Do you ever wonder how to wash a backpacking backpack? If you have used your backpacking backpack for a while, chances are that it will need to be washed or at least cleaned.
Most backpacking backpacks are made from nylon, which means that most backpacking backpack models can be safely washed in the washing machine at cold to medium temperatures and a low centrifugation speed. But it depends on some key factors that I will get into here. For thicker backpacking packs, a dryer can be used to dry the backpack afterwards, but air drying is preferable if possible.
After all, your backpack is one of the most essential pieces of equipment that you may wear every day to work or as your trusted travel partner.
Regularly washing your pack can help keep it in top condition for years to come – but there are some tips and tricks you need to know before attempting this task!
I have included a table with the most popular backpacking backpack models to give you some advice on how best to clean your specific backpacking backpack, as well as offer up some top tips for keeping your backpacking backpack clean so you never have to ask yourself how to wash a backpacking backpack again!
How and When to Wash a backpacking Backpack – The Basics
It’s important to wash your backpack regularly, as dirt and sweat can build up over time. Not only does this make it look less attractive, but it can also lead to the fabric breaking down faster and make the fabric smell bad over time.
As most backpacking backpacks are made from thick nylon material, they are fairly easy to clean!
Unlike other backpack materials, nylon is fairly robust and tolerates cleaning well and usually backpacking backpacks have pretty good seems and zippers that are able to withstand machine washing if done correctly.
To get started, you’ll need a mild detergent or soap (preferably one that is specifically designed for washing technical fabrics), a soft brush or sponge, and access to either a washing machine or sink with warm water.
If you’re using a washing machine, put your backpack in on its own on the gentle cycle with cold water. Add the detergent and let it run through its full cycle before removing the bag from the washer.
Do not centrifuge higher than 800 RPM and for maximum 20mins.
For backpacking that are mostly made from nylon, you might want to put your backpack into a cotton bag e.g. a pillow case or sheet cover, to protect the outside when washing it.
If hand-washing is more convenient for you, fill up your sink with lukewarm water and add some of the detergent into it. Gently scrub any dirty areas of your bag using either a soft brush or sponge until they are clean.
Once finished washing, rinse off all remaining soap residue thoroughly with cold water before leaving it out to air dry completely.
When cleaning different materials like canvas or leather backpacks there are specific steps that should be taken in order to ensure their longevity:
Canvas bags should be washed by hand using cool/lukewarm water along with an appropriate cleaner formulated for use on canvas material; while leather bags require special care when cleaning them – avoid getting them wet at all costs!
Instead use saddle soap followed by applying leather conditioner after drying completely away from direct sunlight once again which will help keep them looking great for years to come!
Overall, the key to keeping your backpack clean is to be proactive and take care of it on a regular basis.
By regularly cleaning the exterior and interior of your backpack, paying attention to any stains or smells, and storing it properly, you can keep your backpack looking and smelling fresh and ready to use whenever you need it.
Remember to always read the care label and always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before attempting any type of cleaning.
When to clean your backpack?
Always clean and dry your backpacking backpack that has been wet or damp for longer periods of time. A damp backpack will attract mold, mildew and bacteria so make sure to rapidly dry it when you have worn it in a rain shower.
If the backpack was not dried right away, it is always a good idea to wash it to make sure all the dirt gets removes so microorganisms have nothing to eat in your backpack!
If possible, spot clean stains immediately rather than waiting until later; hang up heavy items such as laptops instead of stuffing them into pockets where they may stretch out fabric over time; and lastly, try not to overload your pack so that strain is not placed onto seams which could cause premature wear and tear.
Washing a backpack can be an important part of maintaining your gear and keeping it in good condition. Now that you know the basics, let’s look at some tips for deep cleaning your pack to make sure it lasts for years to come.
Key Takeaway: It’s important to regularly clean your backpack in order to keep it looking great and ensure its longevity. For best results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning different materials such as canvas or leather, use mild detergent or soap specifically designed for technical fabrics.
What are backpacking Backpacks Made From?
The most important factor when determining how (and if) to wash your backpacking backpack, is to know what material it is made from!
