How to Clean a Gig Bag

We’ve all been there. Your gig bag is looking a little worse for wear, having picked up more dirt than change while busking at that one spot. Maybe you took your guitar out of your bag to change your broken E string and your cat decided that the bag was its new home. There are few things worse than trying to get fur, fluff and the smell of pet out of your gig bag. Sometimes you’ll find that your pet has taken it a step too far, and has sprayed or failed toilet training in your gig bag. You may be tempted to simply take the bag to the dry cleaner and have them try to wash it. Trust us when we say this won’t work – you’ll never get that smell out if it’s a cat, and even if it was a dog, putting your gig bag through the wash, dry cleaner or not, will strip the bag of its water resistant properties, make it water absorbent, and it can even hold water in the foam padding depending on the quality of your gig bag. If it’s that far gone, save yourself the trouble and invest in a new gig bag from Fusion Bags today. If it’s just a little hair and the smell of cat, read on to find out how to clean your gig bag.

Step One: Deodorise

Don’t reach for your can of deodorant – more often than not they’ll leave horrible white marks which can be a real pain to remove. Don’t worry about going and buying a new can of deodorant which promises not to leave white marks, either. The trick here is baking soda.

Open your gig bag and sprinkle baking across the soft fabric. Baking soda is fantastic when it comes to removing odours, can be used on anything from fabric to fridges. Leave the baking soda to settle, for a time period based how bad the bag smells. Generally speaking 1-4 hours is about right. Once you’re done, take a vacuum cleaner and use the nozzle to lightly remove the powder. Avoid using a brush attachment which will force the baking powder into the fabric.

If baking powder isn’t doing the trick, you can try something more heavy duty like Glade’s Carpet and Room powder which is specifically designed to tackle pet odours.

Step Two: Masking tape

Take some masking tape and wrap it around your fingers, sticky side out. Any remaining hair, dust or dirt can be lifted out by dabbing it with the tape. Don’t use any plastic tapes like cellotape or packing tape as the glue residue will stick to the lining and can either damage it or leave residue behind. As tempting as it is being a musician, never use gaffer tape. This is one of the few things that gaffer tape won’t fix.

Step Three: The pockets

Pockets are easy to forget about when cleaning, but you should take this as an opportunity to clean out the rest of your bag. Empty out the pockets of your gig bag and make sure that you put everything you don’t need to one side. Vacuum out the pockets, and deodorise them if necessary.

Step Four: The outside

Now that the inside has been taken care of, all that’s left is the outside. Get a bucket and mix up some mild dish soap and warm water. Take an old rag or soft cloth and wipe away any dirt which has built up and dried on. If any dirt is particularly stubborn a soft or medium bristled bottle brush can be used to try to scour away the dirt – just take care not to damage the bag in the process.

Step Five: Repack your bag

Now that you have a clean smelling, new-looking bag which you’ll be happy to take to your next gig, it’s time to get it ready for your next gig. Make sure that you have room for all your essentials – spare strings, valve oils, sheet music, music stands, sample CDs, business cards – everything you need as a travelling musician. If you need extra room for all your essentials, you should consider investing in a gig bag from our Fuse-On range.

Remember that there are some things which simply can’t be cleaned using the above method – a can of fizzy drink which burst in your bag being a notorious example. If you’re in need of any help or advice, or if you need an innovative new gig bag which will keep your instrument safe between venues, make sure you call Fusion Bags today.

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