I recently replaced my laptop and decided my old trusty felt, wool bag, which I bought in Sydney at this amazing store called Kiki. K – although perfectly good – needed a little sprucing up. The label inside says spot clean only, so I thought it best to adhere. I strongly believe in giving care and attention to items – just like this laptop bag – that usually never get cleaned or repaired. To think, this has been shoved under aeroplane seats on flights – on the floor, propped on office floors and hung off the back of many a coffee shop chair. I mean, time to give it a little love. These are the steps I took below, and can apply to cleaning any kind of natural fabric bag, that can’t be washed in a machine or submerged in water. The reason for this? Shrinkage.
- Get yourself a nice clean tea towel and lay it on a flat surface. A small bowl with lukewarm water and an absorbent cloth.
- Place your bag on the surface, remove all loose items from it and detach things like straps, pockets.
- I like to use material appropriate cleansers, like Woolite, which is designed to clean wool and delicates. add a tiny drop to your bowl and submerge the cloth in it and wring it out until its mostly just damp. If its easier to do this in a sink, go ahead!
- In strong, smooth strokes, wipe the surface area of the bag on the exterior. Rinse the cloth and then do the same for the interior, paying attention to inside of pockets and corners. Once you’ve wiped both sides, it should feel slightly damp. Luckily I didn’t have any stubborn stains so I didn’t need to bring out the Vanish.
- Rinse your cloth and change the water to include a mild soap. I like Dr Bronner’s Pure Castille Liquid Soap for Baby as its unscented and works a treat. Using your damp cloth, wipe the straps paying particular care to things like the zips, buckles and any hardware. Trust me, you will be AMAZED how dirty your cloth will look after this.
- When it comes to rinsing, I like to dilute my soap so that I don’t need to rinse, rather it gives the straps etc a gentle refresh. For items that are in need of more heavy duty cleaning, I have to change my tactics – something to showcase another time!
How often do you clean items like laptop bags and sleeves? What products do you use?
A damp, absorbent cloth – I use this for everything!
Woolite – smells so fresh and light.
Don’t forget the buckles