Backpacking backpacks are usually made from 200D to 600D nylon, which is almost waterproof, light and very tear resistant, but some are made from thicker polyester like 600D polyester instead, which share many of the same capabilities.
Not all materials should be washed, and those that can will need different treatments. Some can be washed in the washing machine, others cannot!
Most newer backpacking backpacks are made from nylon, which can be seen from the overview of backpacking backpacks in the table below:
|Futura Pro 42 SL
|420 denier nylon
|Atmos AG 65
|210 denier high tenacity nylon
|The North Face
|600 denier polyester
|210 denier high tenacity nylon
|Trion Pro 40
|200 denier Robic nylon
|First Light 30
|330 denier nylon
|840 denier ballistic nylon
|210 denier high tenacity nylon
|600 denier polyester
|Kompressor Plus 18
|210 denier ripstop nylon
|400 denier polyester
|600 denier polyester
|420 denier nylon
|500 denier polyester
|210 denier nylon
|210 denier nylon
|Rim Runner 22
|300 denier polyester
|600 denier polyester
|210 denier high tenacity nylon
|600 denier polyester
|400 denier polyester
|Lightning Ascent 22
|70 denier ripstop nylon
|500 denier polyester
|Latok Summit 30
|210 denier high tenacity nylon
|420 denier nylon
Especially ultralight backpacks for hiking from more expensive brands tend to be made of nylon rather than polyester.
Not All Backpack Materials Tolerate Machine Washing!
When it comes to washing your backpack, not all materials are created equal. It is important to understand the different types of materials used in backpacks and how best to clean them.
Although most backpacking backpacks are made from nylon, there may be exceptions that I might not have included here.
Therefore I will briefly mention other materials that your backpack could be made from, and how to deal with them when washing!
Nylon is a lightweight, water resistant and durable material that can usually be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent.
Backpacks are usually made from nylon of the thickness 100-1000D (denier), and the thicker the more tolerant to machine washing, but the longer it takes to dry.
Make sure you use a laundry bag or pillowcase when washing nylon backpacks in the washer as this will help protect any zippers or buckles from getting damaged during the wash cycle. After washing, hang up your pack and allow it to air dry completely before using again.
Some backpacks, like some of those from Fjällräven are already waterproof, but others will need the application of a DWR spray to keep the water resistant capabilities of your nylon backpack.
nylon is a synthetic material, which is the most common type of material used for backpacks due to the durability, water resistance and strength. Usually the polyester used for backpacks is nylon, but other thick polyester fabrics are also common.
Like nylon, polyester can also be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent.
Polyester is more wear resistant than nylon, but a polyester backpack can also be placed inside of a laundry bag or pillowcase for added protection against damage during the wash cycle.
You can tumble dry polyester if you are careful, but it is better to allow your polyester backpack to air dry completely before using again.
Canvas is one of the most popular materials used for backpacks due its breathability and comfort level while carrying heavy loads over long distances; however canvas does require special care when cleaning as it cannot withstand high temperatures or harsh chemicals like other fabrics such as nylon or polyester can handle without being damaged.
To clean canvas packs by hand, simply spot treat any stains with warm soapy water then rinse off with cool water afterwards.
Never put canvas packs into the washer! Hang up your pack after cleaning and allow it to air dry completely before using again – avoid placing near direct heat sources such as radiators which could cause shrinkage over time if left too close for extended periods of time!
Backpack made (partly) from leather, vinyl, wool should only ever be cleaned by hand since these materials cannot tolerate high temperatures nor harsh chemicals found in many commercial cleaners available today – instead opt for warm soapy water mixed together with some white vinegar (1 part soap and 1 part vinegar).
Gently scrub away at any dirt build-up then rinse off thoroughly afterwards; do not soak these items in order prevent shrinking & warping over time! Allow your pack plenty of time to air dry naturally before storing away until next use – avoiding direct sunlight exposure where possible too!
When cleaning a backpack, it is important to understand the type of material used and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Nylon and polyester can usually be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent while canvas, leather, vinyl, or wool should only ever be cleaned by hand using warm soapy water mixed with white vinegar. Make sure to air dry all backpacks completely before storing away until next use.
