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How to Clean Your Tote Bag Without Ruining It

Do you have that friend who always has the coolest accessories? Maybe she’s the type who accessorizes with totes, bucket hats or bucket bags. Or maybe she has a knack for bringing out the best in old things by giving them new life through some DIY magic. However your friend comes by her sense of style, she likely has a collection of totes and bucket bags that leave you green with envy. So what are your options if you want to join in on the fun? To give your tote bag more character than it currently has, follow these easy steps to clean it so it looks new again. You don’t need to spend a fortune buying new bags. In fact, these tips will even work on older and cheaper ones. Tote bag cleaning doesn’t require much time either. With just five minutes of prep and another 10 minutes of cleaning, you can have your bag looking like new again without breaking a sweat – or your bank balance!

All the things you need to clean your tote bag are right in your kitchen.

Step 1: Thoroughly vacuum your tote bag.

The first step to cleaning your old tote bag is by vacuuming it. Start by vacuuming the entire outside of the bag, being sure to get in any hidden corners. This will remove any loose dirt and dust that may be hiding in your bag. Next, turn your vacuum on ‘low’ – or the brush setting – and carefully vacuum off the inside of the bag. Once you are done, give your bag a good shake to get all the particles from the bag and vacuum up those too. You can also use a dry cloth for this step if you don’t have a vacuum cleaner handy! Just wipe away any dust that has accumulated on the inside of your bag.

Step 2: Mix together baking soda and water.

Mix together the baking soda and water, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto your bag, using a brush to get into all of the nooks and crannies. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping it off with a cloth.

Step 3: Scrub tote bag with the baking soda paste.

At this point, you should have a baking soda paste and a bucket. Now it’s time to scrub your tote bag with the paste. Apply the paste to your wet tote bag and then rub it in small circles with your fingers or a sponge. You can also use an old toothbrush. For best results, allow the paste to sit on the surface of the tote bag for at least five minutes before rinsing it off under running water. In addition to removing dirt, oil and grime, this step will also give your tote bag a nice shine. Rinse thoroughly and towel dry before proceeding to step 4.

Step 4: Wipe with a damp cloth and dry off with a towel.

After you scrub the tote bag with soap and water, wipe it down with a damp cloth. This will help remove any dirt that was picked up by your towel and give you a better look at the color of the bag. Let it dry off before using it again.

The Importance of Quality When Buying Locally Made Tote Bag

What most people don’t realize is that when you buy a tote bag, you’re buying more than just the fabric. You are also buying the quality of the stitching and the type of threading that will be used to assemble the bag. For example, there are some companies that use polyester threading because it is cheaper and faster but it doesn’t last as long. If you buy a cheaper bag with polyester threading, it will eventually start to break down and show wear and tear which will cause it to become unusable. Cheap bags not only look bad but they also fail quickly which makes them an awful purchase in the first place. To avoid this, opt for a brand that uses cotton threading or even better yet linen threading if budget allows. Cotton is soft and durable which means your bag should last for years without any signs of wear or tear.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Tote Bag

Since tote bags are something you would use almost every day, it's really important to find something that has a good reputation and positive reviews. Talk to your friends and ask for recommendations. It's also important to read product reviews from customers to hear what they have to say and get a better understanding of what you're about to buy. 


One of the most important things that people forget to check when buying locally made tote bags is cleaning. It's safe to assume that tote bags made with fabric are machine washable, but this might not always be the case. Due to the material used, fabric tote bags can easily get dirty and start smelling bad. Having the option of being able to just throw it in the washer is a convenience you'd love to have in your locally made tote bag. 

Clean your tote bags instead of buying a new one

A dirty tote bag can be unsightly and embarrassing. Fortunately, cleaning a tote bag is a fairly simple process. All you need is a vacuum cleaner, baking soda, water, and a towel. By following these simple steps, you can get your tote bag looking brand new again. Just make sure to clean the inside of the bag as well.


wearkindness SKMK tote bags are made from durable materials and designed to meet the demands of someone who’s always on the move. Equipped with multiple zipper and easy-access pockets, you can have one tote bag to organize all your daily essentials. Our tote bags are also locally made and support the livelihood of local sewers and designers. Your purchase also supports our advocacy of promoting quality education for children in marginalized communities. 


Visit our catalog and browse through our locally-made tote bags and find the perfect one for you. Give us a chat on Facebook and Instagram if you have any questions or need any help in placing an order.