How to Wash a Knife Bag: Easiest Two (2) Steps for Cleaning

Washing a knife bag is fairly simple. Our guide is in two parts, cleaning a leather knife bag and cleaning canvas or bags made from other materials.

It is important to know that you cannot clean a leather bag the same way you clean a canvas or a fabric bag.

Leather has unique properties that require it to be cleaned differently.

Cleaning a Leather Knife Bag

What you need:

  1. Warm water
  2. Detergent
  3. Vinegar (Optional)
  4. Clothe/towel
  5. Sponge
  6. Leather moisturizer

Step 1. Preparation

The preparation step is a three-stage process that includes dusting the surface of the bag and making the detergent and testing the detergent.

You can only hand-clean your leather bags or rolls. Leather cannot be cleaned using a washing machine.


Using a cloth, towel or rag, wipe the surface of the knife bag to remove any kind of dust and dirt. Leather is a very delicate material and including this step in your cleaning process will prevent you from over cleaning it.

Dusting removes dirt on the surface and you will remain with some few stains and dirt to clean with water and detergent.

Making a detergent

To clean leather you need a very mild detergent. You can purchase some leather detergent from the store but it is easier to make your own at home.

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To make a leather cleaning detergent, use mild facial soap or baby soap. Mix the soap and warm water in a ratio of 1 part of detergent to 8 parts of water. If your bag is very dirty you can add a few drops of vinegar. However, this is not necessary.

Spot test your detergent

Before you can use your detergent, you need to test if it is compatible with the leather material of your bag. This will prevent damaging of the bag by a harsh solution.

Apply a small amount of the solution on a hidden part of the bag. Wait for a few minutes. Wipe off the solution after the few minutes elapses and check for any effect such as wrinkling and discoloration.

If there is an effect, you will need to make another detergent or dilute your detergent further. If there is no effect, you can start cleaning your knife bag.

Step 2. Cleaning the leather roll

To clean your leather bag, use the tested detergent and a towel/cloth and follow these steps:

Removing dirt

Damp the towel in the solution and use it to wipe the bag. Squeeze the towel/cloth of any excess solution. Use only a damp towel. Excess water will damage the leather.

Make sure to wipe all parts of the roll, every pocket, and the straps too. Wipe gently until all dirt spots are removed.

Removing Stains

If your roll has some stains, you need to get rid of them. You do not need to scrub hard or to use a harsh detergent to remove the stains. Make a leather stain removal solution from your kitchen.

Mix one part of tartar and one part of lemon juice to make a leather stain removing solution. Stir the solution to form a paste.

Put the paste on the stained areas, leave it for a few minutes, and wipe it off with a cloth. If the stains are still present, repeat the process, or leave the paste on the spots for a few hours before cleaning it off.


Once you have removed all dirt and stains, it is time to rinse your leather roll. Wash the towel/cloth to remove all soap and residue and rinse it with clean water.

Squeeze all water from the cloth to avoid damping you leather excessively. Use the cloth to wipe off all detergent from the bag. Make sure to wipe all parts of the roll.

Step 3. Drying and conditioning

After rinsing, use a dry towel to remove any excess water.

Check the bag thoroughly if there are any hidden stains that may need to be worked on. If they are no more stains, leave the bag to air dry naturally.

Once your roll is dry, recondition it using oil to make it soft and to protect the leather.

To recondition your bag, use a small amount leather conditioners or you can use olive oil. Spread the oil using a sponge or your fingers all over the bag.

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Cleaning Knife Bags Made of Canvas or Other Materials:

What you will need:

  1. Washing liquid/mild laundry detergent
  2. Warm water
  3. Bleach(Optional)
  4. A soft bristled brush or an old toothbrush
  5. A sponge
  6. A towel
  7. Fabric Protector

Step 1. Preparation

To start your cleaning process, you need to prepare the items you need. You will need some cleaning solution; you need to remove surface dust as well as stains.

Brush off surface dirt

Use the soft bristle brush to brush off any dirt from the surface of the bag. You can also hit and shake off the dust from the bag with your hands. Removing excess surface dirt makes the cleaning of the bag easier.

Make your cleaning mixture

You can mix any mild detergent such as dishwashing soap, mild body soap, or a mild laundry detergent to make your cleaning mixture.

Mix the detergent with warm water. Consider using one cup of water to � a teaspoon of detergent.

You can increase you mixture quantity using the same ratio approximations.

Mix the mixture with the brush (brittlebush or the old toothbrush) until your mixture begins to make some bubbles.

If your knife bag is white, you can add some bleach into the solution to remove stains from the white material. Use only a mild bleach to avoid yellowing of the bag’s material.


Apply the cleaning solution over all the areas of the bag. Leave the bag to rest for about 40 minutes to let the solution soak into the bag’s material.

This soaking process helps to remove stubborn dirt and stains.

Check if the bag can be machine-washed from its label. If it is washable by machine, you can then put it in the machine and use a mild laundry detergent to wash it.

However, if your bag is not washable by machine, use our step-by-step guide to clean your knife bag properly.

Hand washing is also preferred as t is gentle and you can work on specific areas that have stains and spots. Machine-washing may also destroy the glued areas of the bag.

Step 2. Cleaning

These are the steps to use when handling cleaning your knife bag (except for the leather bags). Scrub the bag with the bristle/ toothbrush.

Dip your soft bristle brush or the old toothbrush into the warm cleaning solution, and start scrubbing the bag. Move the brush in circles to loosen the dirt and to remove stains.

Repeat the process, dipping the brush in the cleaning mixture and scrubbing the bag thoroughly.

Try not to submerge the bag in the water solution as this may destroy the glued areas. Instead, hold the bag and scrub it with the brush.

Unlike leather, canvas and other materials can tolerate more dampness. Therefore, you can apply as much solution as you want until you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the bag’s material.

However, you do not have to apply too much pressure while scrubbing your bag. Too much pressure may damage the knife bag’s material.

Rinsing the knife bag

Use a clean wet cloth to clean off all the lather from the bag. You can also lightly spray some clean water on the bag to remove the lather.

Repeat the rinsing process until all detergent is cleaned off the bag’s material. Thorough rinsing is important to avoid damaging and discoloration of the material.

Step 3. Drying

Use a dry towel/cloth to remove excess water from your knife bag. Once you have removed the excess water, air-dry the bag in an open area or under the sun.

Make sure you bag is completely dry before picking it up from its drying place. Apply a fabric protectant on the bag’s material. Spray the protectant only on a completely dried bag. A fabric protectant will keep your bag from damage by repelling water and dirt.

What's Next?

Clean your knife bags regularly. Especially if you use them frequently. Consider the material the bag is made from and follow the right procedure to clean it. We prefer to clean knife bags by hand.

Hand washing allows you to pay attention to all its pockets, straps and any present stains or spots. All bags need to dry properly to avoid smells and growth of mildew. Clean knife bags last long.

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