Confession: I have had my JuJuBe diaper bag for over five years and never cleaned it a single time! Oops! I finally bit the bullet, rolled up my sleeves and tackled this project. I learned what works and what doesn’t, and now I want to show you how to clean your JuJuBe BFF diaper bag — the easy way!
How to clean a JuJuBe BBF diaper bag
How dirty can a JuJuBe bag get? How about 5 years of dirty?
That’s how long I have gone without cleaning my JuJuBe bag. Life just got in the way (as life does) and I never got around to cleaning my diaper bag.
I have carried this bag every single day for the past five years. Then, before I knew it, I picked up my JuJuBe bag one day and saw THIS!
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That is one DIRTY JuJuBe diaper bag!
Duh Duh DUH! Cue the horror music.
I have to say, this JuJuBe BFF diaper bag is an absolute BEAST! It has done its duty tirelessly, after being swung and flopped and stuffed in various places from the USA to Germany to China and back again.
But before my diaper bag could move on to newer and better things, she needed to be cleaned up a bit.
(Update: I converted my JuJuBe BFF into a camera bag with a super easy 5-minute hack! Check it out.)
JuJuBe washing instructions
JuJuBe, the lovely company that they are, provided some guidance on how to clean their bags. Unfortunately, most of their suggestions didn’t work for me.
Vinegar spray and cloth? Nope.
Dish soap and sponge? Nope
Need proof? See below.
(After those methods didn’t work, I knew I was going to have to escalate my cleaning to the next level. But I took it a little bit farther than the JuJuBe instructions and the results were fantastic!)
What you need to wash your JuJuBe bag:
- Dirty JuJuBe diaper bag (easy peasy)
- A large plastic bin (needs to be deep enough to submerge bag completely)
- OxiClean 2 in 1 Stain Fighter
- A pillowcase that has been washed previously (color close to your bag preferred)
- Laundry detergent (I used Tide)
(Please note that while this method will work for the BFF and many other bag models, on the JuJuBe website instructions, they note that the washing machines method will not work for the Be Rich or the Be Tagged — that’s because they contain a stiffener that breaks down with water immersion.)
How to clean a JuJuBe bag:
Step 1: Take everything out of your bag
Really, check every single pocket — my BFF has so many pockets (one of the reasons I love it so much) I lose track of all of them!
I thought I had found everything, but when I pulled my bag out of the soak I found three rocks and a maxi pad that had swollen to roughly the size of a baby blue whale.
Step 2: Remove the straps from the bag
Unhook the straps and remove them from the bag. Place to the side.
Step 3: Prepare your soaker bin
Fill up the plastic bin with HOT water. As hot as you can make it without scalding yourself.
(I have hands of steel, so this was pretty hot.)
Add one cup using the measuring cup provided in the OxiClean pack into the water and stir until it is dissolved completely.
Step 4: Put your straps and bag in the water
Take your straps and put your bag on top of the straps to hold them down under the water. Press as much air out as possible and try and submerge the bag and straps completely.
Everything still has a tendency to float, so you need to have something heavy to put on top of them. I used my laundry detergents and cleaners to hold it all under the water!
Leave for six hours or even overnight!
(Note that the color might bleed a little. My water was pink (from the red trim) when I took it out, but it did not discolor the white parts of my bag!)
Step 5: Remove from soak and drain
Take the heavy items off the top of your bag and dump out the water.
Get as much of the water drained out of your bag as possible. If it is too heavy and filled with water, it can unbalance the washing machine, which is where we are going next. You can leave it draining in the bottom of your bathtub for 15 minutes or so and then put the squeeze on it to get all the water out.
Also, I suggest taking the time to rinse off your bin and use that to transport your bag to the washing machine so you can cut down on the drips and mess on your floor. 😉
Step 6: Place bag in a pillowcase
Don’t skip this step!
This is to help protect your bag’s delicate parts from hitting the sides of the washing machine while it is being agitated — it also helps to catch any small pieces of metal or bling that might fall off.
No biggie if they do!
I lost one of the metal feet that hold the bag up on the bottom but it was easy to reattach. If you lose some jewels they can also be glued back in.
Once your bag and it’s straps are in the pillowcase, tie it up nice and tight and place it UPSIDE DOWN in the washing machine.
If your washing machine is like mine and makes the Earth shake if it is unbalanced, add some neutral or similarly colored towels to the other side to balance out the washing machine while cleaning the diaper bag.
(You want it to be upside down so that it doesn’t fill with water and seriously unbalance the machine. I went ahead and counter-balanced my machine anyway with some towels placed on the other side.)
Step 7: Wash in the washing machine
Once you have the bag and towels in place (if you use them), start the machine and fill it up with warm to hot water.
Press as much air out of the pillowcase as you can by holding it under the water firmly with your hands.
Add your laundry detergent and the OxiClean 2-in-1 Stain Fighter.
Wash as you normally would.
Step 8: Remove and dry
After your bag has completed the wash cycle and been spun dry, remove from the machine and take it out of the pillowcase. You can use the plastic bin again for transportation.
Now you want to turn the JuJuBe bag inside-out to dry. This will help all the nooks and crannies get dry, and also for it to retain its shape!
If you can, place it outside to dry.
(Try to stay out of direct sunlight, but keep it in a nice bright area. I put mine outside on my deck and allowed it to dry for about 6 hours.)
Step 9: Turn inside-out again
Once the inside of your bag is dry, you can turn it right side out again. Allow it to dry a little longer (I did the rest of the drying inside my house).
Step 10: Marvel at how clean your bag looks!
I can’t believe how clean my bag looks again! It is almost spotless, even the white looks really white again.
Just look at that before and after shot!
Although this method takes a while, the cleaning method is very hands-off and is much easier than trying to scrub all the different spots by hand!
I hope this tutorial helps you get your JuJuBe bag sparkling clean again!