How To Wash a Backpack

How To Wash a Backpack: Machine and Hand Wash Guide

(Last Updated On: January 27, 2023)

It is often neglected but it is a significant duty to wash a backpack. If you’re a frequent backpacker, a day hiker, or just a parent of children who tends to get their bags dirty, it’s worth doing this a couple of times a year to give your backpacks a thorough cleaning. You should also keep your pack clean every day, even though you’re not doing a deep clean. Remove all food and garbage every day and wipe away any stains or markings. But every so often, you’ll learn that you need more than doing standard easy cleaning.

If you’re bringing hiking gear, gym wear, or school supplies, the backpack will inevitably need to be washed. Fortunately, regular washing is not required; once or twice a year would be adequate until it gets soiled beyond everyday wear. You should run a vacuum nozzle over all the seams (inside and out to remove any dust or dirt before you wash your backpack.

Because of the material they are made from, some of the backpacks may need to be hand-washed. Some backpacks have a waterproof covering on them and rubbing the lining on both sides will help you determine this. There might be a coating on it if one of the sides is smooth, and the other side is not so smooth. Such backpacks should not be washed in washing machines and should instead be washed by hand.

How to Wash a Backpack in the Washing Machine

1. Empty the backpack. Make sure every compartment is checked, as you do not want to miss any. Next to clear off all leaves, crumbs, or soil, use a vacuum. And before going on to the next step, make sure you leave all the zippers unzipped.

2. Try to remove some stains before cleaning the remainder of the backpack. Apply a stain remover softly with a brush to remove the stains and then let it stay for about half an hour.

3. In a pillowcase, turn the bag inside out or position it. You don’t want zippers and straps from the bag to get stuck in the laundry machine. If you want to turn the backpack inside out or put it in a pillowcase is a personal decision. Regardless, make sure that when you throw it into the washing machine, there are no loose straps hanging loose.

4. Clean the backpack in the machine. Use a mild detergent (do not use normal detergent or fabric softener) then wash the bag with cold water on a gentle cycle.

5. Dry the backpack with air. Finally, letting the backpack air dry is the last step. Keep it unzipped and dry it upside down when hanging. Dry it outside if necessary, since it will help get rid of any lingering odors.

How to Hand Wash a Backpack

1. Empty the backpack for any small objects or debris that might be stuck, inspecting all pockets and corners. If there is a metal frame in your bag, detach it before cleaning it.

2. With plenty of lukewarm water, fill a bath or basin. Don’t use hot water as it will cause colors to degrade.

3. To the water, apply a small amount of detergent-free soap. Don’t use standard detergent or fabric softener, particularly if it is waterproof, as this will harm the backpack.

4. Using a soft brush or a rag to clean your bag, working on the places that are particularly dusty. For any rough stains or for reaching into some hard to reach places, a toothbrush may be helpful.

5. Allow to dry the backpack naturally. If necessary, try to hang the backpack upside down to make sure it’s 100% dry before stowing it inside.

Frequently Ask Questions

Can you machine dry a backpack?

You should never dry your backpack in a dryer. Putting it in the dryer will cause both the bag and the dryer to be damaged. You should still air dry your backpack to obtain the safest and better results.

Can you deodorize a backpack without washing it?

Yes, even without washing it you can deodorize a rucksack. Drop a small amount of baking soda into the bottom of the pack to achieve this, and then let it stay wide open for a whole day in the sun.