can you put a backpack in the washer? can you put a backpack in the dryer?

Backpacks are the heart of our everyday activities, whether traveling, hiking, or carrying them to school. We know for sure they are our indispensable companions wherever we head. Unfortunately, they also become a target of spills, stains, and other outdoor elements in no time. This is where cleaning them becomes essential, but the question is, can backpacks be washed in the washer and dried?

Many individuals hesitate to clean their backpacks in the washer, fearing damage. However, with the right techniques, you can wash your backpacks and keep them as fresh and as functional as possible. Read our step-by-step guide to explore the dos and don’ts of washing and drying backpacks. 

How to wash a backpack in the washer

Washing your backpack in the washer comes with a prerequisite which is to make sure that it is made of nylon or canvas. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a good choice to put it in the washer. 

Step 1: Empty the backpack

Check every pocket and every section to ensure no item is left behind. Unzip the pockets afterward. You can also shake the backpack to extract the dirt and brush off any residue built up inside it. Remember not to miss any metal objects or belts.

Step 2: Read the care instructions label

By reading the care label beforehand, you will be able to determine the correct cleaning instructions. The care label could be easily found inside the backpack, if not, you must test the fabric with a small amount of washing powder on a spot that is not easily spotted; This would make sure the detergent works fine on it.

Step 3: Treat the stains

Next, try searching for more vibrant and visible stains and start treating it with stain remover. You can also use a teaspoon of detergent along with some lukewarm water and with the help of a brush, scrub these stains and wait for about 30 minutes before putting it into the washer.

Step 4: Put the backpack in the washer

Time to put the backpack into the water. 

Avoid putting it directly into the washer, instead get a laundry sack or a used pillowcase and place the backpack inside it. Doing so will ensure that the zippers and other kinds of straps are restrained from getting stuck in the machine.

Use about 2 tablespoons of a gentle detergent and wash in lukewarm water to get the best results.

Step 5: Dry the backpack

The last step is to let the backpack dry completely once it is cleaned in the washer. You can do this by using a towel and gently patting it over the backpack. After this, hang it outside and let the air do its work. 

How to wash a backpack by hand

When the material of the backpack does not allow you to machine wash it, a good choice is to clean it by hand. Don’t worry, it’s not as troubling as it seems. Although it might be more time-consuming, it allows delicate care for the backpack.

Read the steps below to learn an easy approach to how to wash a backpack by hand. 

Step 1: Prepare for the wash

Start by scrubbing the stains with a brush or a sponge and let it stay for about half an hour. Use a good stain remover at this point. Then, fill a container with enough lukewarm water and add some detergent to it. 

Step 2: Scrub the backpack

Now, take the scrub and gently brush it all over the backpack making sure you do not miss any prominent areas with spots. Try flipping the bag inside-out and scrub there as well.

Step 3: Rinse the backpack

Once the bag seems properly cleaned and all the spots are treated well with the detergent, now is the time to rinse it in clear water. Be sure to use cool or lukewarm. Then, carefully wring it out.

Step 3: Air dry the backpack

After rinsing, the final step is to let the backpack dry by hanging it out in the fresh air. Leave all the zippers and pockets open so the wetness goes away entirely even from the inside. 

Can you put a backpack in the dryer?

Well, the answer is yes and no.
Here’s the reason why. Since backpacks are made up of different materials, some of them can withstand the heat, whilst others might become damaged.

A dryer can be a convenient way to dry a backpack, but it comes with some risks as well. The heat and the hurrying action of the machine can harm to certain fabrics. A major damage to the backpacks is, shrinking. So, the best choice would be to air-dry the bags.

However, to make it work without damaging your backpacks, you must be cautious and select the appropriate dryer settings. In addition to that, you need to be certain that the zippers can withstand heat and agitation. 

With a low heat or a delicate cycle, you can safely dry your backpacks in a dryer. 

How Often to Wash a Backpack

The amount of times that you need to wash your backpack is determined by how often you use it on a regular basis, how much it is exposed to dirt, and the kind of stains that it gets. 

If it gets dirty frequently, then you should go for a wash every 2-3 months. Otherwise, it is good to wash it after 6 months at least. 

Tips for Washing and Caring for a Backpack

Now that you know how to clean a backpack in simple steps, knowing the caring-tips would also come in handy. Here are some tips for how to care for a backpack.

  1. When washing, don’t use hot water and avoid brushing or scrubbing too harshly as this would harm the fabric.
  2. Try not to expose a wet backpack directly into the sunlight, as an exaggerated amount of UV rays can fade the colors. 
  3. After rinsing the backpack, you can fold it into a thick towel and gently press over it to remove excess water. This will make the drying process speedy.

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