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How to clean and take care of straw bags?

Rattan and straws are natural materials, as durable as they are, you still need to provide care to your bag to ensure they last long. Try these steps to restore and preserve the beauty of straw rattan bags without damaging the delicate material.

Shelly Boho Sling Bag
(Shelly Boho Sling Bag)

1. Prep your straw rattan bags for cleaning.
Make sure you remove all the dirt and crumbs out from your bag by giving it a gentle shake.

Check if your bag has any care labels, because every bag is built differently, what works for one doesn't mean it will work for all. Follow the care instructions if any.

Watch out for coloured straw bags as they might be sprayed with dyes that could be easily removed during the cleaning.

Test the straw rattan bag’s colorfastness by gently wiping on the inner edge or bottom of the bag first, before wiping it entirely with a damp cloth.

Next, fill up your straw bag with unwanted cloth or clean paper to keep the shape of the bag before cleaning. You do not need to stuff your bag if the material is hard enough to hold its shape.

Bohemian Straw Beach Tote
(Bohemian Straw Beach Tote)

2. Clean the straw bag.
Now you are ready to clean your straw rattan bag:

  1. Mix two to three drops of dish soap or baby shampoo with cold water into a clean bowl. Do not use too much soap.
  2. Use a white cotton cloth to clean. The reason for using white cloth is a precaution to prevent any cloth colour from running and ruining your bag. If you do not have a white cloth, you can use your old t-shirt but make sure to test out the colour doesn't run.
  3. Next, dab the corner of the cloth into soapy mixture and thoroughly wring off the excess water to prevent water damage to your straw rattan bag. Wipe down the bag gently in the direction of the straw weave to remove surface dirt and avoid scrubbing vigorously as it will damage the straw fibers.
  4. Once you are done, rinse the cloth with cold water to get rid of the soap residue and wring thoroughly again.
  5. Use the damp cloth to blot the straw bag gently to remove any leftover soap.
  6. Let the straw bag dry naturally and away from direct sunlight or heat. Allow the bag to dry for at least 12 hours in a well-ventilated area.

3) What if its grease stain?

If the above method doesn't work, don't fret about it. Create a soapy mixture with warm water, use a clean toothbrush instead of cloth this time and gently brush the stained area at the direction of the straw weave. Once you are done, blot the area with damp clean cloth to remove the soap residue. Make sure to wring the cloth properly to remove excess water before wiping.

4) There's dirt and dust on my straw bag.

To remove the dirt and dust, you may use a vacuum cleaner. Using the upholstery brush attachment, gently graze the hose over the surface of the straw bag.
If you do not have the upholstery brush, you may use other small attachment on your vacuum and place a sheer nylon stocking over the nozzle end of the vacuum attachment instead. Use a rubber band to keep the stocking in place.

5) My glossy straw bag colour became dull over time.
Depending on the materials of your bag, some bags can be brightened with alcohol bath. Test a small spot in your bag first to check the colorfastness. Do not proceed if the colour starts to run off.

Dilute alcohol with water, apply about 4:1 ratio of alcohol to water, then use a clean cloth to gently blot over the surface of the straw bag.
On a darker straw bag, you may use dark-coloured cloth instead, then polish with a piece of dark-coloured velvet.

Rattan Bag
(Round Rattan Bag)

6) Tears in my straw bag.
We recommend to get professional hangbag repair service to do it for you, but if you have to D-I-Y yourself, you may use the following steps:

This only works best for straw rattan bags without lining. You may fix small tears with rubber cement by smearing it from inside of the bag on the back of the tear. Next, place the fabric up against the tear to seal for 15-20 seconds. Upon drying, pat the area with a cloth and let it dry overnight. If needed, remove excess glue with tweezers.

Round Straw Bag
(Round Straw Handbag)

7) Limpy straw bag.
Brush over your limp straw bag with a coat of clear shellac diluted with equal amount of alcohol.

8) Straw bag gotten wet.
Wipe immediately with a clean cloth and set it to dry naturally as mentioned above. Natural straw and rattan bag are prone to mold if not taken care of.

9) Mold/Mildew on my straw rattan bag.
No worries if you find molds or mildew on your bag, we recommend you to buy a new one (just kidding). We suggest to get a professional to clean out for you. If you are on a budget, you may use a mix of bleach and water to clean the bag. Please note bleach might damage the delicate straw and rattan bag if not done carefully.

10) Any additional steps to protect my bag?
If its a brand new straw bag and you have a scotchgard in hand, give your bag a good spray to protect it from stains. If your bag is coloured and you wish to protect the colour from fading, you may use a coat of shellac. Set them to dry naturally before using.

Boho Summer Woven Bag
(Boho Summer Woven Bag)

11) Storing straw bags.
You have to store your straw and rattan bags properly as they are made of natural materials. Keep your bags away from humidity and direct sunlight.
We highly recommend you to keep the bag in a cotton dust or storage bag to prevent dust from accumulating. Avoiding keeping straw bag in a plastic bag since this can trap moisture, which could cause mildew. If needed, you may stuff your straw bag with old cloth to prevent it from going out of shape. 

Love and take care of your rattan bags because each of them are handmade by the artisans, view here for more unique straw bags collection.


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