How to Wash a backpacking Backpack in a Washing Machine
If your backpacking backpack is looking a little worse for wear, don’t despair – you can easily give it a new lease of life with a trip to the washing machine. Just follow these simple steps and your backpack will be good as new in no time.
1. Start by checking the tag on your backpack for manufacturers instructions. If it states to not machine wash, then proceed with a hand washing or dry cleaning as recommended.
2. Pre-treat any visible stains with a gentle detergent and a soft brush or sponge. Let the solution sit on the stain for 5-10 minutes before laundering.
3. Place the backpack in a mesh laundry bag (you can use a pillow case or duvet sheet as well!). Any type of soft bag that allows water through can be used and will help protect your nylon backpack from snagging during the washing process.
4. Set the washing machine to its gentle cycle using cold water, and add a mild detergent that is safe for colors according to directions on the package label.
5. Once the cycle is complete, carefully remove your backpack from the washer and gently squeeze out excess water with your hands (do not wring).
6. Lay flat in its original shape on a large towel and roll up tightly to absorb moisture from inside out of pocket areas as well as straps before air drying completely. You may also use a tumble dryer to dry your nylon backpacking backpack, but only at the low heat setting as high heat may damage nylon fibers over time.
Always empty the backpack completely (check all pockets!) and never store damp items inside the pack after washing it as this can lead to mold growth.
In this manner your backpacking backpack will stay clean and retain its original look for a longer period of time.
How to Wash Your backpacking Backpack by Hand
Washing your backpacking backpack by hand is a great way to keep it clean and free of dirt, debris, and bacteria. Its important to regularly wash your backpack as dirt and sweat can cause damage over time. Before you begin washing your backpack, make sure that all the straps are secured tightly so they dont get caught in the washer or sink.
Preparing Your Backpack for Washing
Before you start washing your nylon backpacking backpack, empty out any pockets or compartments that have items inside them. Then turn the bag inside out so that any dirt or grime on the outside of the bag doesn’t transfer onto other items during cleaning. Once this is done, use a damp cloth with mild soap to spot-clean any areas where there may be stains or heavy buildup of dirt and grime.
Cleaning Your Backpack
Fill up a large basin with warm water and add some mild detergent such as Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid into it. Submerge your entire backpack into the solution for about 10 minutes before gently scrubbing it with a soft brush using circular motions until all visible signs of dirt are gone from both sides of the fabric surface area being cleaned.
Rinse off thoroughly with cold water afterwards to remove any remaining soap residue from its surface area completely before drying it off either outdoors in direct sunlight (if possible) or indoors near an open window/ventilation fan if not available outdoors at present time due to weather conditions etc..
Drying Your Backpack
Once finished rinsing off your pack properly after cleaning it earlier on; hang dry either indoors near an open window/ventilation fan if outdoors is not an option.
If hanging isn’t an option then lay flat on top of towels instead while making sure no part gets folded over itself which could lead to permanent creasing marks forming along its fabric surfaces once dried later on down below here next…
Finishing Up The Process
Once fully dried off, apply waterproof spray such as Scotchgard onto its exterior surfaces only (not interior ones) evenly across each side’s entirety for added protection against future spills and stains alike moving forward.
Washing your backpack by hand is a great way to ensure it lasts for years of outdoor adventures. Now let’s look at how to clean your backpack with a washing machine.
Key Takeaway: Before you begin cleaning your backpacking pack, make sure to empty out any pockets or compartments and spot-clean any stains with a damp cloth. Submerge the entire bag in warm water with mild detergent for 10 minutes before rinsing off thoroughly. Hang dry either indoors near an open window or ventilation fan or outdoors if possible. Finally, apply waterproof spray on its exterior surfaces only for added protection against future spills and stains alike moving forward.
More Tips on How to Wash Your backpacking nylon Backpack
The most common and convenient way is to simply machine wash the bag. However, before doing so, make sure that the thickness and surface treatment of the polyester can withstand this kind of cleaning method. If not, then spot clean or dry clean instead.
Tips for machine washing your backpacking backpack:
Always make sure all zippers are open and all pockets empty! Any strings that may be loosely attached should be removed, and any tags or straps tightly secured.
