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A waxed canvas bag can handle any adventure you throw at it, and the scuffs and marks it picks up along the way only add to its character. But, over time, you may find the wax coating beginning to thin, or notice spots where the waterproofing has broken down. You can easily restore your canvas bag to its former glory by re-waxing it. It’s not a complicated process, and with the right DIY supplies, you can knock it out with no problem. Here’s how:
The wax will cover whatever is on the bag, so be sure the canvas is clean and dry. Do not wash waxed canvas in a washing machine and do not use detergents. Simply use a bristled brush to gently scrub off any mud or dirt. Scrub with cold water if needed, but do not use any soaps or detergents. Dry the canvas with a clean towel (NOT in a dryer) and use a lint roller to remove any strings or dust that may be clinging to your bag.
After your bag is clean and dry, heat up the surface of the canvas with a blow dryer - this will help the wax spread more smoothly. When re-waxing, you don’t necessarily have to wax the entire bag. You can re-wax the entire surface of the bag, or just focus on areas like seams, creases, and high-flex areas.
Rub the wax on the canvas like a bar of soap, using broad, even strokes. The pressure and friction will warm up the wax, making it easier to spread and transfer to the fabric. Use the corners and edges of the bar to get into crevices or up close to rivets and leather. Use your fingers to work the wax into the canvas. Then, use the blow dryer to slowly and evenly reheat the canvas. Using your hands, work the wax into the canvas again, helping it to penetrate the fabric.
After completing the re-waxing process, hang up your bag in sunlight or in a warm, dry area. Allow the re-waxed canvas to dry and cure for 24-48 hours.
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