Can You Wash A Backpack In The Washing Machine?

Can you wash a backpack in the washing machine?

The backpack is considered essential for people of all ages. It has become a part of daily life routine especially if you are a student, frequent traveler, or adventure lover. Most backpacks are built to endure everyday wear and tear. Having the ability to carry a whole lot of stuff, including food, clothes, shoes, equipment, and more they act like our savior and companion in difficult times.

Whether you are carrying clothes, camping equipment, or other supplies, all these things can make a backpack dirty. Oil from skin and salt from sweat can seep into the shoulder straps and waist belt. Also, Grease spots are likely to form from cooking splatter.

All these things attract dirt and degrade fabrics. The zipper can get rusty and difficult to use. Regularly wiping them down can help to clean the dust but if your backpack is filthy and starts to smell, proper wash becomes inevitable. Eventually, it is going to need to be cleaned properly.

As backpacks can be expensive, so carefully cleaning and washing is a must. People often ask whether they can wash their backpack in the washing machine or not.

In this article, you are likely to get the answer to this important question.

Can You Wash A Backpack In The Washing Machine?

Yes, you can wash your backpack in the washing machine as most of them are made of nylon or canvas. But not all backpacks are machine washable, so must check the label, before putting it in the washer. Therefore, it’s better to stay cautious, if you will put the non-washable backpack wrongly into the machine, then either it will damage the backpack or the machine itself

How To Wash The Backpack In The Washing Machine

First of all, follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions closely. And do not put the backpack as it is in the washing machine.

Prepare and Empty your backpack completely:

Remove all the objects from the bag so that it may not get damaged by water. Make sure to get into every compartment and check the corner for any dirt that may be lodged. If you found crumbs and dust in the bottom of the backpack, use the handheld vacuum to clean the slot and hard-to-reach-areas. Once the dirt on the surface is gone, use a damp rag to lightly wipe down the remaining dirt or dust.

Once you are done with that, leave all pockets unzipped and unfastened the belts. Also, take off any added clip, straps, or metal parts to make sure a backpack is free from the snagged and stuck zipper.
  • Cutaway any loose threads or fiber near zipping areas so that they don’t get caught into the washing machine.
  • Make sure to put everything that came out into a plastic bag, so it all stays together. That way, you won’t lose any of your important belongings.
  • If you found anything soiled, clean that now as you would not like put anything dirty back into a clean bag.
  • If your backpack has an attachable frame, remove it before putting it into the washer.

Read the Backpack care label:

Check inside of the backpack, there right on the top, you will often see a label along a side seam, containing care instruction. Usually, you will find information that will help you to wash and dry your backpack in a recommended way. This recommended information will be useful in washing and drying the backpack while maintaining permeability and durability function. Following these methods also ensure sustainability and protect the bag does not harm the material.

Strong cleaning methods and certain chemicals can damage the backpack fabric. It can also affect a backpack’s ability and effectiveness. So before washing the backpack into a machine, its best to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

If there is no label inside the backpack, test the small area of fabric with the cleaning agent you want to see. It will give you a clear idea of whether you should use it or not.

Apply stain remover:

Before putting the backpack into the washer, you should also apply pre-treat. If you have found any dirty spots outside or inside, gently apply some stain remover with a toothbrush or soft brush. But make sure you are not using any bleach. After applying the stain remover to affected areas and scrubbing gently, let the treatment sit for about 30 minutes. After a pre-wash treatment, you will notice that the stains are vanishing immediately.

Turn the bag inside out:

Turn the bag inside out before washing. You can also put it inside a large mesh laundry bag or an old pillowcase. It will not only protect the color and external features of the backpack but also prevent zippers and straps from getting caught inside the washing machine.

Add the backpack to the washer:

After placing the backpack into an oversized pillowcase or in a laundry bag, finally, you can put the bag into the washing machine. Use a small amount (1 or 2 tablespoons) of mild detergent as the washer fills with water. Wash the pack on the gentle cycle in lukewarm water (you can also use cold water).

The backpack may bunch up frequently in this case, stop the machine, and spread it out to keep the washing machine out from getting unbalanced and lopsided with a small load. When the bag is spread-out, restart the cycle. Once the cycle is completed, take the backpack out of its case, and wipe down thoroughly inside and outside.

Make sure not to use the fabric softener or regular detergent as these may turn out to be harmful to the material.

 Air-dry the Backpack

It’s the final step. After taking out the backpack from the washing machine, remove the pillowcase or laundry bag. Wipe down the inside part of the back and unzipped pocket with the help of a dry towel.

Don’t put the backpacks in any dryer. Allow them to dry naturally by hanging the backpack upside down in a warm, well-ventilated area.

Also, leave all the zippers unzipped so the bag can dry thoroughly and evenly. If you will dry the backpack in any hot dryer, it may damage its fabric. Drying backpack outside will also help any leftover odors drift away. But keep one thing in mind, always hang your backpack upside down away-from direct sunlight, especially when you have a colorful or bright backpack. Drying such bags directly in the sun can damage its fabric, and the color also may fade.

How Long It Will Take To Completely Dry The Backpack

After following all the instructions carefully, now the question arises, how long it will take to dry the backpack. There are different factors that can affect the time or number of days. If you are living in a region where there is always remaining moisture in the air, it may take one day or two at the most, to completely dry. But usually, depending on the material of your backpack, it can only take half a day or so to get dry.

But mind you, geographical location and the time of the year are the biggest factors. You can also speed up the drying process by absorbing the extra moisture from the backpack with the help of a towel.

Ensure that the bag is 100% dry before storing it away or using it for the next time. Leaving it wet increases the chances of fungus growth.

It always looks cool to carry a clean backpack around. By following all the instructions stated above, you can have a clean, washed backpack back to its original condition. Once your backpack is clean and dry, we would recommend adding some waterproofing spray and lubrication to the zipper. It will replenish lost coating and allow the zippers to work smoothly without getting rusty.

Some bags are not washable in the washing machine. If you have a backpack made up of leather, vinyl, or suede, washing these can damage the fabric. Similarly, if your backpack is too large to fit in the washing machine, cleaning those with the hand is the best suitable option.

Are you wondering how to hand wash the backpacks that are not suitable for the washing machine? Don’t worry about that. We have to make things easier for you. Check out the following points.

How To Hand-Wash Your Backpack Clear the backpack

  • Prepare your backpack for washing.
  • Check the care label.
  • Remove pre-strain using a stain-remover.
  • Fill a bathtub with Lukewarm water.
  • Use a gentle detergent.
  • Clean your backpack by scrubbing it with a rug or a soft brush.
  • Let it dry naturally.

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