Yes, it is possible for Banjo Brothers Bags to look and smell like new with a little basic care using materials you already have at home. It doesn't matter if you're a bikepacker, a bicycle commuter, a gravelgrinder or do long distance bike touring, sooner or later you're going to want to clean your bags.
For this exercise, we turned to the Master himself - e-fresh, a.k.a. Banjo Eric. Take it away Eric.
This technique will work on most nylon and natural canvas cycling gear. When possible though - look for product (fabric tags) or other information. We assume no responsibility for work on the other guy's stuff. Don't you hate it when people CYA like that?
Anyway, here's how Banjo Eric cleans his bicycle bags after 100 miles of dusty, dirty riding.
After the race I took on the task of cleaning my bags and my bike. Armed with some (warmish) soapy water and a sponge (and a beer), my bags looked quasi-new in a couple minutes.
Unless you want to keep that game-worn patina on your bags dish soap and water are the best way to clean them. For example, the Almanzo 100 gravel race can be especially dusty. After the race I took on the task of cleaning my bags and my bike. Armed with some (warmish) soapy water and a sponge (and a beer), my bags looked quasi-new in a couple minutes.
Don't use a stiff brush or solvents of any kind - if they are muddy, let them soak first and then use a sponge or soft natural brush. In this case, I used a garden hose (a light pressure wash if you will.)
Let them air dry - it won't take long. Get yourself a second beer.