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How Do You Break In New Cornhole Bags

For serious cornhole players, there's nothing better than getting a new set of cornhole bags. But cornhole bags are a little like jeans; it takes a while for them to break in. Players have various approaches and use different products to try to speed up the process. We certainly don't condone all of these approaches (our recommendation is at the end), but we want to make you aware of them in case you want to experiment on your own.

First and foremost, let's talk about what kind of cornhole bags to break in. If you have a set of bags filled with corn, you shouldn't try any of these methods! This is really important because most of these methods will ruin corn-filled cornhole bags. Instead, you should only experiment with resin-filled cornhole bags. Most people use these techniques on professional cornhole bags only.

Now, let's take a moment to talk about why you would even want to break in your new cornhole bags. New cornhole bags are stiffer than bags that have been used for a while. Because of this, new bags are harder to get in the hole. New cornhole bags can sometimes be so stiff that if you place one of the bags over the hole, the corners may not have enough give to allow the bag to fall into the hole. That's why professional cornhole players are so serious about speeding up the break-in process.

So how do you know if your method is working? The best test is to place the bag on a thin object, like maybe the edge of a ruler. Pay attention to how much the bag drapes over the ruler. A stiff bag will lie much flatter than a broken-in bag, which might even cover the ruler on both sides.

Now let's get to the meat of this post, the methods you can try. Here are a few ways professional cornhole players break in their bags.

METHOD #1: Clothes Dryer
Put your new cornhole bags in the clothes dryer on low heat and let it run for about a half-hour. The idea is simple. If you throw your bags a lot, eventually, the impact will loosen up the fabric and break in the resin. This method simulates that without you having to toss them.

METHOD #2: Clothes Washer With Liquid Fabric Softener
Set your clothes washer to normal cycle with hot water. Let the washer fill with hot water, then add a cup of liquid fabric softener. Pause the wash cycle and let the bags soak in the water for about 2 hours. Then resume the wash cycle and let it complete. Finally, put them in the dryer and tumble dry on low heat. When your bags are dry, test them as outlined above.

METHOD #3: Chemicals
There are some products that are marketed and sold specifically for breaking in new cornhole bags. One such product is Sac Relax, and some professional cornhole players swear by it. Others say that hair conditioner works just as well. If you try hair conditioner, make sure you find one that is paraben-free. You just gently massage it into the bag. When finished with the conditioner, rinse the bag with warm water and then wash them in a bowl with a product like Dawn and water. Rinse one more time, and you should be good to go.

METHOD #4: The Natural Way
At the end of the day, perhaps the best way to break in your professional cornhole bags is the old-fashioned way. Just toss them. Just know going in that they're going to be stiff for a while. But throwing them is terrific practice, and that's why you got them anyway, right? This is the tried-and-true method we recommend. However, if you have new, stiff cornhole bags and a tournament coming up, maybe try one of the other quicker methods outlined above.

Hopefully, this gave you some ideas on methods to get your professional cornhole bags tournament-ready quickly.
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