How to clean a cotton tote bag | Cotton Bag Co

How to clean a cotton tote bag

One of the main reasons people are switching towards cotton bags over plastic carriers is primarily due to their sustainability and reusability. Now we know even with the best intentions, a well loved and well looked after tote bag can start to look a little bit worse for wear after time. 

Now it would be a huge shame to just get rid of it, the aim is to keep reusing your cotton tote bags as many times as possible and there is a simple solution to getting your cotton tote bags looking good as new. A good wash routine. 

So what is the best way to clean your tote bags? 


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Prep the cotton bag 

Before you start to clean your tote bag, you need to make sure that it is prepared properly. This means emptying all the pockets, throwing out all the old receipts and rubbish you might have been storing in it. If possible, it’s a good idea to turn the bag inside out and reverse all the corners, then a lint roller is perfect for collecting all the crumbs. 


 Turn your attention to the stains 

If there are any tough stains on your bag then these are unlikely to come out with a gentle clean. You’re going to need some stronger detergents, but make sure you test a patch of the bag which is less visible before attempting a stain on the main areas. Once you’ve tested the cleaning products for a few minutes, use a damp cloth and gently dab the area. Being too rough can cause discolouration or other irreversible damage.


Wipe clean the main areas

Wet a clean soft towel and wipe away other dirt from the bag, avoid areas that might be damaged by water like attachments and heavy printed areas that could lead to colour running. If the bag is safe to be completely submerged then you can soak it in a bowl of warm water with an optional small amount of mild detergent.


Rinse your cotton bag

Make sure you thoroughly rinse the bag with clean cool water once cleaning is finished. This is important as any soap residue left behind could damage the cotton if left within the fibres.



Whilst the bag is still wet, make sure that you reshape it. You can now leave it to air dry on a washing line or airer, putting your cotton tote bag in a tumble dryer is likely to shrink the fabric. Some bags may come with instructions on their labels about tumble drying so always check!


Now you should have a brand new squeaky clean cotton tote bag to continue using for a long time!

If you’re a business, providing cotton tote bags for your customers is a great marketing method. Due to being able to wash them, your customers can adorn your bags for many years to come. Take a look at our cotton tote bags here.  


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    If your enquiry is urgent please call us on 01373 825 837