How to Wash a Duffel Bag

How to Wash a Duffel Bag

How to Wash a Duffel Bag

Think about everywhere your duffel bag has been since you got it: hotel room floors, tossed in the trunk during road trips, and stowed away in the overhead bins on airplanes. It could probably use some TLC, but can you wash a duffel bag – in the washing machine or otherwise? Read on for tips about how to wash a duffel bag to keep it looking and smelling good for long lasting use.

You Can – and Should – Clean Your Duffle Bag

Unlike other luggage pieces that shouldn’t be cleaned with soap and water, duffle bags are typically safe to get wet. Just check the materials first and look at the tag to see if it’s machine washable. A general rule of thumb is: if it’s made from polyester, nylon, canvas, acrylic, linen, or cotton, it should be fine to wash – if you do it right.

Learn How to Clean a Canvas Duffle Bag and Other Washable Duffels

Travelpro​​® duffel bags should always be hand washed to protect the wheels and high-quality fabrics. You should also never use harsh chemicals. In the event that your duffel bag becomes soiled, follow these simple steps for hand washing:

  1. Create a 50/50 mixture of alcohol and water. 
  2. If there is also a smell you want to remove, add lemon juice to the mixture.
  3. Apply the mixture using a soft cloth. Gently rub the soiled areas until the spot is no longer visible.
  4. Allow the bag to air dry completely before storing. Do not put the bag in the dryer.

How Do You Get The Smell Out Of A Duffel Bag?

Between trips to the gym and long days of travel, your duffel bag is bound to pick up unusual smells. Just as you would clean the inside of a larger suitcase, you should do the same with duffels — making sure to remove anything left behind that could cause odors.

A quick trick is to use a handheld vacuum to suck up dirt and debris. A lint roller can also come in handy, especially to clean out tiny compartments. Use antibacterial wipes to clean the interior and exterior material. Spritzing your bag with an odor-eliminating spray or wiping it down with fabric softener sheets can also help keep your bag smelling fresh between uses, if you don’t have time for a wash.

How Often Should You Clean A Duffel Bag?

Since duffels are made from porous materials and trap dirt easily, they can get dirty quicker than other luggage. If you use your duffel bag sparingly, you can get away cleaning it once a year. But, if you travel often or pack it with sweaty clothes and towels, it’s best to vacuum it and use a scent protection spray after each use. Then, aim to wash it once a month.

Just remember that duffels can potentially grow mold and become extra smelly if you wait too long to give it a good cleaning.

Duffel bag laying on the floor with 3 packing cubes next to it

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