How to Wash a Backpack? An Easy Guide

How to wash a backpack?

A rucksack, sack pack, sack, pack, or a backpack anything you name it. It’s a bag made of cloth. It has two straps hung on your shoulders and carried on your back. Let you’re a parent having school-going kids. Or you’re a traveler who loves to wander around. You might be a well-organized person, who likes having some disciple in life. You will know about this go-to bag, we call a backpack.

Summer has been my favorite season of the year. I made plans about my vacation trips and geared towards a few activities. This brought me a lot of joy. I had a feeling of stardom when I entered the school gates. I met my chums, dressed up in my brand-new attire. One of the most essential activities involved cleaning up everything. The cleaning ranged from clearing the stationary to huge piles of notes. By and large my stationery and other school supplies. I, not in the least forgot to clean my backpack.

Have you thought of cleaning your backpack? In the way, most people don’t. Can you ignore those enormous splashes of ink spill over it? Or can you let go of those grease marks? There might be some food leftovers hidden deep inside your backpack. I have seen people hiding their worn-out clothes or makeup in it.  Does this article cover the main themes of How to wash a backpack?

  • Checking the fabric:

Before you look for ways of how to clean a backpack you should look at the fabric tag. The fabric tag comes stitched by the side of your backpack. If not found there, you may locate it elsewhere. Or look for it inside the bag. These packs come in either nylon or cotton material. If you’re looking for a sturdy material, then PVC fabric or leather packs will do the work.

Along with checking the fabric tags look for the washing instructions. Each fabric type has a different set of directions to follow through. The way you clean it depends on what it’s made of. You cannot put leather in the washing machine. But, nylon or cotton canvas can be. Use a fabric cleaner that has a low PH level. Most backpacks do not have a water-proofing treatment, like nylon. Nylon likes having a bath in the washer, without any hesitance. Backpacks having a coating should be hand washed. In case your sack has undergone a water treatment, it will have a smooth inner fabric. Coated bags should be hand washed and never put under direct heat for drying.

  • Following the instructions below, clean your backpack.

This might be a heavenly idea to put your backpack in the washing machine. And remove those dirt patches and greasy stains. But, wait first make some extra effort to play safe. Having invested a jumbo sum of your savings on a pricey backpack, you don’t want to damage it. Right!

Let’s have a look at all the possible methods of how to wash a backpack?

Before washing the backpacks:

Start by emptying the bag. Open the zippers. Analyze the straps and buckles. Check the main compartments and the tiny pockets. Unclutter the bag with deliberate care. Check for the belongings, you need the most and the ones you want to discard. Turn the bag with its top side down on a dustbin and give it a wave of shudder. Look into the tiny gaps and narrow breaks, for any dust particles hidden. You might be fortunate enough in finding those hidden monsters, playing peek-a-boo with you. But, bang! You’re here for their capture. Remove any extra straps, buckles, and separable bags. Cut any dangling threads which may get hooked in the zips.

How to wash a backpack using the pillow case method:

Most backpacks have a lot of straps to make them strong. These straps act as a protective sheath. They keep you out of the anxiety of losing your precious goods.  You can roll those straps around your waistline, and hike a mountain. Isn’t it great? To move with your favorite gadgets and goodies on a deserted landscape :). Have you thought how to wash a backpack having loads of straps, zippers, badges, and key chains? There are chances they might get caught up in the washer machine.

I came across a fabulous idea of, how to wash a backpack without any of its straps getting entangled. There will be no defacing or demolishing of those protective straps. What you need to do is as follows:

  1. Take a spare pillow case and stick the backpack in it.
  2. Remove any metal casing or internal frames of the pack. These metallic frames can damage the capsule of the washing machine.
  3. Tie up the pillow case with a tight knot. The pillow case will not only act as a protective cover. But, a savior of your change or minor objects left.
  4. Add some soft detergent and let it rinse at a medium speed.
  5. Add the detergent in a small quantity not more than (1-2) Tablespoons. When the machine timer beeps, and it completes its iteration, look for any remaining stubborn spots.
  6. To protect it from thumping the capsule of the washing machine, keep moving it by your hand after short intervals.
  7. If the fabric of the bag is wearing out, don’t do machine wash.
  8. Go back to the instructions and replace it with the hand machine wash method. Washing it in the machine will cause more damage to the fabric.
  9. Wash the bag using cold water, avoid using bleach based washing agents.

If your backpack is enormous take it to the nearby laundry service guy. He will wash it for you in his commercial machine. Don’t over-wash it. Hang it on a cloth line or an open space, once out of the machine. Let the sun do its work.

Always keep in mind the material:

If your backpack’s material is leather, don’t put it in the washer. You should spot fix it using a toothbrush or any old makeup brush, giving it gentle strokes. When the spin timer beeps, take it out. Air-dry the Nylon packs. If it’s a Canvas cloth bag, it might shrink after washing. So, at all times spot clean it at the place of putting in the washer.

One more way to keep the total of the straps safe is to invert your backpack. So, each strap remains inside the bag. There are no likable chances of entanglement or impairment. 

How to wash a backpack with HANDS:

  • Use a handy vacuum pump to remove any litter or rubbish. These pumps work great for smaller spaces.
  • Take a medium-sized tub and half fill it with Luke warm water. Don’t over fill it or the water will spill out when you will start washing the bag.
  • Add a few drops of mild detergent and give it a good spin. So, it’s dissolved in the water. You don’t need to remove the metal frame of the bag. But to avoid any rust, because of water exposure, you may take it out.
  • Don’t rush, dip the bag in the water for a good 15 minutes. Dipping the bag in Luke warm water will help the dirt come off with ease?
  • After 15 minutes, take a brush having soft bristles, and start scrubbing. Don’t be harsh and try not to overdo things.
  • Spot clean any muck using a soft brush. Use gentle fabric cleanser. Mild soaps cause less harm when in contact with skin.

