Can I Wash My Backpack?

A backpack is a great companion for any adventure. But let’s face it, backpacks can get dirty and smelly quickly. So you may have been wondering, “Can I wash my backpack?” The answer is yes! This blog post will give tips on keeping your backpack in pristine condition for years to come.

The Type of Fabric Matters

The first step to cleaning your backpack is to determine what type of fabric it’s made from. If it’s made from cotton or canvas, a machine-washable detergent should be sufficient for a gentle cycle wash.

However, if the backpack is made from synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester, it’s best to hand-wash it using warm water and detergent. It would be best to avoid washing backpacks with zippers and straps in the machine, as this could damage them.

Check for Care Labels

Before attempting to wash your backpack, always check for care labels that may provide specific instructions on cleaning the item correctly. This will ensure that you don’t end up damaging the material or compromising any features that make up the bag’s design. Again, it’s essential if you own a designer bag, as each brand may have its unique way of caring for its products.

Clean by Hand or Machine Wash?

Before we get started, let’s answer the initial question – can you wash your backpack in a washing machine? The short answer is yes; however, some things must be considered first.

If your backpack has removable straps or metal parts, those should be taken off before putting it in the machine. Also, if your backpack has leather accents or trims, it should not go into the washing machine because this could damage them. In those cases, hand-washing is best.

If you decide to go ahead with machine-washing, use a gentle cycle and mild detergent. Also, avoid using fabric softener as this can damage waterproof coatings on specific backpacks.

Once done and after rinsing out any remaining detergent from inside pockets and compartments, air-dry your pack away from direct heat sources such as radiators and hair dryers – this will help prevent shrinkage and warping of materials over time.  

Deep Cleaning Tips

For deep cleaning of dirtier packs or backpacks with water-resistant shells (such as rainproof bags), spot clean with warm water mixed with a small amount of mild soap or detergent applied directly onto stains using an old cloth or sponge (not paper towels).

This works well for most everyday dirt while also not damaging fabrics too much over time due to excessive soaking – something that happens quickly when attempting to submerge more oversized items such as backpacks in buckets of water for a more thorough cleaning!  

Dry Properly

Once you’ve finished cleaning your backpack, ensure it is adequately dried before storing away again. If possible, hang your bag outdoors in direct sunlight but be careful not to leave it out too long, as UV rays can fade certain materials over time.

Alternatively, lay towels indoors near a fan so that air circulates your bag while drying off any excess moisture left behind after cleaning. This will help extend the life of your bag by preventing mould growth due to trapped moisture inside its fabric or linings!


Cleaning your backpack doesn’t have to be complicated; it takes to research and effort! Before attempting any cleaning method, make sure that you check the label for instructions on how best to care for your particular bag type—this will ensure that you don’t accidentally damage it through improper cleaning methods.

Once done correctly, you should have a shiny new-looking pack ready for all kinds of adventures! So give your grimy old packs some TLC with these simple steps today!