How to Clean Tote Bags

Most tote bags can be cleaned in the washing machine on a 40° wash with similar colours. Before you put it in the washing machine, make sure you've removed all of your items, and cleared out all interior and exterior dust and debris. 

In the worst case scenario that you've stained your tote with a stubborn substance, you should remove the stain before it goes in the washing machine. Whatever you do, don't scrub the stain. Instead, use a stain remover and apply on both sides, then wash as normal. To make sure your chosen strain remover doesn't cause colour bleeds or discoloration, you can test it first on a discrete part of the tote. Remember: stain removers differ between brands, so double check the instructions for your specific product before you use it. 

How to Wash Canvas Tote Bags

Stylish, practical, reusable, versatile, cost-efficient and convenient, there isn't much that a canvas tote can't do. This includes being washed and still keeping its distinctive print and shape after it's gone through the washing machine. Your tote will look as fresh as it did on the day it was made — perhaps even fresher if you've picked your detergent well!

Our canvas tote bags can be cleaned in the washing machine on a 40° wash. Due to to the nature of our biodegradable totes, most stains can be removed with ease — check out this TikTok if you're not yet convinced.


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♬ original sound - tomstotes

When your canvas tote is done, smooth it out and return it to its original shape while it dries. All decent totes should retain their original size and form after a machine wash. 

If you have decorated your tote bag with acrylic paint, embroidery, iron-on patches or other decorations, double check if these can go through the wash.

According to Acrylic Art World, acrylic paint will stay on fabric and, as long as you don't use washable acrylic paints and separate it from the rest of your clothes, it should be OK to put through the wash. You should, however, proceed with caution. 

Likewise, most iron-on patches and embroidered elements can go through the machine on a gentle wash. However, it might be best to hand wash these delicate elements to ensure no permanent damage happens. 

Are Tote Bags Waterproof? 

No — canvas tote bags don't tend to be waterproof. That being said, your tote can go through the wash and return to its normal state after. 


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We are Tom's Totes. Our mission is to make plastic bags completely out of fashion, and to make sustainable lifestyle choices stylish. Support independent artists and join our mission to ditch plastic with our collection of biodegradable tote bags, prints/postcards and paint kits online. For more top tote tips, check out our blog and news page