Can you Put Duffel Bags in the Washing Machine?

Time to Read this Post: 4 minutes

Duffel bags are a popular type of luggage, favored by travelers for their versatility and convenience. But can you put your duffel bags in the washing machine?

Here, we will explore the best way to clean a duffel bag – whether you can put it in the washing machine or not. We will also provide some tips on how to keep your duffel bag looking its best for years to come!

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into the guide for cleaning your traveling buddy!

Duffel Bag

Guide to Put Duffel Bags in the Washing Machine

Do you have a duffel bag that’s in need of a good cleaning? Many people ask if duffel bags can be put in the washing machine. The answer is yes – but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Step One: Check the care label first

First and foremost, check the care label. As you don’t want to damage your duffel bags by putting them in the washing machine if they are not meant to be washed that way.

Generally, most duffel bags are made from materials that can be machine-washed – such as canvas, nylon, or polyester. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, leather duffel bags should not be put in the washing machine.

If your duffel bag is made from a delicate material, or if you’re not sure if it’s machine-washable, we recommend spot-cleaning instead.

Spot Cleaning the Duffel Bag

If your duffel bag is only mildly dirty, of delicate material, or you don’t have time to wash it in the machine, you can spot clean it instead. This means you’ll only be cleaning the areas that are actually dirty, rather than the entire bag.

To spot clean your duffel bag, follow these steps:

  1. Start by mixing a solution of mild detergent and water.
  2. Apply the solution to the areas that are dirty, using a clean cloth or sponge.
  3. Scrub the area gently to loosen any dirt or grime
  4. Rinse the area with clean water
  5. Allow the area to air dry

Step Two: Select gentle cycle

If the care label says it’s safe to machine wash your duffel bag, choose a gentle cycle and cold water.

This is because a delicate cycle will be less harsh on the fabric of your duffel bag and cold water will help to prevent shrinkage and color bleeding.

Step Three: Add in a mild detergent

It’s important to use a gentle detergent for washing your duffel bags in the washing machine. Because harsh chemicals can break down the fabric and cause it to weaken over time.

Step Four: Detach any removable parts

If your duffel bag has any removable straps or wheels take them off before washing. As they can get tangled in the washing machine and damage both your duffel bag and your machine.

Step Five: Air dry the duffel

For drying your duffel bag, avoid putting it in the dryer. The heat from a dryer can cause the fabric of your duffel bag to shrink and warp.

It’s best to let it air dry, either by hanging it up or laying it flat on a drying rack.

When to Wash your Duffel Bag?

You should wash your duffel bag on a regular basis, especially if you use it often. A good rule of thumb is to wash it every few months, or whenever it starts to look dirty.

Of course, if you’ve used it for a particularly muddy or dirty activity, you’ll want to wash it sooner rather than later.

How to Prevent your Duffel Bag from Getting Dirty?

Now that we’ve gone over how to clean your duffel bag, let’s talk about how to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place.

Here are some tips to keep your duffel bag looking like new:

Use a liner

A liner is a great way to keep your duffel bag clean.

You can either buy a liner specifically designed for duffel bags, or you can repurpose an old pillowcase or laundry bag.

Be mindful of what you’re packing

If you’re packing items that are likely to leak or spill, consider putting them in a separate bag first. This will prevent any accidents and keep your duffel bag clean.

Put your shoes in a separate bag

This is a great way to prevent dirt and mud from getting on your clothes. You can either buy a shoe bag specifically designed for duffel bags, or you can repurpose an old grocery bag.

Wipe down your duffel bag regularly

If you can, wipe down your duffel bag after each use. This will help to remove any dirt or grime that’s accumulated on the surface of your bag.

Tips for Keeping Your Duffel Bag Looking Great

In addition to cleaning your duffel bag regularly, there are a few other things you can do to keep it looking its best.

Here are some tips to keep your duffel bag looking like new:

Zipper Care

Zippers are one of the first things to break down on a bag, so it’s important to keep them clean and lubricated.

Water repellent

If your duffel bag isn’t already water repellent, you can buy a water repellent spray and apply it to the surface of your bag.

It will protect your bag from water damage and keep it looking its best.

Store it properly

When you’re not using your duffel bag, make sure to store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or in a humid environment, as this can damage the fabric.

Protect it from pests

If you’re storing your duffel bag for an extended period of time, you may want to consider putting it in a storage bag with a moth repellent.

It is good to keep pests away from your bag and prevent them from damaging the fabric.

Stuff it when you’re not using it

If you’re not using your duffel bag and it will be stored for an extended period of time, consider stuffing it with something to help keep its shape.

A few towels or a pillow can help to keep your duffel bag looking its best.


We hope you found this blog post helpful! Now you know how to clean your duffel bag in a washing machine and keep it looking its best.

If you want to wash duffel bags with wheels check our another blog post “How to Wash a Duffel Bag with Wheels?”

Happy travels!

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