How to Wash a Backpack – Simple Guide

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Last Updated: April 26, 2022

A backpack can be a significant financial investment, and one that requires special attention.

Your backpack might gather dirt over time, causing the fabric to degrade. Zippers can become clogged with debris, making them hard to use. Food scraps in the pockets might attract the attention of creatures who do not wish to be bothered. Sweat and grease from the skin would most certainly soak into your shoulder straps and hip belt, regardless of how you’re wearing a daypack or a big backpack.

As you can see, there are several reasons for keeping your bags clean.

Consequently, we will go over all you need to know about how to wash a backpack, by hand or in the washing mashine.

What is The Best Way to Wash a Backpack?

Hand Wash

Have you ever wondered how to wash a backpack by hand? You will need the following items if you want to do good old-fashioned handwashing:

  • Stain remover
  • Mild detergent, preferably one that is devoid of perfumes, colors, or other additives, so that you don’t have to use as much
  • A soft brush or an old toothbrush might be used
  • A washcloth or a sponge
  • Towel

The following are the steps to wash your backpack using your hands.

1. Prepare for the Wash

Whether there are any external or internal stains, carefully apply a cleaning solution to the areas affected using a toothbrush or gentle brush and allow it to remain for approximately 30 minutes before rinsing.

Fill the bowl halfway with lukewarm water approximately six inches deep. Using hot water may cause the fabric’s colors to fade. Add a tiny quantity of mild detergent to the water.

2. Scrub the Bag

Scrub your bag gently with a soft toothbrush or cloth, paying particular attention to extremely dirty spots or patch stains. A brush is useful for removing deeply embedded stains and cleaning difficult o reach areas. On net surfaces, a sponge may be preferable to a cloth in terms of cleaning. Flip the backpack inside out and wash from the inside and also the outside.

3. Rinse it Properly

Remove the dirty water from the basin and replace it with 6 inches of clean, cold water. Rinse the bag well and squeeze it as hard as you can to remove as much water as possible. It should be folded into a large towel to soak any extra moisture.

4. Leave it to Air Dry

Allow for air drying of the bag. Leave all of the zippers open and turn it up on its side to dry completely. You should try to dry it outside if possible, since this will allow any lingering scents to escape. Before using it again, be certain that it is thoroughly dry.

Mashine Wash

How to wash a backpack in washing machine? It all depends on the material of the backpack; however, most backpacks produced by canvas or nylon are okay to clean in the washing machine, if the backpack includes leather trim, do not machine wash. It is advised that you air-dry the backpack, since tumble-drying might harm the lining and cause the edges to rip.

The following are the steps to wash your backpack using a washing machine.

1. Prepare for the Wash

Again, if there are any stains, apply a cleaning solution to the affected areas first and leave it for 30 minutes before rinsing.

Disconnect any detached straps, pouches, or small bags and hand-wash those separately from the rest. You should remove any metal frames that may be included. All of the pockets should be left unzipped. Remove any threads that are around the zipping regions so that they do not become snagged during the washing process.

Flip the bag outside or store it inside a pillowcase or washing bag to prevent straps and zippers from becoming entangled within the machine – and potentially harming the interior walls of the machine.

2. Start Washing the Backpack

Use a small quantity of mild detergent and wash the backpack in cold water on the low setting to remove any odors. If it becomes knotted up during the wash cycle, pause the machine and try to spread the backpack out again to ensure it is properly cleaned and to avoid the machine being unbalanced with a little load.

3. Leave it to Air Dry

Allow for air drying. Let all of the zippers unzipped, then hang it up on its side to dry completely. Dry it outside if possible for any remaining scents to escape. Make certain that it is totally dry before usage.

Can You Wash a Backpack With Clothes?

Yes, most of the time. It depends on the material, however. Most backpacks are made of nylon or canvas, and they can be washed in the washing machine without harming clothes.

It is important to note that a leather backpack should never be washed in the same machine as other garments since the leather will rip rapidly, damaging the rest of the clothes as well as the backpack.


There are many ways to clean your backpack, but the methods above can help you clean it more smoothly and economically. If you have an expensive backpack, it is always advised that you wash it by hand or have it professionally cleaned.

The purpose of washing your backpack is to extend the life of it and maintain it looking as good as possible. That’s especially essential if you’ve spent a lot of money on a high-quality backpack. Make sure you wash it in the proper manner in order to prevent additional damage.