If you’re concerned about your waxed canvas bag getting stained or dirty, just knock it off. Those scuffs, marks, dirt, and “stains” are what give waxed canvas its character. It tells the story of the one who carries it.
Now, is it possible that your waxed canvas will pick up a stain you don’t find worthy of keeping around? Sure. An oil stain will be your most likely nemesis in this scenario. In that case, try the following:
1. Pack cornstarch on the stain to soak up any excess oil and then brush it off with a bristled brush. You may need to do this a few times, leaving the cornstarch on for a day or two each time.
2. Next, work on what’s left of the stain with soap and lukewarm water. (Do not put it in the washing machine, and do not dry clean it.) But take note: any soap that’s strong enough to have much effect on an oil stain is going to break down the wax coating.
3. After cleaning, you’ll need to re-wax that portion of the bag with canvas wax to restore the finish as well as the water resistance.
But here’s the bottom line: don’t worry about stains and waxed canvas. Will your waxed canvas bag pick up marks along the journey? Damn right it will. And thank goodness for that.