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How to Wash Tote Bags Without Shrinking

You can’t imagine a trip to the store or beach without your tote bag. Since you carry it pretty much wherever you go, it’s going to get dirty quickly. You need to clean it from time to time, but you’re afraid it will shrink if you run it through a regular cycle in your washer. So, how do you keep your tote bag at its original size after cleaning?

You’ll find out in this guide on how to wash tote bags without shrinking.

How to Wash Tote Bags Without Shrinking

Why Do You Need to Wash Tote Bags?

Before you learn how to wash tote bags without shrinking, it’s important to know why you should do so in the first place. There are many reasons you should make sure your tote bag is spotless:

  • No cross-contamination – Suppose you take your tote bag to a sandy beach and stop by a grocery store the next day. Who knows how much sand may have accumulated inside the bag? If you put raw meat next to it, it might get contaminated.
  • Keeping it in great shape – Ants and some other insects can make their way into your tote bag without you noticing before it’s too late. Over time, they can gnaw through the fabric and render the bag unusable. Washing the bag removes all impurities, including tiny critters.
  • Better-looking tote bag – Your bag isn’t just used for transporting groceries. It’s also an accessory that can elevate your look. But the only way that’s true is if the fabric is as clean as a whistle.

Diving into How to Wash Tote Bags Without Shrinking

Now that you’re motivated to clean your tote from top to bottom, let’s see how you can do so without shrinking the material. Follow these steps if you have a cotton or linen bag:

  1. Make sure your tote bag is colorfast, meaning the colors won’t fade after the cycle. To do so, add some detergent to a small spot and dab it with a towel. If no color remains on the towel, you’re good to go. If some does, you’ll need to hand-wash your bag.
  2. Put the tote into your washer and make sure it’s set to cold water to avoid shrinking.
  3. Use mild detergent without any bleach or softener to avoid damaging the texture.
  4. If your bag has an imprint or other graphics, turn it inside out.
  5. Select the gentlest cycle and turn the machine on.
  6. Don’t let the bag sit in the washer or your dryer. Hang it on a clothesline and let it air-dry.
  7. Give your tote a wipe-down with an antibacterial wipe to eliminate any microbes that may be lingering.
Reusable shopping bag no more plastic on gray background

This method will work wonders if you only need standard cleaning. But what if there’s a stubborn stain that just won’t come off no matter how many times you run your cycle?

Don’t throw in the towel just yet. There are a couple of ways to deal with these stains:

  1. Combine a small amount of dishwashing detergent (a teaspoon should do) and 1.5-2 cups of water.
  2. Dip a towel into the solution and dab the stain.

If the stain persists, it’s time to bring out the big guns: baking soda and vinegar. You can scour pretty much anything with this duo, including tote bags. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and baking soda (e.g., two tablespoons each) in a plastic bowl.
  2. Apply the combination with a new kitchen sponge or paper towel.
  3. Let the mixture rest for approximately half an hour.
  4. Blot the stain using a towel, and it should disappear.

If you have a plastic tote bag, a washing machine isn’t an option. The cleaning method is slightly different:

  1. Pour 2.5-5 gallons of hot water into a large container (or whatever you need to fully submerge the tote).
  2. Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide and two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid. Add the solution to the container.
  3. Put your bag inside and let it soak for around 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the tote with cold water and let it air-dry.
Reusable eco bag on white background. zero waste concept

Why Choose Tote Bags Now for Your Next Tote Bag?

Every tote bag user should know how to wash tote bags without shrinking. But while this helps maintain your tote, some bags are beyond saving. Some stains are simply too stubborn, and you may have accidentally poked a hole through the fabric with scissors or a can opener.

Either way, it’s time to freshen up your tote collection with a fresh bag. Tote Bags Now is just the right website for you. It offers a superb shopping experience:

  • Customizability – You can customize any tote on Tote Bags Now by changing the color, print position, and artwork.
  • Wide range of materials and styles – The Tote Bags Now selection features a number of materials, including jute and cotton. You can also choose from many different styles, such as drawstrings and standard carry-ons.
  • Affordability – You won’t burn a hole in your pocket with a Tote Bags Now product. Most bags are in the $1 ballpark.

Wash and Replace Your Tote Bag on Time

You don’t need any special skills to know how to wash tote bags without shrinking. All it takes is some cold water and a gentle cycle in your machine. So, toss your bag inside whenever dirt builds up, and it will look great for years to come.

But if your tote is frayed or stained beyond help, replacing it with a custom tote from Tote Bags Now makes more sense.

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