If you want some aggressive cleaning, follow the following steps:

  1. Add a few table spoons of baking soda and salt in the Luke warm water. The soda acts as a bleaching agent. This helps in the expulsion of stubborn stains.
  2. To avoid any dye spills, wash the bags from the same family alongside.
  3. Rinse it in thorough motions with fresh water to let the soap out.
  4. Once done and on the whole clean, take it out from the water.
  5. Put it out on a cloth line or out in the sun.

How to wash a backpack in a dishwasher:

A dishwasher’s usage revolves around washing huge lots of filthy dishes. I have seen people using it for other purposes as well. But, washing your expensive backpack in it is not the finest idea. The washing liquid used for dishwashers contains a high dosage of bleaching agents. These agents cause dye spills of the backpack’s fabric. The temperature of the dishwasher’s quite high in contrast to a washing machine. It can tarnish the fancy look of the backpack.

In the spinning bar of the dishwasher, the straps and dangling threads can get caught. This may cause damage to both the backpack and the dishwashing machine. By no means trust the shelves on the lower segments of the dishwasher. If you’re washing it on the top shelf you’re for sure playing safe. Take the sack out once the rinsing is complete.

Don’t let it dry in the dishwasher. The dryer can damage the synthesized and any glued parts, due to heat. Put it under the sun and look at nature’s wonders.

How to wash a backpack having ink/oil stains:

For oil or an ink stain, if it’s fresh follow the following remedy. In this case, all you need to do is spot cleaning. Only focus on the targeted area.

Splash some tap water over the surface.

When it’s still wet, take a handful of talcum powder and wait for 15 minutes. You can use baking soda or cornflour. This will act as an absorbent.

Strike the stains with an edgy brush till they’re no more visible.

How to wash a backpack having leather base and metal studs:

Any product made up of leather appears to be sturdier. It gives a rich finishing to it, so do the studs. A combination of metal studs and leather base can’t go out of fashion. It’s a fashion statement for many. But, special care’s taken for keeping your closet necessities intact. Talking about cleaning, these packs should be spot cleaned. As a rule, by no means put them under the water or the machine wash. As excessive contact with water might cause the metallic studs to rust. Your money may go wasted, as most leather backpacks are quite expensive and not everyone can afford them. A soft-bristled toothbrush can work wonders for cleaning the infected spot.

How to clean a backpack made of hemp:

Hemp comes from the north of the equator. Pure hemp fabrics from the cannabis plant used raw material to make these backpacks. Hemp is a solid material and tends to be long-lasting. It does not wear out even if you use it with coarseness. There is no special care taken while washing a hemp backpack. You can use any detergent or fabric softener. There is no stress of keeping a check on the water temperature. Make it clear, the more washes you give it, the softer the fabric will become.

How to wash a canvas backpack:

Most awesome backpacks available in the market without a single thought, canvas backpacks. It’s a carrier bag and durable. The weaving style of this fabric makes it stand out.

Most of us have tiny brooms which we like to keep on our workstations, to clear out the dirt. You do possess it, right? Then, what are you waiting for?

Pick up your broom and brush off the dirt you see on the backpack.

Give gentle strokes.

Humbly spray some water on the problem area.

Use some soap or a light detergent if the dirt is not coming out with water and brushing.

Keep repeating these steps until the spot goes away.

Canvas shrinks! So, make sure to stretch the fabric as much you can before putting it out for drying. The best way to dry the canvas backpack is air drying.

Trust the Lord, Sun. Forget your backpack until the moisture gets evaporated.

Deep cleaning your backpack isn’t an easy job, why not keep it nice and fresh? Just like, it was when you first bought it.

Are you planning to buy a backpack for high school? Read our latest reviews about some of these Best Backpacks for High School.

Can you put a backpack in the washer and dryer?

No, you should not consider putting the backpacks in the washer or the dryer. Because there are zippers on the backpacks, they might damage your washer or dryer machinery.

How do you get the smell out of a backpack?

If you are reading about cleaning and also about how to wash a backpack then you must know that how to get rid of bad smells from your backpack.

So, the simple answer to it is detergents. Yes, you can use detergents to get rid of smells from your backpack.

You can find detailed answers to this question by clicking the link below:

Can you wash a North Face backpack in the washing machine?

The answer to this question is also NO. If the backpack has no zippers on it. Like there are some sling backpacks that have no zippers, then you can wash them in the washing machine.

Most people ask this question that how to wash a backpack that is made of polyester? So here is the answer to it.

The polyester backpack should be washed with hands only. If you wanna wash it in a washing machine then consider it in your mind that your backpack might get damaged in this process.

How do you deodorize a backpack without washing it?

Firstly, you’ll have to prepare a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Secondly, you’ll need a sprayer. Put the mixture into a sprayer and then spray it on the backpack. Then put the backpack in the open air for a while.

Table of Contents



The reason why we set out to create a website is that it's not easy to buy things in everyday life. We want people looking for what they need, and after lots of brainstorming, decided the best way was through our site!

About Me

Here at MarshalCart, we ensure that the reader gets accurate and detailed information about different products that they may be interested in by providing a wide range of information and models regarding that backpacks hence making the job and selection easy.

Recent Posts