A beige tote bag with the words "MADE FREE" printed in large black letters is held against a backdrop of a wavy ocean and slightly cloudy sky. The scene suggests a beach setting, with water and sky creating a serene atmosphere.

How to Wash Canvas Tote Bags

Canvas tote bags are a popular and eco-friendly choice for carrying groceries, books, and everyday essentials. Keeping your canvas tote bag clean ensures it remains stylish, durable, and built to last a lifetime. Here’s a detailed guide on how to wash and care for your canvas tote bags to keep them looking fresh and new.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Mild detergent or soap
  • Soft brush or sponge
  • Cold water
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Mesh laundry bag (optional)

1. Check the Care Label:

Before you start, always check the care label on your MADE FREE canvas tote bag. Some bags may have specific cleaning instructions or restrictions, especially if they have unique prints or embellishments.

2. Empty the Bag:

Ensure the bag is completely empty. Look inside all pockets and corners for any items or debris.

3. Pre-treat Stains:

For visible stains, pre-treating is essential:

  1. Mix a small amount of mild detergent with water.
  2. Apply the solution to the stained area.
  3. Gently scrub with a soft brush or sponge.
  4. Let it sit for about 15 minutes to break down the stain.

4. Hand Washing:

Hand washing is the gentlest method to clean your canvas tote:

  1. Fill a basin or sink with cold water.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent.
  3. Submerge the tote bag in the soapy water.
  4. Gently agitate and scrub with a soft brush or sponge, focusing on dirty areas.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove all soap.


A person holds a cream-colored tote bag with the text "MADE BY FREE WOMEN." The bag contains vibrant sunflowers. The individual is standing next to a white ornate railing and is wearing a red sweater.

Pictured: MADE FREE Canvas Tote Bag "MADE BY FREE WOMEN"


5. Machine Washing (if permitted):

If the care label allows machine washing:

  1. Turn the bag inside out to protect any prints or decorations.
  2. Place the bag in a mesh laundry bag to prevent tangling.
  3. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent.
  4. Avoid bleach or harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric and prints.

6. Drying:

Proper drying is crucial to maintain the shape and quality of your canvas tote:

  1. Gently reshape the bag while it’s wet.
  2. Air dry the bag by hanging it or laying it flat in a well-ventilated area.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading.
  4. Do not use a dryer, as high heat can shrink and damage the canvas.

7. Optional Freshening Tips:

  • Deodorize: If your bag has any lingering odors, sprinkle some baking soda inside and let it sit overnight before shaking it out.
  • Brighten Colors: Add a splash of white vinegar to the rinse water to help brighten colors and remove any soap residue.

Why Choose MADE FREE Canvas Tote Bags?

Three people stand side by side holding tote bags. The left tote bag says "CHICAGO" with a skyline graphic. The middle tote bag says "MADE BY FREE WOMEN." The right tote bag also says "CHICAGO" with a similar skyline graphic.


Ethically Made

At MADE FREE, we prioritize fair trade practices. Each purchase directly supports artisans by providing fair wages and ensuring safe working conditions. We believe in creating products that not only serve a purpose but also contribute positively to the lives of those who make them. By choosing our canvas tote bags, you’re supporting a mission dedicated to ethical craftsmanship and social responsibility.

Sustainably Made 

Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in the materials and processes we use. MADE FREE market tote bags are made with 100% organic cotton. We focus on reducing waste and promoting practices that help protect our planet. 

Customizable and Group Gifting Options

We offers customization options for group orders to make your canvas tote bags truly unique. Whether you’re looking to personalize a bag for your team or create a memorable gift for a special occasion, we provide embroidery, embossing, and screen printing options. 

By following these steps, you can keep your canvas tote bags clean and in excellent condition. Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of your bag but also upholds the quality and integrity of the craftsmanship that goes into every MADE FREE product.


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