Parenting tasks 101: How to wash a diaper bag

Parenting tasks 101: How to wash a diaper bag
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Diaper bags are made of waterproof materials and come with an easy-to-clean lining. But there will come a time that you need to wash it. It is important to keep it clean and sanitized to keep viruses and bacteria away from your baby essentials. So, this article will show you how to wash a diaper bag.

Your diaper bag accumulates dirt in different ways: putting it on dirty surfaces, milk spills, preparing infant formula, food leaks, and worse, leaky diapers. Fortunately, washing and cleaning a diaper bag is easy. Here are few steps to do it.

Steps in how to wash a diaper bag: Hand washing

When the bag is very dirty or has been stained by spilled juice or diaper leak, you need to wash it. To keep its quality, the most preferred and recommended method is by hand washing it. It is easy and doesn’t take much time and effort.

  1. Use a large bucket that can hold the entire diaper bag.
  2. Fill the bucket with water and mix with a mild detergent soap.
  3. Place the diaper in the bucket with water-detergent mixture.
  4. Soak the bag for few hours to help dirt loosen up and break up stains.
  5. Brush the diaper bag using a soft brush. You may also want to brush the exterior surface of the bag to make it look new and also remove dirt.
  6. Rinse the bag with clean water and hang it for air drying.

Washing the diaper bag in the machine

For people who ask if they can wash diaper bag in the machine, the answer is that it depends. But this is for sure: Diaper bags made of leather should not be put in the washing machine.

Other diaper bags are also not machine washable unless stated by the manufacturer. Put it at your own risk if you insist.

Make sure the you empty the bag before washing. Check if there’s any coins, metal, or pins left inside. These items will hit the bag surfaces and cause damage.

Also take out any stiffener and clean it separately by hand. This stiffener is usually made of cardboard covered with the same material used for the bag. Soaking it in the water will shorten its lifespan.

For machine washable diaper bags, make sure that you use room-temperature water. The machine should be set to mild/delicate setting and use a mild detergent. Rinse it well to remove excess detergent.

Air dry it and avoid drying it under direct sunlight. Also, don’t dry it using a dyer; doing so might cause the bag to shrink or melt its sensitive parts.

Steps in how to spot clean a polyester, vinyl, or nylon diaper bag

  1. Remove all the contents of the bag. Open the zippers, turn the pockets and the entire bag upside down to remove crumbs and other dirt.
  2. Combine water and 2-3 drops of mild soap in a small bowl. Mix them well.
  3. Dip a small clean cloth into the water-soap mixture and squeeze excess water. It should not be dripping wet.
  4. Rub the damp cloth on the surfaces of the diaper bag. Pay attention to the areas with visible stains. For deep-seated dirt and stains, rub the surface in a circular motion while rubbing it gently. If the stain still doesn’t go away, mix baking soda and water and scrub it in the surface using a toothbrush.
  5. Use a dry, clean towel to wipe the bag dry.
  6. Hang the bag and air dry it.

If your diaper bag is made of leather, the steps above can also be applied. Leather cleaner can be used with genuine leather. It has a formula that protects the bag from flaking, wrinkling, or cracking.

It will even lengthen its life span and keep it in shape. For faux leather, use a water and soap combination because faux leather is basically plastic.


It is important to keep your diaper bag clean. You can spot dry it by following the easy steps above. But for very dirty diaper bags with deep-seated dirt and stains, you need to wash it with water and a mild detergent mix.

Make sure that you apply appropriate washing tips for diaper bags made of specific materials such leather, polyester, faux leather, and others.

Diaper bags are made of durable materials but they still need proper washing to keep their quality and prevent damage.

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