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Can You Put a Duffel Bag in the Washer & Dryer? (Answered)

Traveling is fun when you have just the right things with you. And duffel bags are a fantastic travel companion regardless of the surface, from hotel room floors to overhead compartments in aircraft. 

However, like every other thing your duffel bag needs maintenance. But, do you know how to wash a duffle bag? Can you put it in the washer and dryer? What are the Do’s and Don’ts? If you have these questions on your mind then you are at the right door. 

Today we are here with all your answers. Therefore, stay with us till the end and you won’t be disappointed! Let’s get started.  

Duffel bag in the washer & dryer:

Duffel bags are washable in the washer. However, they must be made of strong fabrics like polyester or nylon. You can use a mild detergent and put the washer on a gentle wash cycle. Try not to use too much warm water. Additionally, you must not put the bag in the dryer, it can damage it.

Duffle bags are multipurpose. From gym to road trips they have been proven useful in every aspect. However, they need washes to be able to give you their best. Additionally, there are conditions that must be kept in mind while cleaning them.    

Duffel bag in washer:

Duffel bags are washable. Now, you have two options. One; hand wash them and two; directly throw them into the washer! 

However, the thumb rule is to use a mild detergent. You must avoid using any sorts of harsh detergent or soap. Before you go on and put your duffel bag in the washer, make sure you check the label. 

The label must show you whether the bag is machine washable or not. For example, canvas duffels are recommended to be hand washed. The material makes a huge difference on how the bag would react to a machine wash. 

Generally, bags made of nylon, polyester, vinyl, linen and acrylic duffel bags are machine washable. At times, duffel bags made with cotton can also be machine washed. However, it’s best to check the label to ensure that the bag is safe for a machine wash. 

Also, keep in mind that all the fabrics are different and they have different care procedures. So, if you play it right, you’ll get your duffel bag washed so well that it looks good as new.    

Duffel bag in dryer:

Duffel bags must not be placed in the dryer. Even though you can put the bags in the washer, it’s a no-no when it comes to putting duffle bags in the dryer. 

If the bags are placed in the dryer, they may shrink, wrinkle, soften and in worse cases lose their entire structure. The best way to dry duffel bags is to air dry them. You can place them on your front porch. You can also hang them. 

However, under one condition you can put them in the dryer. That is if it is mentioned in the label. Depending on the material it can vary. Therefore, be sure to check the label before taking any steps.

How to know if my duffel bag is machine washable?

Most duffel bags that are made from polyester, nylon, vinyl, linen etc are usually considered to be machine washable. However, there can be exceptions.     

Nike duffel bag: 

As per the thumb rule you can machine wash your Nike duffel bag. However, to ensure safety you must check the label or contact your manufacturer. Additionally, you would want to put the bag in a mesh bag or into a pillowcase in order to provide extra protection.  

Adidas duffel bag: 

Adidas duffles bags are machine washable. However, they are recommended to be washed with bleach-free detergent. 

Additionally, they should be washed in the machine’s gentle wash cycle with cold water. Moreover, you would want to remove the straps and turn the bag inside out before placing it in the machine. 

However, to be sure that it can go in the washer, check the label on the bags or contact a professional.        

Canvas duffle bag:

Although canvas duffel bags do their best when hand washed, you can put them in the washer. You can use lukewarm water to wash the canvas duffel bags. Additionally, make sure to avoid hot water at all costs. 

Using excessive hot water can damage the bag and it may result in shrinking. Moreover, try to put it on a gentle wash cycle using a mild detergent.   

Additionally,  to be completely sure whether they are machine washable or not, check the label or contact your manufacturer.

How to clean the duffel in the washer?

Before you move on to cleaning your duffel bag in the washer, go ahead and double check if the bag is machine washable. Here is how to clean a duffel bag in washer: 

Preparing the bag for wash: 

First things first, empty the bag properly and take off the straps. The next thing you wanna do is turn the bag inside out. For additional safety, you can put the bag in a mesh bag or in a pillow case. This way the zippers and buckles will stay secured. 

Washing with a load of towel or blanket: 

The next thing you would want to do is wash the bag with a load of blanket or towel. As duffel bags are heavy, washing them with other essentials may damage those delicate items. 

Using a mild detergent and gentle wash cycle: 

Two things you need to keep in mind. One; hot water is a no-no and two; any bleach-based detergent could easily ruin the color of the bag. Whereas, hot water will cause the bag to shrink or wrinkle and compromise with the lifespan. 

Therefore, it is highly recommended to use a gentle wash with a mild detergent. Every fabric has their own care routine. This is why, check the care tag of the bag before using any sort of detergent or cleaning agent.

Dos and don’ts for cleaning duffel bags: 

Like everything else, there are do’s and don’ts for duffel bags too. 

The list below is some do’s and don’ts for duffel bags: 


Storing them properly: 

Storing the bag properly is a necessity for maintaining the lifespan of the bag. You can store them in dustbags, when they are not being used. Avoid using boxes. Additionally, you can stuff them with blankets to prevent them from misshaping.

Using silica gel: 

When stored use at least 2 packs of silica gel for each bag.silica gels help absorb any kind of moisture that is left behind and it also prevents bugs. For additional safety, you can silica gel beads once in a while.


Using chemicals on bag: 

Your duffel bags can sometimes get stains on them. However, it is important to be able to maintain the health of the bag while keeping it clean. Therefore, try not to use any sorts of cleaning agent or detergent that has harsh chemicals such as bleach in them. 

Applying artificial heat:       

One more thing you need to keep in mind is to never apply artificial heat on your bag. If it comes in contact with water do not place it in the dryer or use a hairdryer to dry out the bag. 

This can result in mishappening the bag and decrease its lifespan.

How to properly wash and dry your duffel bag?

There are two ways to wash a duffle bag. And handwashing them is a safer choice. However, if you do not choose to do that you can simply put it into a machine and run a gentle cycle. Anyhow, here is how to properly wash and dry your duffel bag: 

Preparing the bag and soap-water mixture: 

Start with emptying the bag and take off the straps and other belongings from the bag. Once you have emptied the bag, place it in your bathtub. In a bucket, take ¼  ounces of mild detergent and mix it with water thoroughly. 

Scrubbing the bag:

With the help of a cleaning brush, scrub the bag using the soap-water mixture. First dip the brush in the mixture and then scrub it. Once you have scrubbed the bag, rinse it with more cold water to get rid of the soapy water. 

Air-drying the bag: 

Once you’re done rinsing, place the bag on a towel and wait for an hour or so. This will absorb all the extra water. If you notice any stains you can apply, a stain removal spray. Additionally, you can use disinfecting wipes to clean the bag. And lastly air-dry it in the sun. 

Final thoughts

You can put a duffle bag in the washer. It needs to be washed at a gentle wash cycle using a mild detergent or liquid soap. Additionally, you would want to make sure the bag is machine washable by checking the care tag. Anyhow, you must not put the bag in the dryer. It can lead to causing damage.