Then, remove any dirt from its surface using a damp cloth and mild detergent solution. Then place it in a mesh laundry bag if possible to protect it from getting tangled with other items in the washer drum during spinning cycles.
Next set your washing machine on gentle cycle with cold water temperature setting and use mild detergent only; no bleach or fabric softener should be used as they may damage the materials fibers over time.
Finally rinse twice after washing for best results before drying out completely either by air-drying outdoors or tumble-dry at low heat settings indoors (if applicable).
See our more detailed guide on how to wash your backpacking backpack below!
Spot clean and hand wash your backpack if not too dirty
I would recommend to spot clean instead of machine washing most backpacking backpacks if only a few superficial stains are present.
This will save you time and will be much easier on your fabric. It might also be easier to do right when needed, which increases your chances of being able to remove the stain completely!
Preparing Your Backpack for Hand Washing
Before you start washing your backpack, empty out any pockets or compartments that have items inside them.
Then turn the bag inside out so that any dirt or grime on the outside of the bag doesn’t transfer onto other items during cleaning.
Once this is done, use a damp cloth with mild soap to spot-clean any areas where there may be stains or heavy build-up of dirt and grime.
Here is a quick overview:
- Start by emptying out your backpack and removing any loose dirt or debris.
- If your backpack is particularly dirty, you may want to pre-treat any stubborn stains with a spot cleaner or mild detergent.
- Once you’ve pre-treated any stains, fill a sink or basin with lukewarm water and a small amount of mild detergent.
- Submerge your backpack in the soapy water and gently agitate it to loosen any dirt or grime.
- Rinse your backpack thoroughly with clean water.
- If your backpack has a removable liner, take it out and wash it separately.
- Once your backpack is clean, stuff it with a few towels to help absorb any moisture and help retain its shape when drying.
- Hang your backpack in a well-ventilated area to air dry.
If you prefer spot cleaning instead of machine washing, then use a damp cloth soaked in warm water mixed with mild detergent solution to wipe away dirt spots on the exterior surfaces of your backpack.
Do this first before tackling tougher stains like oil or grease marks which require special stain removers such as rubbing alcohol or white vinegar solutions applied directly onto affected areas followed by rinsing off thoroughly afterwards until all traces are gone completely prior to drying it out.
Drying can be done naturally under shade outdoors preferably away from direct sunlight exposure for extended periods of time otherwise fading might occur due to UV rays damaging color pigments over time too!
But you can also dry most nylon backpacks in a tumble dryer. The dryer is fine for most backpacking backpacks, especially if your backpacking backpack is made from thicker materials such as nylon or a thick nylon.
Consider dry cleaning your backpacking backpack
If dry cleaning is more suitable for certain types of delicate fabrics such as velvet backpacks, then take them along with their respective care labels attached to professional cleaners who specialize in handling these kinds of materials correctly without causing any further damages. This will ensure that the fabric remains looking brand new even after multiple washes.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your polyester backpack is clean and well-maintained for any outdoor adventure. Now let’s move on to the next step – how to dry a polyester backpack.
When it comes to washing a nylon backpack from backpacking, you have the option of machine washing, spot cleaning or dry cleaning depending on the material’s thickness and surface treatment.
Always use mild detergent and cold water when machine washing and remember to rinse twice for best results.
For tougher stains like oil or grease marks, special stain removers may be needed. Lastly, if dry cleaning is more suitable for certain types of delicate fabrics such as velvet backpacks then take them along with their respective care labels attached to professional cleaners who specialize in handling these materials correctly.
Remember to Clean the Interior of Your Backpack
If you wash your backpack by hand, it is always a good idea to thoroughly clean the inside first.
But sometimes, it is not the outside of your backpack that needs to be cleaned, but only the inside! This may be because of spills or accumulation of dirt.
Regardless of your backpack material, it is always possible to clean it on the inside using the simple methods described below:
Vacuuming Out Debris and Dirt:
Vacuuming out debris and dirt is an important step in keeping your backpack clean on the inside. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dust, crumbs, and other particles from the interior of your pack. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies where dirt can accumulate. If you dont have access to a vacuum cleaner, use a soft cloth or brush instead.
