Cleaning Duluth Pack

I have had my gear stored this summer and my Duluth pack has picked up some mildew while in storage. What is the best way to clean my pack without damage? It is made of waxed canvas and I do not want to damage the canvas. Please advise?



I’d try
some warm water, soap, and a soft brush. Bleach water would kill the mildew, but also attack the color of the cloth.

I hang my packs up with the liners removed to avoid mildew. A dry basement is a wonderful thing when you have outdoor gear to store. I built 12’ shelves from floor to ceiling across a wall in my basement. The canoe packs hang from hooks mounted on the floor joists.

a little sunlight
can help get rid of mildew --it hates ultraviolet. If you can hang it in strong sunshine for a couple of days (bring it in at night) it will help freshen it up. The stains may endure but you’ll sock the spores. Storing gear in a room with natural light isn’t always possible but it does help cut down on molds and mildew.

is a product available at medical supplu stores. Used for disinfecting mattresses etc it is a bacteriacide, fungicide, mildewcide, deodorant, germicide and more. In my experience it kills mildew in ceiling tiles, so it should work on canvas as well.


Usually Wash Mine A Couple Times…

– Last Updated: Nov-15-09 10:20 PM EST –

....every year. I hang them to air dry for a few days after every trip then brush the dust off. Launder them when they get really dirty. Never damaged mine washing them and letting them air dry. Bleach just lightens the dark green to a moss-green color. The "Colored" Duluth packs I've had never lightened with bleach, though. Had bought a new #4 from a friend last year so I sold a couple old ones this year that were over 20 years old. Both had been laundered 1-2 times a year, so probably 30-40 something washes. WW

Try a diluted white vinegar/water solution. Then rinse and hang in the sun.

Terry, are your packs waxed canvas?
I think that nearly all Duluth packs made over the last several decades have been unwaxed, but one of my two “Frost River” packs is waxed, and a factory rep told me that waxing the canvas is a very recent revival of the way such packs were made more than 50 years ago (the “Frost River” company is now defunct, and until now, I didn’t know that Duluth might have revived the waxed-canvas option too). Anyway, the clothing maker “Filson” makes lots of old-fashioned, waxed-canvas outdoor clothes, and they say that waxed canvas should NEVER be washed, because it will destroy the wax AND make a sticky, un-cleanable mess inside your washing machine! Washing regular canvas is okay, and if your washing machine came through the experience okay, I’m guessing your packs were the UN-waxed variety. Does that sound right to you?

UN Waxed!
Didn’t notice that his packs were “Waxed” canvas. Thought they were the standard canvas like mine. WW