5 Steps for Washing an L.L.Bean Tote Bag (Helpful Tips)

When your nice looking L.L. Bean tote bag start picking up dirt, it’s time to wash and clean it. Since there are different ways to clean a tote bag, I decided to write about the simple steps that I follow when cleaning it up.

The best way to wash a tote bag is with a little warm water, a gentle soap or detergent, and a circular scrubbing motion with a soft bristle toothbrush.

For more tips and tricks, check out my step-by-step guide on washing a tote bag below!

L.L.Bean Tote Bag

Steps for Washing an L.L. Bean Tote Bag

While there isn’t anything that states you cannot wash your L.L. Bean tote bag in the washing machine, it isn’t recommended for multiple washes, and the instructions provided by the company states to “spot wash.”

Because it’s the easy and recommended way to clean your bag, that’s the way that I prefer to go about it.

Before getting started, you should prepare your tools, grabbing all of your products ahead of time including,

  • A soft bristle toothbrush
  • Warm water
  • A gentle soap or detergent
  • Two soft dry washcloths

Step One: Soak any Stains

Before you scrub or rub the dirty location on the tote, you first want to we the location to loosen up any dirt or spills.

Get your soft fabric washcloth out and dip it into the warm water, and firmly apply it to the location. Do not scrub it; just dab it on until the area is wet.

Step Two: Gently Scrub the Location with Soap

After a minute or two of letting the location soak, mix a tablespoon of soap in with the warm water and with the toothbrush, gently scrub at the spot in a circular motion until it is completely cleaned away.

Step Three: Rinse Away the Soapy Residue

Dip the original washcloth in clean water and gently rub it on the soapy area of the tote until the foaming and bubbling are non-existent. This may require multiple dips and rinses.

Step Four: Remove Access Water

Using the second washcloth, lightly dab away all water possible until the area is only moist with no soap or drips.

Step Five: Dry Your Tote

Hang your tote bag up on a coat hanger or hook, allowing it to fully air dry, or you can use a blow dryer on the low setting to dry it a little quicker.

Machine Washing Your L.L. Bean Tote

If you’re having trouble cleaning the tote or it has simply been a while since your tote has seen any type of cleaning agents, a “spot treatment” isn’t going to be enough.

This is when a washing machine will need to come into play. While you shouldn’t wash your tote like this frequently, once in a while won’t hurt your bag at all as long as you clean it properly.

To safely wash your L.L. Bean tote bag in the washer, set the water on the cold setting and use a mild detergent.

You also want to wash it on its own or with items made from similar materials. Then hang your bag up to air dry in a safe space.

Things to Consider When Washing Your L.L. Bean Tote

Washing your tote shouldn’t be a hassle; however, there are a few things you should always think about before throwing your bag into the machine.

Never Use Hot Water

Most L.L. Bean totes are made from canvas material, which is known for shrinking in warm or hot water.

Never Stick Your Tote in the Dryer

For the same reason, you shouldn’t wash your tote in hot water; you also shouldn’t stick this bag in the dryer.

If you do decide to use the dryer for a quick dry, only keep it in for a very short period, drying it halfway, then reshape the bag and let it finish air-drying.

Empty All Pockets

A stray pen or loose stick of gum can be the end of your beautiful L.L. Bean tote bag. Make sure you check every pocket, crook, and crevice before throwing it into the washer.

Never Use Bleach

While this probably goes without saying, never use bleach or any other harsh chemical on a tote bag. These products can eat away at the material and stain them, ruining the look and performance of the tote.

Final Thoughts

There are a few different ways to clean your tote from L.L. Bean, but I’ve had luck in the past following the steps above. It’s the easiest way and will keep your tote safe and looking as new as ever.

Don’t forget, the best way to wash an L.L. Bean tote is with a simple spot cleaning procedure and you should avoid the washer and dryer since they could damage the bag.