I Have A Dirty Sack
September 1, 2008 2:44 PM   Subscribe

So I went and bought myself a Sierra Messenger bag from Fossil the other day because I dig its funky style – yes, I know it has leather in it and yes, I know this makes me a hideous person – but I’ve got a real problem with it: it’s getting dirty.

Specifically, the rear side of the bag, which rubs against my butt while I’m cruising around town picking up ladies – a Maserati would work better, I’m sure, but it just isn’t economical in these difficult times – is scuffing up with the dye from my new jeans, so now there’s this blue mark on the back which I predict is only going to get worse. So, my question to you, hivemind, is this: how do I remove this unsightly discolouration, and what can I do to prevent the canvas from picking up the shade and hue of every item of material that comes within five feet of it?
posted by turgid dahlia to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Launder the jeans? Have they been washed yet?
posted by DarlingBri at 2:48 PM on September 1, 2008


IMO, that's just an unavoidable side effect of dark jeans and a messenger bag. Call it "breaking in" rather than "getting dirty" -- it's just the back of the bag anyhow. You run into the same problem with raw denim and white sneakers.

It should wash out easily if you hand-wash or spot-clean; the dye wasn't set in the denim so it's certainly not setting on the bag.

I'd consider nikwaxing the bag regardless, just for the waterproofing and spill protection; I can't picture that making the back *worse* once you've cleaned it up, and I imagine it'd make it slightly less apt to pick up the indigo.

Washing the jeans will get rid of the excess indigo (wash them inside-out and alone in cold water and let them air-dry!) but if you've bought dark or raw denim you probably don't want to get rid of the excess indigo right away, better to let them break in so you get the whiskering and fading that makes dark/raw denim yours. Soaking in cold water in a laundry tub is a nice happy medium between doing nothing and washing.
posted by mendel at 2:56 PM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, should have mentioned that the jeans aren't exactly brand-brand-new: they've been through the wash a few times, using ancient denim cleansing methods passed down to me by my brothers, all children of the sixties and seventies.

Nikwaxing intrigues and I will look into it. Ta.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:02 PM on September 1, 2008


I'd recommend against trying to bleach your sack, because the results can be unpredictable. A good regular scrub with a mild soap should do the trick, but you want to make sure you dry it properly afterwards, or might end up with a nasty mold or fungal breakout, which not only looks horrible, but also emits a skanky odour which the ladies will find unpleasant. Of course, part of the solution is simply to try not to let your sack come into contact with anything filthy in the first place, but it'd be hard for it not to brush up against your ass from time to time, so regular washing is really the way to go.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:21 PM on September 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


Nikwaxing intrigues and I will look into it. Ta.

on postview: yes, waxing (in addition to the recommendations above) will definitely help.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:24 PM on September 1, 2008


You could also try some form of "sacrificial" cloth protection that would cover the rear of your sack, perhaps held on with elastic, that would prevent it from coming in contact with external filth. Before approaching the ladies, you could replace the soiled sacky-dak with a fresh one or, depending on the receptiveness of the lady in question, remove it altogether. Be sure to carry a clean one at all times in case of accidents.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 5:13 PM on September 1, 2008


Oh, also be careful with waxing; too much and it can transfer back to your jeans. Incessant rubbing can also polish the waxed section, and you could end up with a shiny sack.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 5:15 PM on September 1, 2008


Yeah, I admit I've always been nervous about waxing my sack, but you guys have given me the encouragement I need to go ahead with it.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:34 PM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's a special wax available in the US that they use for this; it's called "Aussie Nads".

I kid you not.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 5:47 PM on September 1, 2008


(Oh, now I see that it's available here too. Still: at least you know which wax to use. Does what it says on the tin)
posted by 5MeoCMP at 5:48 PM on September 1, 2008


Have you thought of getting somebody to apply some kind of inked design to your sack to disguise the discolouration?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:00 PM on September 1, 2008


some kind of inked design
Nice idea! Or even a set of perhaps metal pieces inserted through the surface of the sack that stand a little proud and act as standoffs to keep the discolouring material away from the sack proper? You would probably want to have the ends of the metal pieces rounded in some way, so as to prevent snags; or you could go with an arrangement of rings (which you could then use for, oh, I don't know, hanging your keys on?)
posted by 5MeoCMP at 7:40 PM on September 1, 2008


You know, I've actually been considering dangling things from my sack. Stuff that I use every day. For example, barbells, leaded weights, old cast irons, bags full of marbles, etc.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:44 PM on September 1, 2008


you do realise that the barbells etc would be likely to stretch it?

on the bright side, at least that'd get it away from the general area of your ass, which is responsible for so much of the filth. on the downside, you might find your knees getting tangled up in it. also, it would end up within snapping range of even the smallest dogs.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:19 PM on September 1, 2008


Well, the last thing I need is little punctures in my sack, as that would completely abrogate any waterproof properties it may possess, and stuff might spill out.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:52 PM on September 1, 2008


An often-overlooked advantage to the barbells, keys, rattly chains and whatnot is that they do make an awful lot of noise if someone tries to steal your sack. Think of it as an inbuilt alarm system. That, and you could even fasten the sack to immovable objects while you slept just to make really sure.

But the stretching, yes, that's a problem. I imagine that most ladies would be quite put off if you approached them with your pendulous, asymmetrical sack.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 9:54 PM on September 1, 2008


Oh, here's an idea: fasten the metal items to the sack with some rare earth magnets! No punctures, no leaking, and you can take them off easily when asked by airport security.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 9:57 PM on September 1, 2008


Oh, here's an idea: fasten the metal items to the sack with some rare earth magnets!

It's worth thinking about, but it might interfere with the proper functioning of my equipment.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:00 PM on September 1, 2008


what if you rigged it up to some helium balloons, so as you walk along, your sack could trail close behind, suspended in the air & out of contact with any contaminating surfaces?

You could even tie a leash to it, so it would be a bit like walking a dog, only a dog with balloons tied to it. Walking a dog is a great conversation-starter, and the ladies would be intrigued by this strange spectacle from afar & approach you to gush over what a cute idea you had. By the time they could see that it's not a dog but a sack, you'd already be on the point of exchanging phone numbers, I'd bet.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:26 PM on September 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


what if you rigged it up to some helium balloons, so as you walk along, your sack could trail close behind, suspended in the air & out of contact with any contaminating surfaces?

Surface area dude. A sack suspended vertically provides a much smaller target than one suspended horizontally. I'm already paranoid about getting shit on my sack (Latin: saccocoprophobia), so increasing square footage is only going to increase probability.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:42 AM on September 2, 2008


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