Whether you hike outdoors often or simply use your backpack for everyday errands and activities, it’s essential to keep up with proper care of your bag. Though dirt and grime build up over time on the exterior and even sometimes on the interior compartments of a backpack, there is an easy way to make sure that it stays looking as good as new: by throwing it in the washer!
It can seem like a daunting task at first but washing your backpack in the washing machine isn’t nearly as complicated or intimidating as some may think. In this article, we will share our top tips for cleaning your backpack efficiently and correctly.
Can You Put a Backpack in the Washer?
We’re here to tell you it can be done; you are able to put a backpack in the washer! Even some specialty hiking bags. It's no secret that backpacks require special care when washing due to the variety of materials used.
Materials like leather, suede, and vinyl should be washed by hand only, while internal or external frame camping backpacks should also be washed by hand due to their structure. Additionally, water repellent and waterproof backpacks should not be machine-washed as it could cause damage to the sealant on them.
Can You Put a Backpack in the Dryer?
After you wash your backpack, you will need to dry in to prevent mold build up. Your first instinct might be to throw it in your dryer, however, damage can be caused. Sometimes, using the dryer on your backpack cna ruin it.
Heat shrinks all materials, and odds are your backpack is made with plastic and other fabrics that don't do well with heat. That being said, it's recommended to air dry your backpack after washing.
How To Wash a Backpack in a Washing Machine
Washing your backpack correctly is important because wear and tear can cause more damage and a shorter lifespan. Listed below are some of the most important things to do when it comes to washing your backpack.
Empty the Backpack and Vacuum Inside
First, it's crucial to ensure that your backpack is empty. In order to successfully clean a backpack, empty the contents and then use a vacuum cleaner with an appropriate attachment for further deep cleaning of all pockets.
The pockets must remain unzipped during the entire process. This will ensure that all dust and debris are effectively removed from each pocket, and the entire bag can be thoroughly cleaned.
Furthermore, special caution should be taken for those with allergies or other sensitivities, as improper cleaning can lead to irritation or discomfort. With regular maintenance through vacuuming, backpacks can remain looking fresh and vibrant and last significantly longer than if they were not properly cleaned on a consistent basis.
Prep the Bag
It's important to then prep the bag for washing after emptying it out. This can be done by using a damp cloth and wiping down the inside and outside of the backpack. Its suggested to also prep the following things:
- Metal frames: If your backpack has any metal frames, it will be important to remove these before throwing your bag in the washing machine.
- Straps: All backpacks have many straps, and these should be removed if possible from your backpack before washing. If your straps are detachable, then it's important to have them removed, so that they don't get caught in the washing machine.
- Loose threads: When scanning your backpack make sure that you cut away all loose threads. If you don't, these loose threads will catch in the machine, and fray your backpack or ruin the seams.
This is the next important step to complete when washing your backpack. To do this, create a solution of Tru Earth's eco-friendly fragrance free laundry detergent strips and water, and use a soft-bristled brush or an unused toothbrush to apply the solution directly to the stained area.
Leave the solution on the stain for 30 minutes and then proceed with washing the backpack without needing to rinse off the detergent beforehand. The combination of scrubbing during pretreatment and in the wash cycle will help increase the chances of completely removing any stains from the material.
It is important to note that different fabrics may require different cleaning solutions and techniques, so it is always best to check fabric care instructions before using any type of cleaner.
Wash the Backpack in Your Washing Machine
Finally, you are able to put your backpack in the washing machine. This is the most important part of washing your backpack. Choose the most delicate cycle setting, and wash with cool water. Adding the best laundry detergent that is gentle on your backpack, and on your washing machine will be key.
The perfect detergent for this job is Tru Earth's eco-friendly laundry detergent strips. Our strips are an ultra-concentrated, hypoallergenic, and liquidless detergent solution that can be used in all types of washing machines. They contain only the best ingredients with no parabens, phosphates or added dyes and are free from chlorine bleach and 1,4-dioxane.
Our low sudsing formula is designed to seek out and dislodge dirt molecules and stains, keeping them in suspension until they are rinsed away. This means that laundry washing will become easier, healthier and more economical while also being kinder to our planet.
Be sure not to put too much laundry detergent into the washing machine when washing a backpack, because it could cause issues in your backpack. Thankfully, Tru Earth's laundry detergent pre-measured strips eliminate the need for measuring out a scoop of powder or pouring of liquid soap each time you do a load of laundry which makes it cost effective as well as environment friendly due to less plastic packaging waste.
Air Dry the Bag
Last but not least comes the drying of your backpack. It's recommended to blot with a dry towel first, to remove any excess water. Then, you should hang it on a drying rack inside or outside, with all pockets unzipped.
How Often Should Your Backpack Be Cleaned?
It's important to take proper care of your backpack in order to keep it looking great and extend its lifespan. For regular cleaning, you should always empty the pockets, vacuum them out, and treat any stains. We recommend doing this weekly or after every seven uses.
Deep cleaning your backpack is only necessary when it's really dirty and can be done by using gentle detergents and air drying the bag. This method should only be used sparingly as overwashing can damage the material.
Can You Wash a Backpack in the Washing Machine With Other Clothes?
Yes, of course you can wash your backpack in the washing machine with other clothes. However, you need to ensure you arent overfilling your washing machine by adding the backpack in.
How Long Does It Take a Backpack To Air Dry?
The answer to these questions will fully decide on the size of the bag. Generally, it will take around 24 hours to fully dry your backpack. And, blotting the bag with towels before hanging it up to dry will help load when it comes to air drying.