In the current education system, backpacks are essential for users of every age group, including kid, student of the school, college and university, and the travelers moving around the world. In today’s article, we are going to tell you different methods about how to wash backpacks.

Everyone needs the backpacks for carrying their notebooks and the supplies (i.e., food items and drinking liquids) for traveling. The excessive use of bags and filling them with the food items and everyday wear can make your backpack dirty, filthy, and even smelly.

How to wash backpacks

So the question arising in everyone’s mind is How to wash Backpacks if it gets this much dirty. If we talk about students, they use to fill the backpacks with different sorts of juices, fruits have forgotten inside, exploding stationery items, and sweaty shirts with sneakers.

Most of the backpacks can bear every day tearing and wear; secondly, they are easy to wash. But if we talk about any specific backpack material like leather, polyester, and Rexene, so can you wash backpacks made up of these materials? Of course, you can clean them by using different methods, light detergent, and sometimes elbow grease to increase the life span of your backpack.

How to wash backpacks?

The best way to keep your backpack clean is to take care of the goods you carry in. Take out every rotten thing from your bags, including food, juices, and sweaty shirts. If there are light stains on your backpack, gently clean regularly and keep it in a dry place to avoid humidity.

How to wash backpacks

The most important thing is before washing your backpack, check out the label for wash care. It is mostly located in the main compartment because sometimes, due to the quality of material used, it’s written not to soak the backpack in water and apply a gentle cleanser for scrubbing the particular dirty areas. In other cases, firstly, wash the small surface to test the durability of the bag.

So if you came here to know how to wash backpacks, then you are on the right page because, in this article, we will share all the essential information and tips regarding how to wash backpacks.

Methods for washing backpacks

Depending on the type of material a bag is made of, the packs can be washed in two ways,

  • Hand washing
  • Machine washing

This part of the article will cover all the guidelines for washing your backpack, either using a washing machine or giving it a hand wash. But before that, we must know the primary importance of the washing process, i.e., washing requirements, supplies, and tools used during the washing.

Washing Requirements:

To wash a backpack, you must keep in view these critical points, which can help you extend the lifeline of your bags.

  1. Detergent: For washing backpacks, heavy-duty detergent must be used to clean all the dust and stains gently.
  2. Water Temperature: The water used for washing must slightly warm because the cold water makes the stains rigid while the warm water help to dissolve the stains and makes the cleaning process most effective.
  3. Cycle type: The washing cycle must be gentle because the medium or firm period is harmful to the backpacks’ string and material.
  4. Dryer cycle: Do not use the spinner or dryer for drying the backpack because the spinning action may harm your bag.
  5. Special treatment: Give special treatment to your backpack, wash it in a mesh or air-dry cycle. After washing, don’t use the iron on your bag.


For washing a backpack, you need to have the following necessary things:

  • Washing machine
  • Tub
  • Brush with soft-bristled
  • Towel


For cleaning your backpack, you should have the listed supplies:

  • Water
  • Heavy-duty detergent
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Pine oil

If you have all these things mentioned above, then you are all set to go for washing your backpack. Now let’s see how to wash backpacks using washing machines and hand wash methods.

How to wash backpacks using a washing machine?

If you want to clean your dirty backpack, then can you wash the backpack in the washing machine? Most of you may answer yes, but it depends upon the material that your bag is made of like canvas, nylon, and leather trim, then you can’t put it directly into the machine.

How to wash backpacks

For this kind of backpacks, it is highly recommended to give them dry lines because if you provide them with the spinner cycle, then the bag’s padding may damage, and the corners may explode.

Here are some steps listed below which will guide you on how to clean backpacks in the washing machine:

Step 1: Empty your backpack carefully

The very first step is to empty your bag. Empty everything in a plastic bag so you can find your things easily after the backpack is dry. While doing this, make sure to look into every compartment and pocket so you won’t leave anything inside.

Take out the bread crumbs or other food particles, if any, by using a handheld vacuum, or you can also use the air blower of the keyboard. For the substance which is difficult to remove, you may use a makeup brush to clean it gently.

How to wash backpacks

In case if your backpack has a metal frame in it, then remove that frame first. Unzip all your pockets and compartments.

If some threads are hanging along the zipper area, then remove the treads and don’t put it inside the machine because it may damage the machinery. If your backpack has any detachable pockets or strap, then clean separately.

Step 2: Read the precaution label

Every kind of backpack has a precautionary label inside the main compartment, which contains the washing and instructions for maintaining long time durability of backpacks.

Find the tag and read it carefully so you can wash your bag in the best possible way by taking care of your bag and the attachments with it. In this way, you can maintain your backpack’s features, i.e., weather-resistant quality.

How to wash backpacks

Mostly this label is in the most significant compartment inside or outside of the bag. Here are some of the precautions primarily mentioned in the name attached:

  1. Cleaning agents with harsh effects and rough cleaning process may damage your backpack’s material and its waterproof capability. If you still have some doubts about the washing machine, you may use a soft cleanser in a gentle cycle.
  2. The backpacks are made up of nylon or canvas, which is often mentioned to be safer in the washing machine.

