Like high quality leather, waxed canvas looks and feels better the more you use it. It’s durable, water resistant, and breathable. A waxed canvas bag or jacket can handle any adventure you throw at it, and the scuffs and marks it picks up along the way only add to its character. So, understand: when we say “care for,” we don’t mean “keep it looking like you never use it.”
Why would you want to do that?
When WE say “care for,” we mean treating it right so it will last a lifetime of adventures - and still be around to help tell the stories. Here’s how:
1. Go easy on the cleaning. A few scuffs and a little dust isn’t going to kill your waxed canvas. But if you’ve got some mud or major dirt to deal with, let the mud dry and then gently scrub it away with a bristled brush. If needed, spray the waxed canvas with cold water for additional cleaning. And if you’re dealing with a tough spot that you really want to clean up, add a small amount of mild soap (NOT DETERGENT) to the cold water. Then rinse and allow to air dry. Do NOT dry clean or machine wash your waxed canvas bag or jacket!
2. Watch out for the heat. Do not put waxed canvas in a dryer, and do not try to clean it with hot water! Extreme heat will break down the wax coating. While it’s of course fine to bring your waxed canvas bag on a hike in the hot sun, you may notice the material softening. This is not a concern, and the material will return to normal when it’s back at room temperature. But, on that note, take care to not leave your waxed canvas bag or jacket in your hot car all summer long.
3. Re-wax when needed. Over time, you may find the wax coating beginning to thin, or notice spots where the waterproofing has broken down. You can restore your bag or jacket by re-waxing it. This is a simple process which only requires a bar or tin of wax and a hair dryer to help soften the wax when applying. You can find details on how to re-wax a canvas bag here.