How to Clean Waxed Canvas


By Erin Murphy

Saddleback Leather’s Waxed Canvas Collection is the super rugged, water resistant, amazingly cool line of canvas designed by Dave Munson. This is 24 oz, heavy duty canvas, plus Saddleback Old Bull leather. Your bag is a workhorse, but on occasion, you might just spill your coffee on it, or drag it through the mud, or accidentally run over it in your car. In case any of those tragedies occur, don’t despair! We’ve got some tips for cleaning, waxing, and generally sprucing-up your canvas to make it the best for when your life depends on it.


Saddleback Leather Waxed Canvas Thin Backpack


What to Do:

Since we pre-treat your bag with canvas wax before sending it home, we recommend waxing about once a year after that, depending on how rough you are with the bag. Waxing will keep your canvas weatherproof and maintain its lifespan of approximately forever.  We sell the same wax the manufacturer used to make your bag - it's the good stuff and you can find it here.

First, make sure your bag is clean and dry. May want to run a lint roller over it as well to grab stray threads and fuzzies. Then warm that puppy up with a hair dryer to help the wax spread smoothly.

Next, apply the wax onto the canvas with broad, even strokes. Think of it as a bar of soap. The pressure and friction will heat the wax so it’s spreadable and transfers easily onto the fabric. Use your fingers to really work the wax into all the nooks and crannies, right up to the rivets and leather. Use that hair dryer again to slowly reheat the fabric. Once the wax is smooth again, use your hands to work the wax in again.

Finally, hang your bag in a warm, dry room for 24-48 hours. This will “cure” the fabric so it stays waterproof without getting all wet and heavy.

What if you need to clean your bags?

Grab a sponge and scrub with cold water. DO NOT use soap!

For oil stains, an absorbing agent such as talcum powder or cornstarch may be applied to the stain for a couple of hours, then use a soft brush to clear away any excess powder.

Ink stains need a few more supplies, but all can be found in most household cabinets. Mix toothpaste and baking soda. Apply to the canvas with a damp toothbrush and gently work into the material. Repeat a couple of times.

What Not to Do:

Don’t wax the inside of the bag.

Never use hot water, detergents, solvents or soap on your canvas.

NEVER put your bag in a washing machine or send it to the dry cleaners