I know this is naughty, but I put my medium cafe bag in the washer. We had been to a going away lunch and on the way back to the office, my doggie bag leaked all over the top of the cafe bag. So I thought about the recommended spot cleaning, and I thought about using a small nail brush and some shampoo, but it was garlic marinara sauce, and it was all over.
So I threw it in the washer with a bunch of towels and stuff and some eco kind of detergent. I figured the towels could mitigate some of the agitation.
Well the bag came out great. I studied the coating on the backside of the fabric (inside the front pocket) and really don't see any harm done. I promise I won't do it every other week, but for those times when you really want something clean, it seems you can get away with this.