motion so that you don’t damage the bag.  As you work, remove as much of the dirt and grime as possible. If you use the soft brush, you can use a tiny bit of water if there are spots you can’t remove otherwise.

Step 2: Fill a Spray Bottle With Water

For this step, you’ll have to remove the spots and stains that are still on the bag, and you can start by using a little water to work with the brush to do this. For stubborn stains, you have a few choices. First, you can add some mild soap to the water and then spray onto the stain before brushing it away. Most dishwashing soap will work. If it doesn’t, fill your spray bottle with half water and half white vinegar and spray the mixture on the stains before brushing them away.

Step 3: Rinse and Wipe Clean

You’ll want to limit the amount of water you use on anything made out of canvas, so either use a damp towel or lightly rinse the entire bag, inside and out. If you use the towel, rub the bag gently several times with it but make sure the canvas doesn’t become soaked. If you rinse the backpack, you’ll have to make sure you rub it down with a damp towel afterwards and squeeze the excess water out of it. While a little water is not a bad thing for canvas bags, they cannot get soaking wet and stay that way for long periods of time without being ruined or changing the color of the bag.

Step 4: Air Dry Your Backpack

Air-drying a canvas backpack is the best way to get the bag nice and dry. For this, the best suggestion is to let it dry outdoors in the direct sun. If you do this, you’ll have to make sure that rain isn’t in the forecast because again, too much water can ruin a canvas bag. Let the bag dry for most of the day and make sure every inch of it is dry before you bring it indoors. Keep in mind that since a lot of canvas products are made out of cotton, the backpack may shrink. If this happens, wet/dampen the bag again and stretch it out before letting it air-dry once again.

What If This Doesn’t Work?

Occasionally, this method of cleaning a backpack won’t work and you’ll have to give it a deeper cleaning. This happens a lot when there are spots or stains that remain after the original cleaning. If you decide to do this, take a soft nylon brush, get it wet, and gently rub the bag in circular motions until the entire backpack is scrubbed. Then, take a damp towel and rub the bag again to squeeze out the excess water. If you still notice spots you’d like to get rid of, mix one cup of warm water with one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and soak the brush in it before scrubbing just the stains you’d like to remove.

If – and only if – there are still stains on the backpack after you’ve done all of this, you can treat them with a dry-cleaning stain remover. Once it’s applied, let it sit for a few minutes then press the stains down with a soft damp cloth. This should remove all but the toughest of stains and, once the backpack has been air-dried outside, the bag should look fantastic. You can even use some type of fabric protector or sealer after the bag has been cleaned thoroughly and air-dried to protect it from future damage.

Tips to Remember

To make things easier on yourself, it’s best to keep the backpack free of debris in between actual cleanings. You should regularly remove the items out of the bag and wipe away the dirt and debris with a soft brush or broom. Never rush to get your bag dried by using a blow dryer. This will shrink the bag and therefore, slow air-drying in the sun outdoors is the smartest option. Finally, make sure you never use any chemicals on the backpack because it can be ruined if you do.

Cleaning a canvas backpack isn’t complicated, but it’s still smart to clean it correctly every time. Getting rid of dirt and debris in between cleanings will make the job easier, and make sure you never carry around items that might discolor or stain the bag, such as pens, markers, and similar items. In some cases, these stains are permanent and there won’t be anything you can do to remove them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *