Hiking - Knowledge

How to Wash a Backpack: The Expert Guide

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Amongst the growing community of travelers, there are two types of people – the kind that brings back trinkets and souvenirs to remind them of their adventures, and the kind whose backpacks have been through so much that they live to tell their own tales. Which one are you? If you are an avid backpacker then you would agree that a backpack is an inevitable companion. The best thing about the backpack is that is comfy to carry, easy to maintain and it certainly needs a little place to be stored up. Now the question is how to up keep your favorite backpacks for your tours and treks? You can go with an unclean and filthy backpack that has collected more dirt than a war zone and show off with an “I do not care” attitude. But if you really care about the investment you have made on it then it is important to know how to wash a backpack? As it is the only way to keep your bag ready-to-tour is to clean it after you return home from a journey.

One thing is for sure, that your backpack needs care!

Table of Content

  • How to Wash Your Backpack
  • How to Disinfect Your Backpack
  • Overall Care

Be it a daily-wear bag or a travel rucksack, a bag tends to be exposed to damage and infection. Its shoulder straps are very likely to accumulate the salts from the sweat and oil from our skin, which furthermore attracts dirt and grime over time, hence deteriorating the fabric. Our backpacks also gather layers of soot, which can attract unwanted fungal growths and insects.

When you do not want any dirt, stain, salt or any wear and tear to catch your backpack, you need to wipe your backpack properly each time you spill anything on it. A light rub with paper on your knapsack or backpack is not enough. You need to do something extra to keep it wear and tear free. If you are thinking how to wash a backpack then this article will definitely handy for you. Confused about hand wash or machine wash? Then find out which one is best for your backpack and easy tips and trick on how to wash your travel companion.

How to Wash Your Backpack

Folks who are not sure how to wash a backpack at home, we are here to help you. If you know the proper techniques for cleaning your backpack then you can keep using your backpack for a long time and do justice with your one-time investment. The material of the backpack determines the way you need to wash. A backpack can be washed in several ways though you need to check first how stubborn the dirt is. With the right kind of detergents, products, and some elbow-grease, you can give your bag a brand new appearance and maybe even extend its longevity in the process.

Let’s find out how many ways your travel-mate can be washed.

Lazy Light Cleanse Guide

Too lazy to wash your backpack?

Well, we have something for you too!

Go for a light cleaning and make your backpack sparkling bright.

 How to Wash a Backpack
How to Wash a Backpack(Source)

After an overnight trip, it’s best to empty out your entire bag and give it a good upside-down shake to get rid of any leftover dirt, food particles, and dust. This is to prevent any unwanted items from amassing inside your bag. Now your bag is good to wash.

Listed below is an easy way to clean your bag:

  • Once the backpack is cleared, you can use a dry sponge or tissues to wipe the interiors clean of any remaining grime.
  • If you find any visible stains on the outer skin of the bag, you can lightly scrub them off with a little bit of castile soap and a sponge, a soft bristle toothbrush or a washcloth.
  • Using a non-detergent doesn’t react harshly to the fabric and damage the material, unlike softeners and scented detergents.
  • Once the stains are out, use clean and cool water with a fresh sponge to rinse off the soap and put the backpack out to air-dry.

Livingit Tip
Prior to the wash, it is essential to check the care instructions on your backpack.

Neatnik’s Deep Cleanse Guide

We’re all guilty of neglecting our backpacks for months on end. What was once a colorful shade of fabric could now probably be a faded tone of grime. And sooner or later, we start to detest the smoky shade of wear and tear draped on our backpacks. In times like these, it only seems to fair to give our trusty equipment a deep cleaning.

One can either go by the traditional and more careful method of hand-washing them or by letting the washing machine do its magic.

1. How to Hand Wash a Backpack

Washing a backpack in a machine is less tiring as well as quick. But when you have a large size backpack, you should avoid machine to clean it. You can simply go for hand wash to get rid of stubborn dirt, oil, stain and debris from your backpack. If your backpack is small then you can consider washing your backpack in a sink or basin. Remember to empty your backpack prior to hand wash.

How to Wash a Backpack
How to Hand Wash a Backpack
  • First, open your backpack and take out everything from the backpack.
  • Then check the pockets, corners, and zips of your backpack properly.
  • If there is metal frame then keep aside the metal before wash.
  • Next, fill your large bucket or your bathtub with lukewarm water. Do not use hot water, it may cause the fabric to bleed or damage the backpack material.
  • Now add mild detergent into the bathtub or bucket.
  • Avoid softener or regular detergent to wash your backpack.
  • You need to soak your backpack on the bathtub for minutes and use a brush or scrub to clean out dirt and oil from the backpack.
  • You can focus on the tough stain and dirt when you hand wash your back pack manually.
  • You can use a toothbrush to reach the rarest corner of your backpack and you can deal with the tough strains properly.

