A Step-by-Step Guide for Properly Washing a Backpack
Whether you’ve recently returned from a long backpacking trip or you use a backpack to store your laptop, odds are that you’ll need to wash it at some point. But how do you properly clean it without damaging the material or the zippers? Don’t worry, because we’ve got a step-by-step guide on how to wash your backpack for optimal results.
In this post, we’ll explain what steps to take before washing your backpack, which cleaning materials and products you should use, and how to properly dry it afterward. Plus, we’ll provide a few tips and tricks so you can keep your backpack looking like new for years to come.
Gather Your Supplies
Check the Care Instructions or Tags
Before gathering supplies for washing your backpack, make sure to refer to the manual or tags for instructions on fabric type and appropriate cleaning methods. Not following the instructions (if they’re provided) could result in damaging the backpack or reducing its longevity.
Select the Proper Detergent
Make sure to use a detergent that is suitable for the fabric of your backpack but is still strong enough to remove any dirt or buildup. Many manufacturers of cleaning products offer special detergents designed specifically for cleaning backpacks and other outdoor items.
Obtain a Hose or Bucket
You’ll also need a bucket or basin large enough to submerge the entire backpack in, or just a hose if you plan on washing it outside. Make sure that whatever type of water vessel you choose, it’s big enough for your backpack and any other items you plan on washing.
Check for Stains and Spots
Take the time to inspect each area of your backpack, paying special attention to any stains or spots that may require pre-treatment. If you find any, apply laundry spot remover before continuing with the cleaning steps.
Spot-clean Tough Areas
If necessary, use a strong spot cleaner and an old toothbrush to scrub away tough areas of dirt or grime that require extra attention. Allow ample time for the spot cleaner to do its job before moving on to more deeply cleaning your backpack.
Fill Your Bucket or Connect Your Hose
Fill up the bucket with lukewarm water or turn on the hose if you’re using an outdoor source of water supply. Make sure that either water source is at a temperature suitable for washing fabrics like polyester and nylon, which are commonly used for backpacks.
Soak and Rinse the Backpack
Submerge your backpack in warm water, allowing it to soak for several minutes before rinsing thoroughly under cool running water from the hose or bucket until all the spot remover and cleaner residue are gone and the water runs clear.
After soaking and rinsing, apply a small amount of detergent directly onto areas that are heavily soiled. Make sure not to overuse it or you may risk leaving large amounts of soap residue behind after cleaning is completed.
Scrub and Lather
Using a soft-bristle brush, gently scrub away dirt, grime, and other residue while lathering up the detergent. After thoroughly cleaning with soap, rinse your backpack again with cool clean water from either your hose or bucket. Make sure to eliminate any remaining suds, ideally to the point that the water runs clear.
Remove Excess Moisture
Blotting or squeezing out any excess moisture left on your backpack will help prevent mold growth due to improper air circulation. For drying, hang it in an indirect sunny area, allowing both sides of your backpack to receive the same amount of airflow.
Cleaning a dirty or old backpack isn’t as difficult as you may think — and the result is sure to be satisfying. With the right supplies, any stain or spot can be removed. By closely following this step-by-step guide you will end up with a backpack that looks virtually brand new!