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How to Clean a Backpack

20 Nov 2019

A backpack maybe is a major investment that needs to take care of. Whether you’re wearing a daypack or large backpack, sweat salts and skin oils can seep into shoulder straps and belts. Grease spots may form from cooking splatters. All these can attract dirt over time, degrading the fabric. Zippers can get gunked up, making them difficult to use. Bugs or any other small animals also will be attracted to food scraps in pockets. So, there are plenty of reasons why you should keep the bag clean.

That is what you need whether doing a light cleaning or deep cleaning:

  1. Mild soap---no spice and additive. Don’t use regular detergent or fabric softener as these may damage the material.
  2. Cleaning sponge or towel.
  3. Soft nylon hairbrush or used toothbrush.

Techniques for Cleaning Your Backpack

First of all, you should follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendation of industry rather than someone else. For example, some advice you submerge a backpack in a bathtub, others may not.

Usually, please obey the following principals:

  1. Do not use the washing machine and dryer.
  2. Do not use hot water. Avoiding to destroy the protective coating of every bag, please pay attention to using a soft hairbrush.
  3. Do not expose to sunlight (UV light can degrade the fabric), but hang in a cool place
  4. Zippers need occasional cleaning to remove fine sand, dust and other particles. Be careful not to scrub, as many zippers have a waterproof coating. Using a special zipper lubricant to help slide the stuck zipper.


After tired hiking or outdoor adventures, we just want a quick cleaning:

  1. Empty all pockets. Shake it upside down to remove fine sand, dust and other particles.
  2. Use a clean hairbrush without soap to wipe out interiors.
  3. Softly scrub your backpack with a sponge or cloth and a little soap, focusing on the exterior areas that are particularly dirty.
  4. Use a soft hairbrush or towel to rinse off the soap.
  5. Allow the backpack to dry naturally. Pack it for your next adventures.


A true deep-cleaning may need one or more years to make it, but sooner or later we will hope to do:

  1. After emptying the package, gently pump the seams and gaps in the vacuum bag and then move down into the body of the package to remove any debris, sand or loose dirt.
  2. Removing the waist belt and shoulder straps if your pack can, cleaning with sponge and soap, and then washing in flow cool water.
  3. If your backpack has a metal frame, remove this before washing.
  4. Fill a bathtub or large sink with about 6 inches of lukewarm water. Use mild soap. Soak and dry your backpack vigorously, exude from the inside, and brush the outer spots. Note any contact with the skin. Mesh pockets should be soft.
  5. Fill with 6 inches of clean cool water, rinse well. If necessary, you can wash twice to make sure deep cleaning.


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