Techniques & Advice, The Lowdown

How to Clean and Maintain your Duluth Pack Bags

May 21, 2012
Duluth Pack Monarch

Caring for your Duluth Pack is easier than you may think.  It’s time to take your packs out of the closet, if you haven’t already, and get them ready for your next adventure!


Caring for your Canvas & Leather
Duluth Pack Products

Duluth Pack products only get better with age. Here are a few maintenance suggestions to help your product last a lifetime.

Washing and Maintaining:

When not in use, store Duluth Pack products in a cool, dry and well ventilated area to avoid mold and mildew.  If washing becomes necessary, spot wash with warm water and a mild soap, such as the Mirazyme Odor Eliminator. This can be done at the beginning of the season if you find your packs have a musty smell.

Leather Care:

Oil and condition leather components on a regular basis or when leather looks dry.  Without proper conditioning, the leather will become brittle and may break when you really don’t want it to!  We suggest Lexol Leather care products such as Lexol Leather Conditioner (also available in Quick Wipes).

Canvas Care:

You can make your canvas pack even more water-resistant, by using Nikwax Cotton Proof as directed.  Our waxed canvas products can be re-waxed as needed, or applied with Nikwax Wax-Cotton Proof.  When using your packs this summer, remember the following:

1. Our canvas is over dyed and when wet, the canvas may bleed.

2. Remove contents and allow the product to dry completely.

3. Canvas is a natural, water resistant, and breathable fiber, which means it will dry quickly and completely so you won’t have to worry about your stuff being wet for an entire trip!

Want to see these tips in action? Check out our demonstration video here: How to Clean a Duluth Pack.


Find all Care and Maintenance products for your Duluth Pack here.



  • David August 24, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I recently purchased a used Duluth Pack which someone had treated heavily with a wax-based waterproofing. The canvas is actually stiff–more like a waxed cotton raincoat than something treated with Nikwax or similar. And the waterproofing has held up nicely….the trouble is, it was stored in a garage and smells terrible. I suspect anything carried in it would take on the same smell and definitely do not want that. But….I have no idea how to clean the smelly old wax off or at least deodorize it.

    Does anyone have any ideas they’d care to share? It’s a beautiful vintage pack….it just needs some attention to repair someone’s attempt to “improve” it.

    • BetsyM. August 28, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Hi David,
      Congratulations on an amazing find! We have a few ideas that can definitely help you out. For starters, make sure you leave the pack outside to air out for several days. Then, we recommend you try Mirazyme Odor Eliminator to get rid of the smell. If you would like to re-apply the wax coating, you could try either Nikwax Wax Proof or Filson Tin Wax. Hope this helps!

  • Christy June 15, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Hi there,
    I love my Duluth backpack, and have used it as a makeshift diaper bag. My son’s sippy cups have leaked all over it and I’m curious how to get the dried milk off-what to you recommend?

    • Abby June 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Hi Christy,
      Sorry about your spill! We recommend using Mirazyme Odor Eliminator (a mild soap) with warm water. Do not submerge the entire pack – we don’t want to ruin the leather!
      Good luck!

  • Molly October 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I have the khaki market tote and mistakenly wore new jeans and the jean dye rubbed off on the bag. Do you have any suggestions on getting it out?

  • diana madden March 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    My daughter spilled cocoa on her canvas Duluth pack, why can’t you just wash it in the machine on gentle cycle, I’m not concerned about the leather getting wet (the canvas does not feel waxed), but I can’t get past my need to submerge it in water. Our machine is front loading with no agitator.

    • MollyS March 21, 2014 at 11:40 am

      That should be fine, but the leather will crack and split so please air dry the pack and immediately treat all leather with a leather conditioner.
      Good luck!

  • William O May 28, 2017 at 5:12 am

    Hi, I have a Duluth scout pack in plain canvas material (pale white), and it has gotten moldy over time. May I ask how I should go about getting it cleaned?

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