When you complete your hand wash, it is time to dry your backpack properly. Do not use a dryer or any artificial way to dry your backpack; it may harm the material, color and even shrink your backpack. Try to use the natural source, the sunlight to dry your backpack properly. Make sure your bag is totally dry prior to store up for future use. Hope you do not have any quarry last and above-mentioned tips help you how to hand wash a backpack.

2. How to Wash a Backpack in a Washing Machine

Very first, empty your backpack and make it ready for clean. Properly check each and every corner and pocket to clean debris.

How to Wash a Backpack
How to Wash a Backpack In a Washing Machine
  • You can use a vacuum cleaner to clean dust from the backpack.
  • Make sure you keep the zips open.
  • Next, set your washing machine in a gentle mode to avoid rough wash.
  • Then put your backpack in a laundry sack or pillowcase to avoid damage of straps.
  • You can remove the straps before machine wash and hand-wash the straps.
  • Check the size of your washing machine prior to put the backpack in the machine.
  • Never use harsh detergent to wash your bag. Only use a mild detergent to wash your backpack.
  • Chose gentle wash cycle to clean your bag and use cold water.
  • In the middle of the machine wash, you should check the condition of your bag and make sure the bag does not get stuck inside the machine.

When the machine wash will be finished, put your backpack out of the machine and keep it to dry. Let the bag be dried in a natural way. Do not use any tumble dry or dryer as it can damage your backpack. You can simply follow the steps when you are nosy to identify how to wash a backpack in a washing machine.

How to Disinfect Your Backpack?

This is an important step!

How to Wash a Backpack
How to Disinfect Your Backpack?

Disinfecting a backpack is considered as a serious cleaning. It is really good to disinfect your backpack after a long trip. If you are a hiking freak and you regularly carry your backpack to all kinds of hikes then disinfecting your backpack is a must to-do task! Hiking clothes, socks, and sweat towel are the perfect staffs to transfer fungus to your backpack if you allow you backpack not to clean often. Hence, disinfecting a backpack is the only way to get rid of fungus and dirt.

Let us know the steps to disinfect a backpack at home.

  • First, empty your backpack.
  • Then keep aside the removable straps and metal frame.
  • Use only phenolic or branded pine oil to clean backpack.
  • Avoid using chlorine bleach to disinfect your backpack as it can harm the material.
  • Make sure the ready-made pine oil container contains more than 80% of pine oil.
  • You can add phenol to the luke warm water and clean your backpack to disinfect.
  • Use only safe brand phenol for disinfecting purpose.
  • To clean the inside area of your backpack, you need to mix up an equal amount of phenol with an equal amount of luke warm water. Then take a rag or sponge, soak it in the water and wipe all the debris and dirt inside out of the backpack.

Before trying the disinfecting process, make sure you have checked the label instruction. When you complete your cleaning, let the backpack dry properly with air.

Overall Care

Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter. Giving your backpack a good and thorough wash once in awhile is required, but to maintain your bag’s quality and durability over a long period of time, there are smaller and easier things you can do.

Here are few pointers to a year-round care package for your backpack:

  • Make sure no water accumulates inside your rucksacks, to avoid the growth of mold or bacteria. This tends to happen when the bags are not dried properly before storage
  • Using a rucksack liner tremendously helps reduce spillages inside the bag, making it less prone to becoming odorous and infectious. It also keeps the interior kit dry and easy to clean.
  • Remember to wipe down your bag regularly, inside and out, with a wet washcloth. This prevents any buildup of dirt, dust and unwanted grime
  • The way you pack also has a huge impact on the cleanliness of your backpack. Tent pegs, poles, knives, and objects with sharp edges tend to be damaging to the backpack’s material. By packing them tightly together against each other, movement between the objects is restricted. Packing them between clothes also provides helps prevent any damage to the bag.
  • Wash your bag once or twice every year. Excess wash can damage the fabric and look of your bag.
  • Use a non-staining silicone spray to protect the zippers from rusting.

We hope you would now clean your backpack and give it a spanking new look! Make sure you take proper care while washing and we bet your backpack would last for a longer time.

Don’t stay lazy, go wash it and share with us hacks that you follow while cleaning your favorite backpack.

Cover Source!

Team Livingit

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