Step 3: Pre-treatment of stains

If your backpack has some stains in the outer or inner sides, then by using a soft toothbrush or brush, apply stain remover to the stains directly and leave it for 30 minutes to complete its action correctly.

After scrubbing the affected areas, rinse with the warm water. Along with that, for washing the backpack thoroughly, use the liquid and water’s 50/50 solution in the pre-treatment process. That’s all you can do to give a pre-treatment to your bags at home.

Now turn the inside out of your backpack and put it inside a laundry bag or pillowcase. This method will help your pack to avoid the collision of zippers and straps inside the machine tub, and it will also prevent the damage of the machine’s washing area cylindrical walls.

Step 4: Wash the backpack

Now comes the process of washing. For this purpose, use a little amount of heavy-duty detergent, set the washing machine cycle in gentle mode, and add some Luke warm water for getting the best cleaning results.

During the washing machine is working on its cleaning, maybe the backpack bunch up. So be sure that if any such thing happens, then you may stop the engine and spread the backpack.

It helps to maintain the balance of the washing machine. Set the washing cycles according to the condition of your bag; either it needs to be washed once or twice.

Step 5: Dry the backpack

Once the washing process is completed, now take out the backpack and allow it to dry in natural air. Make sure to open all the zippers and hang it somewhere high outside so the air can pass through it.

How to wash backpacks

Next, make sure that your backpack is completely dry. Don’t use it if there is a little humidity left because it may leave a bad odor and mold growth in your bag.

How to wash backpacks by hand wash process?

If the material of your backpack needs extra care or in the label tag if the precautionary measures say that you should avoid the machine washing, then the question is how to wash backpacks to remove all the stains and dust?  The only option is to do hand washing for cleaning your backpacks.

For this process, step 1, 2, and 3 is the same that we discussed above in the machine washing section. After taking out things, dust and making your bags inside out the next process for washing with your hands are:

1. Fill a large tub with lukewarm water:

For washing with hands, you can use the laundry sink or basin and make sure you have plenty of space to wash out all the compartments and pockets of your backpack.

Don’t use the hot water because it may fade the color of your backpack.

Secondly, if the precautionary label says not to soak the backpack thoroughly, only clear the stained sections and pockets with a cloth or rag soaked in detergent water solution.

2. Add gentle cleansing detergent:

For washing the backpacks with hands, make sure to use the soft cleanser, which is free of extra fragrances, dyes, and chemicals because the harsh chemicals may damage the material of your backpack. The dyes along with scent may cause allergy or skin irritation problems also

3. Scrub the backpack with a soft brush:

For cleaning, it depends upon you also; either you want to soak the backpack thoroughly or use a soaked rag to clean the backpack.

A brush with soft bristles will help you clean the hard stains, whereas for gentle cleaning rag is the best you have.

  • To remove the tough stains, you don’t need to have a special brush. You can also use your old toothbrushes to remove such stains and reach the corners where a rag can’t work correctly.
  • You can also use a sponge if the backpack is too delicate, i.e., if it’s of mesh fabric. It may help to protect your bag from any kind of damage.

4. Rinse with freshwater:

After scrubbing your backpack, use lukewarm water to rinse out the detergent solution and avoid detergents’ residue on the fabric of your bag.

  • Wash it out as much as you can and use a large towel body so you can put your backpack on that surface. For cleaning the backpack from inside, you may make a roll of a towel and put that inside the backpack. It will help to absorb extra water left inside.
  • While washing, be careful of the delicate parts, i.e., straps, padding, and zippers so that you won’t damage them during the cleaning process.

5. Dry the backpack naturally:

Let it dry naturally in the air, and don’t use the spinner. Make sure you have left all the zippers open and don’t use the backpack until it is scorched. Other due to humidity, there can be mold growing inside along with lousy odor also.

Tips for washing backpacks

How to wash backpacks

We have told you a complete guideline on how to wash backpacks using a washing machine or hand washing process. Here some useful tips which may help you to increase the durability of your bags,

  • While washing the backpack with hands, use the lukewarm water to fill the laundry tub, and add almost one tablespoon of heavy-duty detergent. Soak the backpack for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, for removing the soil, swish the backpack. Then drain out the detergent water by rinsing the backpack with fresh water. Try not to twist the backpack because the zippers, padding, and straps may get damaged by this.
  • For a backpack with waterproof quality, just wash it not more than twice a year because excess washing can lessen the water repellent ability of the bag. For enhancing the waterproof quality, you may use the waterproofing sprays, but before applying the spray, make sure the backpack is completely dry.

Conclusion – (How to wash backpacks)

This article covers complete information about How to wash backpacks so that you can make your backpack’s durability as long as possible.

Although the washing process depends upon the type of material your bag is made up of, but in my opinion, the hand washing process is the most reliable and effective because it doesn’t damage the strings, padding, and frame of your backpacks.

The zippers won’t get collided by the machine and will last for a long time. The soft washing process will handle your bag with gentle care as compared to the washing machine.

If you have any problem while washing it with hands, then you can the backpack in detergent water solution and clean the dirty parts with soft bristles brush.

If you ever tried the washing process either in a machine or by hands, what was your experience? Can you recommend which method is fit for use, and why?