How to Clean Waxed Canvas Bags and Backpacks

waxed canvas fabric how to clean

Photo: Kristsll 

Waxed canvas is a cotton canvas fabric that during the manufacturing process has been impregnated with paraffin wax to give the bags to be water repellent. Canvas fabric has a long history - it first was used as sailcloth by 19th-century fishermen. Waxed canvas is durable and has a bit similar look to the leather.

Taking care of your waxed canvas garment is as important as keeping your shoes clean or washing your clothes. Waxed canvas bag owners usually worry about how to keep the backpack in shape and what tools and processes cleaning includes. In this article, I will share some light on how to take care of your garment.

First Things First: Gather Needed Tools

Nothing much is required when preparing to clean your backpack. Stiff brush, mild soap (suggesting to use Castile Soap); cotton cloth, canvas wax bar, and hairdryer.

Please note that the following guide will include details on how to clean your bag, full garment rewaxing is going to be covered in the upcoming article.

Follow These Steps

  • A stain bust be dry before starting to clean it otherwise the dirty place could expand and make the cleaning process much harder.
  • Take the stiff brush and brush the dry dirt off.
  • Using the cotton cloth and Castile soap, clean off the last pieces of dirty place. To remove the leftovers of Castile soap, rinse the cotton cloth and continue cleaning with water.
  • Wait until the garment is completely dry.
  • Take the wax bar and apply it to the place you just cleaned. Take the hairdryer and apply hot air to the wax, wait until the canvas absorbs it and wipe the leftovers with a cotton cloth.
  • After you have cleaned and rewaxed the garment, leave it for several hours to dry. Your bag now is clean and shiny, ready for adventures.

All in all, cleaning waxed canvas is like cleaning your shoes. The right tools and guidance and job are easy to complete. I have included the video on how famous Barbour jackets are being cleaned and rewaxed.