The Ryla Refresh: How To Clean Your Diaper Bag

Organizing your diaper bag (or any highly-trafficked space/place) is all about prioritizing the essentials. Here's how we think about cleaning and organizing your diaper bag.

Here’s a question we inevitably get pretty often from Ryla parents: “How do I clean and care for my Ryla diaper bag?” Other variants of this question might include: “I’ve got [insert unpleasant, smelly substance] on my [insert specific part of Rylapack]. Help!”

The quick answer? It’s easy - a damp cloth and mild detergent should do the trick on most stains!

But while we’re talking about cleaning, let’s do ourselves a favor and take a look beyond the surface. 

Whether it’s spots, spills, or stains, as parents, we’re quick and conscientious when it comes to tackling the visible messes of life. But while we’d never leave the house with a puddle of BBQ sauce staining the outside of our diaper bag (OK, that one was dad’s fault), it’s easy to be a bit less thoughtful and deliberate in managing what’s on the inside (ah... isn’t that a beautiful metaphor for life). 

And if you’re anything like us, the mess inside might pile up for days (weeks?... months?...) before we allow ourselves a moment to take stock of where things stand (or where things are).

There are two types of diaper bags: 

Bag #1: It’s clean. It holds the essentials - everything you need, and nothing that you don’t. There’s a system and plan, with a specific home for every item. The result? A bag that’s all benefit, no burden. 

Bag #2: It might be clean on the surface. Or it may not. Inside, it’s chaos. One good pacifier, and three more you’ll never let near your baby’s mouth again. Three separate baby wipe packets in three different pockets. That pamphlet about Baby Yoga classes you grabbed 4 months ago and forgot all about. You get it. The result? Your diaper bag carries physical AND psychological weight.

Our goal is to work towards packing a bag that makes us feel light and energized as parents, rather than burdened with physical and mental clutter. 

The good news? Moving from chaos to confidence can be quick and painless, especially if we tackle it regularly and proactively!

Today’s as good a time as any to refresh, reset, reorient, and clean up our act. Let’s touch up those surface level stains, but also take a moment to revisit our things and spaces to ensure we’re not carrying any more weight than we need to be. 

Here’s how we tackle the inevitable messy moments, what we try to do to keep our bags clean and light, and why it’s worth it:

Ryla Refresh: Cleaning Your Diaper Bag

As with most things, organizing your diaper bag (or any highly-trafficked and heavily used space or place) is all about prioritizing the essentials.

Here’s our nifty little framework for a refresh - the four “R’s” of a Ryla spring cleaning:

  1. Remove: If you’re anything like us, this first step is a bit anxiety inducing: empty your diaper bag completely. We always do this on the floor, over a nice big towel or sheet… you never know what 6 month old, half-eaten snack (or worse) you’re liable to find in a diaper bag you’ve used daily.
  2. Rinse/Refresh: Our vegan leather exterior and nylon interior make for a bag that’s washable, wipeable, and water resistant. The bag is easy to clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent (we recommend machine washing only as a last resort)! Vacuum inside the bag to grab any debris or dirt. We keep sanitizing wipes nearby to wipe down anything that looks like it may have lingered at the bottom of the bag for just a bit too long.
  3. Review: Revisit your packing list: What’s essential? What could you do without? What’s something you’re always running low on or struggling to find in your bag? With an empty (and clean) bag and a clear head, now’s the perfect opportunity to re-prioritize the essentials. If you’re looking for some suggestions on what to pack/how to organize your bag, check out our handy packing guides!
  4. Repack: Now that you’ve determined your essentials, give some thought to usability: Are there small items you’re constantly struggling to find that could be better placed in small outer pockets (our Pouch Organizers might also come in handy here)? Would it help to designate different pockets for different categories of items (food, diaper changes, mom’s things)? Our bags include pocket labels with suggestions placement and organization, but feel free to remix based on what you’re bringing and how you feel comfortable using your bag.

A cleaner Diaper Bag for a clearer mind

They say the best defense is a good offense. You’ll have to be reactive when it comes to cleaning up the latest spill or surface stain, but there’s nothing like a proactive approach when it comes to managing internal clutter - or preventing it altogether.

The time you invest in thoughtfully packing and organizing your bag always pays dividends, and gives you extra comfort and peace of mind as you and your little one head out to take on a chaotic world (and boy do we need that)!

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