Can you put a backpack in the washer (August 2023)

As backpacks become an essential accessory in our daily lives, it’s inevitable that they will eventually get dirty and require cleaning. The question arises: can you put a backpack in the washer? Let’s dive into the details and explore the possibilities of can you put a backpack in the dryer.

Understanding the materials

Before tossing your beloved backpack into the washer, it’s crucial to understand the materials it’s made of. Different backpacks are constructed using various fabrics, such as:

  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Cotton canvas
  • Leather

Can you put a backpack in a dryer

It is not recommended to put most backpacks in the dryer. The heat from the dryer can damage the materials and cause shrinking, warping, or melting of the fabric, leather, and plastic components.

It’s best to air dry backpacks naturally by laying them flat or hanging upside down. Allow the backpack to completely air dry to prevent mildew from developing.

If needed, you can use a fan or low heat setting to speed up drying time. Avoid any direct heat on areas with glue, resins, or solvents. Only put a backpack in the dryer if the care instructions specifically state it is safe to do so.

Follow the care instructions

Every backpack comes with a set of care instructions provided by the manufacturer. These instructions should be your guiding light when deciding whether to machine wash your backpack or not. Typically, you can find these instructions on a tag inside the backpack or on the manufacturer’s website. Pay close attention to any specific warnings or recommendations.

Preparation is key

Before subjecting your backpack to a spin in the washer, it’s important to take a few precautions:

  • Empty the backpack and remove any loose items, including pens, notebooks, and electronic devices.
  • Inspect the backpack for any damages, such as tears or loose seams. Repair them if possible before washing.
  • For backpacks with removable straps or accessories, detach them if the care instructions recommend doing so.

Most Jansport backpacks are indeed machine washable. Jansport designs their backpacks with high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of washing machines. However, it is important to note that not all Jansport backpacks are created equal, and there may be exceptions. Click here to read in detail about are JanSport backpacks machine washable.

Can you put a backpack in a washing machine
Most backpacks can be placed in a washing machine, but always check the tag or label first for any special washing instructions. Be sure to flip the backpack inside out before washing to protect the exterior fabric. 

Zip up all compartments and velcro closures so nothing comes loose or gets tangled during the cycle. Wash gently on a cold setting with a mild detergent. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners.

Machine washing guidelines

If the care instructions give the green light for machine washing, follow these guidelines:

  • Place the backpack in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from getting tangled or damaged by the agitator.
  • Use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent.
  • Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they may damage the backpack’s fabric or colors.
  • Consider adding a few towels to balance the load and cushion the backpack during the wash cycle.
  • Once the washing cycle is complete, remove the backpack promptly to prevent wrinkles or mildew.

Handwashing and spot cleaning alternatives

If the care instructions advise against machine washing, don’t despair! Handwashing or spot cleaning can be effective alternatives:

  • Fill a sink or basin with cold water and a small amount of mild detergent.
  • Gently scrub the backpack using a soft brush or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly and allow the backpack to air dry.
  • For spot cleaning, use a damp cloth and mild detergent to target specific areas.

A word of caution for leather backpacks

If you have a leather backpack, it’s crucial to avoid machine washing at all costs. Leather requires special care and should be cleaned using appropriate leather cleaners and conditioners. Refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult a professional leather cleaner for the best results. Improperly washing a leather backpack can lead to irreversible damage and discoloration.

Drying and post-cleaning care

Once you’ve washed your backpack, whether in the machine or by hand, it’s time to dry it properly and give it some post-cleaning care:

  • Air drying is the safest method for most backpacks. Hang it in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources, to prevent shrinkage or color fading.
  • For backpacks with removable straps or accessories, allow them to air dry separately.
  • Patience is key – don’t rush the drying process by using a dryer or exposing it to excessive heat. This can damage the backpack’s fabric or cause it to lose its shape.
  • Once your backpack is fully dry, give it a thorough inspection. Look for any remaining stains or spots and treat them accordingly before storing the backpack away.
  • If necessary, you can use fabric sprays or deodorizers to eliminate any lingering odors.

When to avoid washing

While washing a backpack is generally safe, there are certain situations where it’s best to avoid doing so:

  • If your backpack has delicate decorations or embellishments that may be damaged in the wash.
  • If your backpack is made of vintage or antique materials that require specialized care.
  • If the care instructions explicitly state that the backpack is not machine washable.

Maintaining a clean backpack

To keep your backpack in good condition and reduce the frequency of deep cleanings, consider implementing these maintenance tips:

  • Regularly empty your backpack and shake it out to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  • Spot clean stains as soon as they occur to prevent them from setting in.
  • Use a protective spray or fabric guard to create a barrier against stains and spills.
  • Store your backpack in a clean and dry environment, away from excessive humidity or moisture.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and maintenance, including any specific storage instructions.

The verdict

So, can you put a backpack in the washer? The answer depends on the materials used and the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. While many backpacks can be safely machine washed, it’s crucial to always check the care instructions first. When in doubt, opt for handwashing or spot cleaning. Remember, proper care and maintenance will not only extend the lifespan of your backpack but also keep it looking fresh and clean for all your adventures.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general guidance purposes only. Always refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for your specific backpack.

Hopefully above article has answered your question, can I put a backpack in the washer.


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