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Can You Put a Backpack in the Washer? (All You Need to Know)

From food to sweaty shoes, everything we store in a backpack and make it messy. If the backpack belonged to a kid, it would be more dirty and require frequent washing. However, for washing the backpack, we should be aware of the right way.

Cleaning backpack in the washer:

Cleaning the backpack in the washer depends on the size and the material. Small backpack can efficiently be cleaned through a washer than a large sports backpack. Nylon or polyester are machine washable materials. For leather material, machine wash can be harsh and can cause a lot of damage. 

There are a few things to think about before putting the backpack in the washer. There are many kinds and sizes of backpacks, but nylon backpacks are more durable when laundered in a washing machine than leather backpacks.

Because some leather backpacks are sensitive and could be further harmed by a hard machine wash, if someone wishes to wash a backpack, they can if it is made of nylon. 

In addition, the size of the backpack should be taken into account when putting it in the washing machine for cleaning. For instance, large sports backpacks are more challenging to wash in the washing machine than small, handy backpacks.

However, cleaning large bags is not a problem. However, in comparison to small sized ones, a single drum washing machine may not be able to clean the larger backpacks sufficiently.

The cycle will start as soon as someone inserts their backpacks into the washer. If the backpack is made of canvas and has a waterproof covering, the machine will wash it more quickly and with less damage because canvas is a sturdy material.

So the machine will demonstrate its cleaning impact depending on the backpack without doing any harm. Even though leather may be cleaned, the backpack can be gradually damaged.

Therefore, it is wise to check the backpack’s labeling to see if it says it is machine washable or not before putting it in the washer to prevent any damage to its shine and quality.

Additionally, if the material of the bag pack claims to maintain its integrity even after machine washing, then it should be placed in the washer.

Sometimes the color fades, especially for leather bags as opposed to nylon ones, but machine washing is faster and more effective than hand washing, so anyone who wants to wash their bag using a washing machine can use it.

What backpacks are machine washable and what are not?

Whether or not we can wash a backpack in the washing machine depends on the fabric type. In general, polyester backpacks are suitable. Only backpacks made of leather, without a waterproof coating, or with colors that are prone to fading should not be laundered in a washing machine. If the backpack’s label indicates it may be washed, check that option before placing it in the washing machine.

Backpacks you can put in the washer:

Usually, polyester-based backpacks are the best options for machine washing.

The main benefit of washing a polyester or nylon backpack is that it is typically unaffected by the severe machine cycles and the detergent used in machine washing, which is gentle on the color and quick to dry.

Besides, it takes less time to clean and completely dry it in the washing machine.

Backpacks you shouldn’t put in the washer:

Backpacks made of leather shouldn’t be washed. Since leather has a very soft texture, any harsh machine cycle can significantly damage it. Detergents can also stain the leather or otherwise hinder its quality.

This increases the likelihood that the leather backpack will sustain damage when being washed. Therefore, it is recommended to hand wash leather rather than using a machine to clean it.

How to know if my backpack is machine washable?

Before placing it into the machine, it’s better to check the label and the instructions carefully. If machine washing is not allowed, it would be mentioned. However, you can assume whether it should be washable or not by examining the fabric.

If the backpack is made of polyester or nylon, a gentle cycle by the washer won’t do any significant harm. But if the backpack is made of leather material or any delicate fabric, machine wash needs to be avoided entirely. 

North face backpack:

It’s recommended to hand wash the north face backpack with gentle detergent in lukewarm water not in the washer or it may damage its shine and quality.

Jansport backpack:

Because of its high quality, water resistant and not easily tearable materials like nylon, fabric or leather that are used, Jansport backpack can be washable in washer. 

Osprey backpack:

It’s highly forbidden to machine wash the Osprey backpack as it can prominently affect the structure of the fabric and the quality will have a great impact. Gentle wash in a mild detergent will be sufficient. 

Fjallraven backpack:

Fjallraven backpack for machine wash won’t be wise as it’ll harm the quality and fabric of the backpack. Use a soft brush to wash the dirt and stain. 

Patagonia backpack:

Patagonia backpack can be put in the washer but make sure a very gentle cycle uses a gentle liquid detergent in cold water. 

Herschel backpack:

If Herschel backpack is placed in the washer, it can be severely damaged. It is suggested for hand washing with a mild soap and warm water.

Vera Bradley backpack:

In possible cold temperature with gentle cycle or slow spin, Vera Bradley backpack can be put in the washer. 

Adidas backpack:

On delicate or gentle cycle, using cold water and bleach-free detergent, Adidas backpack can be washed into washer.

How to clean your machine washable backpacks properly in the washer?

The first thing to keep in mind is that while washing the backpack, the side chains shouldn’t go in the machine with it.

The fabric of the backpacks must be examined, and you must select the washable backpacks specified on the label, such as polyester materials that can be machine-washed. The steps are given below: 

Takeout all the belongings:

Remove everything from the backpack because it could be harmed by the washing machine’s cycle and detergents.

If the bag is machine-washable, it can be placed inside the bag with the help of a laundry bag before being placed inside the washing machine.

Machine procedure:

If there is no laundry bag, flip the backpack over so the zippers cannot be seen from the outside and can’t get stuck inside the washer. Turning it upside down makes it ready to be placed in the washing machine.

You must now choose a mild washing cycle so that the cloth keeps its excellent shape and no color can fade from the machine’s rough cycling.

Use any moderate, warm water instead of hot machine water to avoid damaging the backpack. Additionally, the machine’s rotation should be such that it cycles slowly. 

How to wash your backpack without washing machine?

Washing a backpack by hand is always suggested. Follow the steps to clean the backpack: 

Prep the backpack and make it empty:

All the items and belongings from the backpack should be kept out and they also need washing.

Detachable pockets or straps, any kind of metals, and hip belts have to be cleaned separately to brush off exterior dirt and dust. 

Check the label:

It’s usually located inside the backpack; check it out and read all the instructions carefully. As a result, there’ll be no possibilities of harming the fabric.

Test the fabric:

In some backpacks you may not find the labeling or specific instructions. So it would be wise to test into a small area of backpacks and observe the reaction to the cleaning products. 

Need to spot cleaning:

If the backpack has hard dirts or stains, pre-treat the area. Take a gentle soap or detergent in lukewarm water then scrub the area well with a soft brush or sponge. 

Take it into a wide area to wash:

Put the backpack into the wide laundry basin or bathtub to wash it well. According to the label, submerge it into the water. Water should be cold. Mild, bleach-free detergent has to be used.

Scrub well again:

After submerging the backpack into the water for a few minutes, scrub again to the dirt, grease areas well using a soft brush or a sponge.

Time to rinse it well and set it for air dry:

Rinse thoroughly with a towel to pat away excess moisture from the backpack. 

Then hang it in the proper air ventilate area but the direct exposure of sun or heat has to be avoided or it can do a great harm to the fabric. 

Final thoughts

It’s better to follow the instructions on the label before washing the backpack. If the fabric or material is delicate, a hard machine wash can do further damage. As nylon or polyester are more durable materials than others, machine wash will be more effective on them; rather than hand washing.