Travel Gear

How to Clean and Care for Your Sherpani Bag, A Complete Guide

In the days of fast fasion and its subsequent environmental impact, Sherpani is proud to be recognized for making products that last. One of the best ways to practice conscious consumerism is by investing in high-quality products, and then using them for as long as you are able. Some of our customers have been carrying the same Sherpani bag for a decade!

We want your Sherpani bags to stay with you for years, and, of course, to accompany you on many adventures! To achieve this, it’s important to know how to care for your bag properly.

Though we stand by the durability of our bags, we also know that life can get messy. Whether it was sticky toddler hands grabbing for mommy’s purse or a tragic coffee spill that resulted in an undercaffeinated commute, the wear-and-tear of life is bound to take its toll. So if your Sherpani bag looks less than brand new these days, we definitely get it. And we’re here to help!

This leads us to one of our most common questions…

How do I Clean My Sherpani Bag?

The best way to clean your Sherpani bag is by hand. Here is a step-by-step of our full recommended method:

What you’ll need:
  1. Cotton swabs
  2. Dish Soap
  3. Lint Roller
  4. Tape (any kind)
  5. Toothbrush
  6. Vacuum with a hand-held attachment
  7. Water
  8. White cloth x3

Want a dish soap recommendation? Check out our friends at Boulder CleanBesides our shared value of sustainability, we also share a hometown, beautiful Boulder, Colorado!


Step One: Clean the Interior

First things first, empty your Sherpani bag. Don’t forget to check all the pockets. (Can we just say that we love this part? Hello, missing earring back, nice to see you again. A long-forgotten fortune cookie prophecy? Yes, please!)

Next, try to turn your bag inside out. This will be easier with some designs than others. Once inside out, you can easily vacuum away all crumbs and accumulated dust from the main compartment.

If the inside-out trick isn’t working, you can try lint-rolling the interior lining of your bag. When it comes to the bottom, we suggest making a sticky tape ball to roll around inside and pick up any stubborn crumbs. This tape ball method should also do the trick for cleaning the smaller compartments and zipper pockets.


Step Two: Spot Clean the Exterior

Now it’s time to tackle the tough stains that tell the story of your bag’s usage. For these, make a soapy solution with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Stir the solution with a toothbrush and use the brush to clean any stains. Use small, circular motions - and be patient! If you can’t tell whether or not a stain is coming out, wait until the next day when the bag is fully dry to decide if you need to hit the stain again.

Note: Never use bleach on your Sherpani bag!


Step Three: Clean the Exterior

Soak one of your white cloths in the remaining soapy solution from step two. Ring out the cloth so it is damp, not soaking. Wipe down the entire exterior of your bag. Dampen a second cloth with warm water only, and wipe down the exterior again to remove any soapy residue. Use the third, dry cloth for a final wipe down to give your bag a head start on drying.

Note: We suggest using white cloths to avoid the chance of color bleeding onto your bag.


Step Four: Polish the Hardware

Dip cotton swabs into your soupy solution and posh the hardware until it shines! Be sure to fully dry off the hardware with your dry cloth after polishing.

Number Five: Air Dry

Store your bag away from direct sunlight and allow it to air dry for twenty-four hours. To take your bag care to the next level, stuff it with uncolored tissue paper (small bag) or a white towel (large bag) so that it holds its shape while drying.

The steps above will keep your Sherpani bags looking new for years!


More Common Care Questions:
Where Should I Store My Sherpani Bag?

Store in a dry area, out of reach from direct sunlight. Exposing your Sherpani bag to direct sunlight for extended periods of time can cause discoloration and make the bag look worn out.

Are Sherpani Bags Water-Resistant?

Yes! Most Sherpani bags are water-resistant, not waterproof. While Sherpani bags are durable enough to hold up in bad weather, be aware that water can seep in through the cracks of the zipper.

Is This Real Leather?

We do not use real leather in our designs. We use a vegan, recycled material that imitates the stylish look and feel of authentic leather. Our sustainable “leather” alternative elevates our designs while maintaining our standards for sustainable manufacturing. It’s the best of both worlds!

Are Sherpani Bags Machine Washable?

The technical answer here is no. Although…

Over the years, many happy Sherpani customers have reported that their Sherpani bags do just fine in the washing machine. They recommend a gentle wash cycle with cold water, then to let the bag air dry. We appreciate this feedback and felt it was worth passing along. However, Sherpani does not guarantee that our bags are machine washable, and we’d like you to note that should you try this method, it will void your bag’s warranty.

While it’s not an official recommendation, we wanted you to know this method has worked well for others. Do with that information what you will. 🙂


A little effort goes a long way when it comes to making a product last. With the guide above, we are confident your Sherpani bag will live a long and happy life!

At Sherpani, we believe that the bags we make are just as important as the choices we make. We provide products and resources that empower our community to live sustainably. Every day, we strive to do right by our people and our planet.


Discover More from the Sherpani Travel Blog

Learn more about our sustainability story in How Sherpani Bags Reduce Ocean Plastic

Read about recent Sherpani outreach in Sherpani Charity Highlight: Brighter Path Scholarship

Discover your next favorite, long-lasting bag in Product Spotlight: Four Sherpani Anti-Theft Bags for Travel

By women for women, the Sherpani Travel Blog talks about all things travel. With a new post every week on Travel Tuesday, our blog is the go-to place for unique travel guidesgeneral travel tipspersonal travel stories from women in our community, and more!

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Bags Butler

Bags Butler

Great post. Caring for your bags is an investment in both style and functionality.

Michelle Crain

Michelle Crain

I have been fortunate to have scored two Sherpani bags in excellent condition at Boulder thrift stores (not at the same time). All the pieces in tact for both! Great products.

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