Washing Out Lining and Pockets:
To keep your backpack nice and clean (and avoid mold!) it is important to wash out lining and pockets regularly. Depending on what type of fabric your backpack is made from, you may be able to machine-wash it or hand-wash it using mild detergent in cold water.
Always check the care instructions before washing any part of your pack as some fabrics are not suitable for machine-washing or require special care when cleaning them by hand.
Disinfecting with Natural Solutions:
In addition to vacuuming out debris and washing out lining/pockets regularly, disinfecting with natural solutions such as vinegar or baking soda can help prevent bacteria buildup inside your pack over time.
For instance, mix one cup of white vinegar with two cups of warm water in a spray bottle then spritz this solution onto any affected areas inside the bag (such as straps) before wiping down with a damp cloth afterwards if needed for extra cleaning power.
You can also sprinkle baking soda directly onto surfaces that need deodorizing and let it sit overnight before vacuuming up in the morning for best results.
Cleaning the interior of a backpack is essential to ensure it lasts for many years and keeps your belongings safe. Now let’s move on to cleaning the exterior of the backpack.
Key Takeaway: Keeping your backpack clean is essential for maintaining its longevity and preventing bacteria buildup. Vacuuming out debris, washing out liningpockets with mild detergent, and disinfecting with natural solutions such as vinegar or baking soda are all important steps in the cleaning process.
Why You Should Wash Your backpacking Backpack Regularly!
It is important to wash your backpack regularly in order to keep it clean and free of dirt, grime, and bacteria and mold that lead to bad smells and may end up completely ruining the fabric!
Here are some reasons why you should make sure to wash your backpack on a regular basis:
To prevent the spread of mold and bacteria – A dirty backpack can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria which can then be transferred onto clothing, school supplies or other items inside the bag.
By washing your backpacking backpack frequently, you can help prevent the spread of these germs and bacteria. This is especially important if youre using your pack while hiking or camping in areas where there may be water sources contaminated with harmful microorganisms like E. coli or other bacteria.
To remove tough stains in time – If left untreated, certain types of stains can become permanent marks on fabric surfaces like that of a backpack .
It keeps it shining! Regularly washing your backpacking pack will help keep it looking new by removing any difficult-to-clean spots before they have a chance to set in permanently.
This includes mud splatters from the trails as well as sweat stains from long hikes or your daily commuting.
Regularly washing your backpack will help to extend its lifespan by keeping the fabric clean and free of dirt and grime.
Apart from fostering the growth of bad smelling microorganism, dirt also wears down the fine threads of your backpacks fabric much faster.
Over time, dirt particles act as abrasives that wear down fabrics more quickly than normal use would otherwise cause them too; this means that regular cleaning not only keeps things looking nice but also extends their useful life significantly!
Additionally, many backpacks come with waterproof coatings applied at manufacture; these coatings need periodic maintenance through proper cleaning methods in order for them remain effective against moisture intrusion over time.
Top Tips For Keeping Your backpacking Backpack Clean And Well Maintained:
- Avoid storing wet items inside pockets after use – always let them air dry first before putting back into storage space provided;. Always follow manufacturer instructions regarding care & maintenance guidelines specific product type.
- Try not overload packs weight wise beyond recommended limits stated label;. Store away properly during periods non usage prevent dust build up accumulation.
- Spot clean regularly remove stains marks spills quickly they occur rather than waiting until next full wash cycle comes around again!
Washing your backpacking backpack is a perfect occasion to re-apply these water repellents! This can be done either directly by spraying it on afterwards, or by adding it to the washing machine detergent when washing.
When Should You Clean a backpacking Backpack?
You should clean your backpacking backpack whenever it is dirty, it smells or when it has just been wet to prevent mold growth and odors to develop.
However, like any other item you use frequently, a backpack can quickly become dirty and cluttered without you noticing, if not regularly cared for.
Here are some tips for when and how to clean your backpack:
1. Regularly clean the exterior of your backpack. The exterior of your backpack can easily become dirty from being exposed to the elements, such as rain, mud, and dust. To clean it, use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild detergent to gently scrub away any dirt or grime. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as these can damage the fabric or finish of your backpack.
