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Easy Guide on How to Wash a Backpack

Posted by Patricia Spencer on
Easy Guide on How to Wash a Backpack

When it comes to laundry, perhaps one of the most overlooked garments is a backpack.  But, think about the amount of times we use one, and how often we set it down on the floor, the ground, and germ-laden surfaces.  Whether you’re using a backpack for school, work, or hiking, you’re gonna need to clean it every so often.  So, how often really depends on how often you use it, how dirty it gets, and how important it is to you that the backpack stays as clean as possible at all times. 

What’s most important is how you wash it.  Obviously, you want to wash your backpack effectively so that it really gets clean.  But, you also want to make sure that you’re not ruining it in the process.  Backpacks can be made from all sorts of materials, and each one has its own unique care requirements.  Let’s elaborate.

Should You Hand-Wash or Machine-Wash a Backpack?

Whether you should hand-wash or machine-wash a backpack really depends on how the backpack was made.  For instance, you wouldn’t throw a high-end designer backpack made of leather into the washing machine.  But, a nylon backpack that your child takes to school every day is a different story.

Fortunately, you can just refer to the care label on the backpack, which tells you everything you need to know about how it needs to be washed and dried.  The care label will look no different from the care label on clothing.  Of course, you may have a vintage backpack that doesn’t have a care label, or the care label may have gotten damaged at some point, in which case you’ll want to err on the side of caution and go with the gentlest methods possible, like hand-washing and air-drying. 

What Setting Should I Use to Machine-Wash My Backpack?

If you’re going to be using the machine-washing method to clean your backpack, again, the care label should tell you which setting is ideal.  Most nylon and canvas backpacks, typically associated with school, are machine-washable.  That being said, let’s go over the general process of machine-washing a backpack.

Step #1: Thoroughly empty the backpack by opening every compartment and removing what’s inside.  Then, use a brush, like a toothbrush, to brush away any visible dirt.

Step #2: If there isn’t a care label, we recommend diluting some laundry detergent and rubbing it into a small section of the backpack.  If the color doesn’t run and the fabric doesn’t become damaged, you can proceed with machine-washing.

Step #3: Place the backpack inside of a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase.  This will protect the zippers and straps from getting tangled. 

Step #4: Add a mild laundry detergent in a small amount, and then just wash the backpack on the gentlest setting.

How to Hand-Wash a Backpack

If your backpack indicates that it requires hand-washing, then simply follow these easy steps below.

Step #1: Again, make sure that the backpack is completely empty by opening each compartment and removing what’s inside.  Then, brush off any visible dirt on the surface.  Shake out the backpack thoroughly to remove any crumbs or other forms of debris that have gotten into the compartments.

Step #2: Check the care label if there are specific directions based on the type of material from which the backpack is made.  For instance, a suede backpack cannot get wet, or the suede will become damaged.  If the backpack can handle basic hand-washing methods, proceed.

Step #3: Fill a sink, basin, or bathtub with lukewarm water – enough to submerge the backpack.  Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water and swish it around.  Scrub the inside and outside of the backpack with a washcloth or sponge.

Step #4: Drain the detergent water and replace it with clean water.  Rinse the backpack in the clean water.

Drying a Backpack

When it comes to drying the backpack, again, the care label should tell you everything you need to know.  If there is no care label, then you’ll want to air-dry the backpack by hanging it so that the water can drip off.  If you fail to hang it, it can remain saturated for too long and develop mildew.

If the backpack can be dried in a dryer, then you’ll likely need to use the gentlest setting.  Because a backpack often has attachments in the forms of zippers, straps, and strings, there’s a higher chance of damage caused by the use of higher heat and higher tumble settings.  Besides that, many ingredients from which backpacks are made can get damaged by higher heat settings in a dryer.

Using Sustainable Products to Wash a Backpack

The question you’re asking yourself is: “what kinds of products are best when it comes to washing a backpack?”  Good question.  Well, we strongly believe in using environmentally friendly options that are free of ingredients known to harm both the ecosystem and our health.  At Grab Green Home, we offer a variety of EPA-certified, natural formulas, including:

These products are made with gentle ingredients that won’t damage your backpack, and these ingredients are proven to be safe. 

Keep Your Backpack Fresh and Clean!

At the end of the day, your backpack needs to be washed regularly, as it’s exposed to germs and dirt on a frequent basis.  Fortunately, backpacks can be cleaned quite easily, using the same basic methods used to wash our regular garments.  The key is knowing how to read the care label, and then following those directions to ensure that your backpack doesn’t get damaged.

Grab Green Home carries a variety of eco-friendly, EPA-certified laundry products that are gentle enough for backpacks, and free of ingredients that are harmful to our health as well as the environment.  Our products effectively clean your backpack to leave it looking and feeling like brand new, all while protecting the planet and the well-being of your family.  Explore our selection today.

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