Can I Wash a Messenger Bag? Yes! Here’s Our Simple 4-Step Guide

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If you have a messenger bag, you know these bags are roomy, have excellent organization capabilities, and are very lightweight. They are the perfect option for transporting belongings, such as laptops, papers, keys, etc., to and from work and other locations. However, messenger bags do get dirty.

After all, messenger bags, although well built, cannot fend off stains and nasty smells forever. With regular use, a messenger bag will start to smell, and it won’t look nice. So, what are you supposed to do if your messenger bag is stained, dirty, and smelly?

Can I wash a messenger bag? It’s a question we often get asked because, after all, if something is dirty and smelly, it needs to be cleaned.

The answer is that yes, you can wash a messenger bag, although it will depend on what the messenger bag is made of, whether textile fabric or leather. Let’s discuss whether you can wash a messenger bag and, if so, how to do it.

Can I Wash a Messenger Bag

Can I Wash a Messenger Bag?

The answer is that you can wash a messenger bag. However, the most important thing is to check the label for washing instructions. For example, some messenger bags may indicate that they can be machine washed on specific settings, such as cold or gentle wash cycles.

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Some sturdier messenger bags can be washed using hot water. And some can’t be machine washed and must be hand washed.

Moreover, there may also be some messenger bags that require dry cleaning and don’t allow you to wash them at all. Therefore, checking the label to see whether the bag can be washed is crucial.

If you don’t check the label and wash a messenger bag in a machine that shouldn’t be machine-washed, you might destroy it. The fabric can shrink or change shape, you may damage the lining or foam padding (such as for laptop compartments), and you may damage zippers.

Moreover, consider the material the messenger bag is made of. Most fabric messenger bags can be washed to some degree. However, those made of leather won’t be machine washable and require hand washing or dry cleaning.

How to Machine Wash a Messenger Bag

Now that you know to check the washing requirements your messenger bag has, let’s discuss how to machine wash it. Once again, the below instructions are meant only for messenger bags that can be machine washed without risk of damage. Follow the steps as indicated below.

1. Empty the Bag

The first step is to empty the messenger bag of all contents. Ensure you empty all compartments so you don’t accidentally wash something that shouldn’t be washed.

Also, if you have anything dirty in your messenger bag that needs washing, wash that as well. Don’t put dirty or soiled belongings back into a cleaned bag, or else the bag will just get dirty again. In addition, remove crumbs from food using a full-sized or handheld vacuum to suck out any in the compartments.

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2. Preparing to Wash

Before you put your messenger bag in the washing machine, there are a few more things. First, if there is a metal frame in the messenger bag, take it out. Moreover, ensure the pockets are open, so water and washing liquid can get in.

At this point, you might want to pretreat any stains on the messenger bag. For this, use a stain remover and apply it to the messenger bag with a toothbrush or a soft bristle brush, and then let it soak for at least half an hour.

If you really want to protect your messenger bag from damage, you might consider turning it inside out and putting it inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect the zippers and other vital components.

Can I Wash a Messenger Bag

3. Wash the Bag

The recommendation will be to use cold water and a gentle cycle for most messenger bags; therefore, put the messenger bag in your washing machine, set it to the gentle cycle, and use cold water and mild laundry detergent.

It is recommended that you do not use fabric softener, bleach, or any other products. You might notice that your messenger bag gets bunched up during the spin cycle. If this is the case, open up your washing machine and untangle it so it can be washed thoroughly.

4. Let it Dry

Once the cycle has been completed, let the messenger bag dry. The usual recommendation is not to tumble dry your messenger bag, as it may cause damage to the components. Therefore, leave the zippers unzipped and open, the bag upside down, and let it air dry.

How to Hand Wash a Messenger Bag

If you have a messenger bag that needs to be hand washed, follow the steps below.

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1. Prepare to Wash

As before, remove all contents from the bag. If you see interior or exterior stains, use a toothbrush or a soft bristle brush to apply stain remover, and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Fill a bucket or basin with 6 to 8 inches of water. Be sure not to use hot water. Also, add a small amount of gentle washing soap to the water.

2. Scrub the Bag

Using a cloth or a rag with a bit of water, or even a soft brush, scrub all the dirty areas of the message bag, focusing y on the heavily soiled areas. If your messenger bag has a lot of mesh, a sponge might work better, although a toothbrush will do better at reaching hard-to-reach areas and getting stains out.

3. Rinse the Bag

Once all dirt and stains have been removed, empty the bucket of dirty water and fill it with clean, relatively cold water. Use your hands to rinse the bag thoroughly. Then, wring as much water out of the bag as you can. Place your messenger bag in a thick towel; fold the towel over it, and give it a good squeeze to absorb more water.

4. Let it Dry

Hang the messenger bag upside down and let it air dry. Leave the zippers open and place the bag in a well-ventilated area.

Do not Tumble Dry

We strongly recommend you do NOT put your messenger bag in a drier! Thats likely to damage it no matter what the materials.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, similar to washing a backpack, it’s not that difficult whether to machine wash or hand wash a messenger bag! Good luck!

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