2. Empty and clean the interior of your backpack regularly. The inside of your backpack can accumulate dirt, crumbs, and other debris from the items you carry inside. To clean it, empty the contents of your backpack and shake it out to remove any loose debris.
Then, use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild detergent to gently clean the interior. Avoid using water or other liquids, as this can damage the lining of your backpack or the items you carry inside.
3. Pay attention to any stains or smells. If your backpack has any stains or unpleasant smells, you may need to take more aggressive steps to clean it. For stains, use a mild stain remover or a mixture of warm water and white vinegar to gently scrub away the stain. For unpleasant smells, try placing a small container of baking soda inside your backpack to absorb any odors. You can also try airing out your backpack by placing it in a well-ventilated area for a few hours.
4. Store your backpack properly when not in use. To keep your backpack clean and well-maintained, it’s important to store it properly when you’re not using it. Avoid storing your backpack in damp or dirty areas, as this can encourage mold and mildew growth. Instead, store it in a dry, well-ventilated area. You can also use a backpack cover or a waterproof bag to protect your backpack from the elements.
Key Takeaway: It is important to regularly wash your backpack in order to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, remove tough stains, and extend its lifespan. Regular cleaning not only keeps things looking nice but also helps protect against moisture intrusion over time. Taking care of your outdoor gear is essential for anyone who wants their equipment to last longer!
Final Tips for Keeping Your backpacking Backpack Clean!
Now that you have come around to wash your backpacking backpack, it would be a shame to get it dirty too soon.
Here are some tips you can follow to make sure your backpacking backpack stays clean for longer:
1. Keep your backpack away from dirt and mud:
Make sure to keep your backpack away from any dirt or mud, as this can cause permanent staining and damage to the material. If you do get caught in a rainstorm or find yourself trekking through muddy terrain, make sure to wipe off any excess moisture with a damp cloth as soon as possible.
2. Clean spills immediately:
Spills are inevitable when it comes to outdoor activities, so if you spill something on your bag be sure to clean it up right away before the stain sets in permanently. Use a mild detergent mixed with warm water and gently dab at the spot until it is gone – never rub!
3. Store in dry place:
When not using your backpack, store it somewhere dry like an indoor closet or shelf where air can circulate around it instead of leaving it outside exposed to humidity which could lead to mold growth over time.
4. Air out after use and dry immediately when wet:
After each outing, especially when it has been raining, take some time for airing out your pack by opening all pockets and compartments so that moisture doesnt build up inside them while they are closed off for long periods of time – this will also help prevent odors from forming due to bacteria buildup within wet fabrics!
5. Brush off debris regularly:
Regularly brush off any loose debris such as leaves or twigs that may have gotten stuck onto the fabric of your bag during camping trips or splashes on the sidewalk – these small particles can scratch and wear down materials over time if left unattended. They also encourage microbial growth and odor development, so remove it as quickly as possible!
6 Avoid hanging items on straps:
Hanging heavy items such as carabiners on straps can put too much strain on them which could result in tearing or ripping of seams overtime – try using internal loops instead whenever possible!
To protect against UV rays, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided. When not using the backpack outdoors for extended periods of time (especially during summer months), it should be stored indoors.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your backpack stays clean and in good condition. Now let’s look at some strategies for preventing dirt and grime from accumulating on your pack in the first place.
Key Takeaway: Keeping your backpack clean and well-maintained is essential for a successful outdoor adventure. Make sure to keep it away from dirt and mud, clean spills immediately, store in a dry place, air out after use, brush off debris regularly and avoid hanging items on straps. Additionally, protect against UV rays by avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or investing in a waterproof cover specifically designed for backpacks.
Washing your backpacking backpack is an important part of keeping it in good condition and making sure you get the most out of it.
If it is made from nylon as most of backpackings backpacks are, it not difficult to do, but there are some things to keep in mind when washing a backpack, such as what material it is made from and whether or not you should use a machine.
By following these tips on how to wash a backpack, you can ensure that your pack stays clean and lasts for many years. So don’t forget to give your backpacking pack the care it deserves – wash a backpack regularly!