How to Clean and Care For your Dry Bag

Care For your Dry Bag

If you made a huge investment in your dry bag, then it should be reliable, functional, and durable. That is why you have to properly clean and take care of it, because even the best-made gear will fall apart if not maintained.

How do I clean my dry bag?

First, empty all the content, brush off the debris thoroughly, and then wash it with mild soap, down soap, or mild dishwashing soap. Next, rinse off with clean water, and then hang dry it away from direct sunlight. Remember to first check with the manufacturer or to check the label for special cleaning instructions. Some dry bags can be machine-washed while others can only be hand-washed. Check our guide below to know how to clean and care for your dry bag and make it last longer.


If you love water sports, then you might have experienced your gadgets, clothes, and gears getting wet. If you don’t want this to happen again, we suggest that you invest in a good quality dry bag. If you’re not sure which one to get, check out our best dry bags recommendations. 


Prior to washing your dry bag

  • Step 1: Check the care label

    Check for any tags or care labels to make sure that your washing method will not damage your dry bag.

  • Step 2: Empty your dry bag

    Prior to washing it, you have to remove all the content of your dry bag, empty the pockets, and leave them unzipped or unfastened.

  • Step 3: Inspect it

    Inspect the straps and look for any abrasions, tears, or damages. Remove the straps and any carabiners or cords if they are removable, and hand wash them separately.

  • Step 4: Brush off debris

    Brush off the inside and outside of the dry bag to remove any debris, rocks, sand, and dirt.

  • Step 5: Stains

    If you notice any stain, wipe it off right away with a damp cloth and mild detergent or mild antibacterial soap.


How do I hand-wash a dry bag?

  • Step 1: Check the care label

    We strongly recommend you check the dry bag’s care label to learn about the do’s and don’ts.

  • Step 2: Hand-wash it

    • Clean with a sponge, water, and mild soap.
    • Avoid using harsh chemicals or solutions.
    • Wash the zips and attachments to remove any salt and dirt.
    • If your bag has any stains or smells, you can use baking soda with vinegar and spot-clean the area.
    • Rinse off with clean water.
  • Step 3: Dry it

    • Dry it off with a towel.
    • Hang dry in the shade and away from direct sunlight.


How do I machine-wash a dry bag?

  • Step 1: Check the care label

    We strongly recommend you check the dry bag’s care label to learn about the do’s and don’ts.

  • Step 2: Machine-wash it

    Do not follow the steps described below if they’re not recommended by the manufacturer:

    • Fill the machine with cold water.
    • Use mild detergent.
    • Wash your dry bag on a gentle cycle.
  • Step 3: Spin dry it

    • Use a cotton sack before spin-drying to prevent hot-spots.
    • Hang it dry before storing it.


Other tips for care and maintenance

How do I make my dry bag last longer?

  • Do not throw, drop, shove, or drag your dry bag

    Even if your dry bag is constructed with the most rugged materials, you still have to treat it gently so that it can last for many years.

  • Wash it after use (whether dirty or not)

    Washing it inside and out with clean water after every use will prevent deterioration caused by saltwater and any other particles.

  • Store it completely dry

    Storing your dry bag damp or with a bit of moisture on it will inspire some mold, cause a bad smell, and affect the waterproof material over time. That is why you have to make sure your dry bag is completely dry before storing it.

  • Lubricate the zippers

    Clean the zippers with a toothbrush to remove any dirt and sand. Then, spray them with a pure, food-grade silicone spray.

  • Re-waterproof it if necessary

    If the manufacturer recommends you to, you can renew your dry bag’s water-repellent properties using a waterproofing treatment.

  • Avoid storing your bag under the sun for long periods

    Although you can leave your dry bag under the sun during your summer activities, you must not store it under or near direct heat because excessive sun exposure can wear it down. Thus, keep your dry bag in a cool and dry area when not in use.

  • Do not use solvents and harsh soaps

    Keep your dry bag away from sunscreen, alcohol, DEET, gasoline, and any other harsh chemicals because this will cause the laminate to peel away from the bag, thus damaging it and making it useless.

  • Stuff it full

    Your dry bag will work best when it is jam-packed, but not overstuffed. By doing so, there will be enough pressure internally as you roll and clip the bag to close it.

  • Regularly check for damages

    It is your responsibility to check your dry bag for any leaks from time to time. Test it by filling the dry bag with water, and then check for leaks so you can patch them up before using your bag again.


How do I repair my dry bag?

Repair any tears, punctures, and holes in your dry bag with patches.

  • Cover the hole or damage with a patch that extends at least ½ or ¾ beyond the area.
  • Clean the area with soapy water or a small amount of isopropyl alcohol that evaporates quickly.
  • Prime the patch by covering it fully.
  • Make sure the adhesive is clean and doesn’t get in contact with anything.
  • If possible, put the patch inside the bag, but trim it to avoid snagging.
  • Make sure to use a patch made of the same material as your dry bag.


When should I replace my dry bag?

If your dry bag’s material is falling apart or the welds are giving up, then it is time to replace it. However, you can always check if any damages are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. On a side note, it is important to remember that when you treat your gear right, it will last longer.



A dry bag is one of the essential gears that you must always have with you when you want to enjoy any kind of activity in the water. This waterproof sack will keep your belongings, such as your smartphone and wallet, from getting wet. 

Based on their appearance, you might think that you won’t have to do anything to take care of this equipment, but this is not the case. Similar to other kinds of equipment that you use for water activities, such as your surfboard, paddle board, etc., you have to take care of your dry bag to keep it functional. If you follow the tips that we shared, you will be protecting your dry bag which will allow it to properly protect your valuables when you’re out on the water. 

Recent Posts