How to Wash a Backpack

Backpacks can get a lot of mileage during the school year. Whether they’re filled with school supplies, packed lunches or dirty clothes, it’s a good idea to clean your backpack regularly. 

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Spot Cleaning a Backpack

If your backpack doesn’t need a deeper clean but you notice a few rogue stains, you can spot clean your backpack in a few simple steps.

  1. Check the backpack’s care label.
  2. Use a cloth or soft brush to gently and liquid laundry detergent like Persil® ProClean® +OXI detergent and apply it to the stain
  3. Let the detergent sit on the stain for 30 minutes before scrubbing gently
  4. Rinse the detergent with cold water and a clean cloth or soft brush
  5. Allow the spot-cleaned area to air dry

Can You Wash a Backpack in the Washing Machine?

Depending on the material, most backpacks are safe to wash in the washing machine. However, if the bag has a leather trim, we advise against a machine wash. Always check the laundry care label on your backpack before washing.

How to Wash a Backpack in the Washing Machine

Not all backpacks can be washed, so be sure to check your bag’s care label before following the next steps.

  1. Empty your backpack and remove any visible debris
  2. Pre-treat any stains as necessary
  3. Put the empty backpack in a mesh laundry bag and place in the drum of your washing machine
  4. Select a gentle cycle on your washing machine and use a stain-fighting laundry detergent like Persil® ProClean® +OXI liquid laundry detergent
  5. Allow the bag to hang dry

How to Clean a Backpack by Hand

If you’d prefer to handwash your backpack, you’ll still start by emptying your backpack and removing any visible dirt and pre-treating any stains before starting the handwashing process.

  1. Fill a clean bathtub, sink, or large bin with lukewarm water and some liquid laundry detergent
  2. Place the bag directly in the water, using a soft brush or clean towel to scrub the inside and outside of the bag, as well as the zippers or any other areas that may have buildup
  3. Replace the dirty water with fresh water, thoroughly rinsing the bag until all detergent is removed
  4. Use a clean towel to pat away and absorb excess moisture before allowing the bag to hang dry.