How to Wash a Backpack
Can You Wash a Backpack?
Whilst it's important to check individual care instructions, the majority of backpacks can be cleaned in a washing machine or by hand. However, it is important that special care is taken to ensure your backpack continues to look and perform as it should. This guide will outline how to wash a backpack and show you how to care for your pack to ensure it stays clean.
How to Wash a Backpack in the Washing Machine
*Not all backpacks are machine washable, so always check the label before washing it.
- Empty your backpack and leave all pockets unzipped. Check the pockets for any small items and check the corners for any dirt that may be lodged. If your backpack has a metal frame, remove this before washing.
- Check your backpack can fit in the washing machine and has enough room to move around.
- Put your backpack in a laundry bag if possible as this prevents the straps getting caught and damaging your bag or washing machine. Alternatively you can use a pillow case or simply turn the backpack inside out.
- Run the machine through an empty wash to clear any detergent residue from previous washes.
- Use a small amount of gentle detergent that is suitable for backpacks. Don’t use regular detergent or fabric softener as these may damage the material.
- Wash the backpack on a gentle cycle in cold water.
- Remove the backpack from the laundry bag and leave it to dry naturally. Try to hang the bag upside down if possible, and make sure the bag is 100% dry before storing it away.
How to Hand Wash a Backpack
If your backpack is too large to fit in the washing machine, you can wash it by hand in the bath. Smaller backpacks might fit in a sink or basin. Always check the label to make sure the bag can be fully submerged.
- Empty your backpack, checking all pockets and corners for any small items or dirt that may be lodged. If your backpack has a metal frame, remove this before washing.
- Fill a bath or basin with plenty of lukewarm water. If the water is too hot it can cause the backpack’s colors to run.
- Add a small amount of detergent-free soap to the water. Don’t use regular detergent or fabric softener as this can damage the backpack, especially if it's waterproof.
- Scrub your backpack using a soft brush or a cloth, focusing on the areas that are particularly dirty. A toothbrush can be useful for any tough stains or for getting into those difficult to reach areas.
- 5Allow the backpack to dry naturally. Try to hang the backpack upside down if possible, and make sure it's 100% dry before storing it away.
If your backpack is not machine washable or cannot be fully submerged, you can use a wet cloth with a small amount of detergent-free soap.
Can You Put a Backpack in the Dryer?
You should never put your backback in a dryer as this can cause damage. Instead, you should allow your backpack to dry naturally, away from any direct sources of heat. Hanging your pack upside down can help ensure that no water is left sitting in the pockets or corners of the bag. Always make sure that the backpack is completely dry before storing it away.
Keep Your Backpack Clean
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