How to wash a JanSport Backpack (Real World Scenario) – August 2023

How to wash a JanSport backpack

Did you spill coffee on your Jansport backpack and now searching for articles on how to clean JanSport backpack? If yes, then you have come to the right place as I will tell you exactly how you can do it. Maybe you already tried to clean it by hand sponging the outer and inner surfaces, but the coffee odor is still pretty strong though. Well, Jansport website says never to put it in the washing machine so maybe you are wondering, can I wash mine on gentle cycle with a good result?

I have the Right Pack 31L and SuperBreak 25L and the bags don’t look that big but they carry TONS of stuff. Like a freakish amount of stuff.

Although I love both of them, but I’d recommend the “Right Pack” over the “SuperBreak.” At least in my experience, having owned both, the Right Pack is made of superior Nylon Fabric while the SuperBreak is made of cheaper, more abrasive polyester. Likewise, the Right Pack has YKK zippers, a better front pocket and the leather bottom.

I used my Jansport Right Pack for a 7 day trip to Phoenix in December. You can fit a ton in it. Their Cordura Nylon fabric is amazing. Leather bottom seems really good. Following are some of the methods using which you would know how to wash a backpack JanSport.

Are JanSport backpacks machine washable

Most JanSport backpacks are machine washable. Check the tag on your Jansport backpack for specific washing instructions. Some may be washable, while others recommend spot cleaning only.

Method 1 – Hand wash in lukewarm water

Hand wash in lukewarm water. You can use OxiClean which will get coffee out. But keep the wet time to a minimum and do not scrub on the wet interior coating and rinse well. Hang it upside down to drip for a while and gently towel off what you can, getting down into the pockets and squeezing the mesh padding. That will speed drying time. Then hang out of direct sun to finish drying. I use an aquarium air pump to circulate air in the deep recesses.

You may be wondering, isn’t OxiClean is a little strong for this purpose? Well, to be honest I would normally use a gentler detergent, but OxiClean really works on coffee. I have done it myself several times with very good results.

A washing machine and dryer are really hard on the hardware and coatings, but hand washing does just fine. Once I put my JanSport backpack in the washer and the straps became wrinkly like a scrunchy, and while it still worked, the straps looked very ugly so from them on I avoid putting them in washing machine.

Before attempting to clean your JanSport backpack, a common question that arises is, ‘Can I put my JanSport backpack in the washing machine?’ However, it is not recommended to do so as machine washing can potentially damage the backpack’s fabric and zippers.

Read about can you wash north face backpacks.

Method 2 – Use soapy cold water

You can also use a bucket of slightly soapy cold water to wash JanSport backpack. Soak it for 15 minutes to half an hour, then swish it around a little. Then soak it again in clear water for 15 min to half an hour. Drip it dry.

Use some mild soap for this purpose and soak in a bucket or tub. With rubber gloves scrub the nasty bits and corners with a stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly. Rinsing is difficult but absolutely necessary otherwise residual soap can get really dirty in a hurry.

Before you wash it, carefully unzip and inspect every pocket, nook, and cranny. You might find a lost love note, dried gum, or a long-forgotten joint. Remove as much of the hardware as you can.

If you have the leather base on your pack, be sure to oil it after it dries. If it still has the coffee smell, sprinkle it with baking soda as it’s a natural deodorizer. I’ve also used it on North Face backpack. Plus, I DIY using it (along with some other ingredients) for deodorant and dishwashing machine soap.

JanSport backpack washing machine

Use a mild laundry detergent and wash on a gentle, cold water cycle. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners.

It’s best to air dry the backpack rather than putting it in the dryer. The heat from the dryer can damage the fabric or cause shrinkage. Lay flat or hang to dry.

Things to consider while washing JanSport backpack

Most bags are nylon or polyester and are super easy to wash. Don’t use super-hot water or bleach. Air dry it. It may be better to do it by hand so you can get into the gritty areas and because it’s loud banging the hardware around in the washer, but the washer is fine.

I usually wash my bags in the bathtub. Fill the pockets with soapy water. Slosh it around. Pour it out. Repeat. Rinse with clean water. Repeat. Rinse some more. Hang it up to dry in whatever way lets the most water drip out of the pockets.

Try not to abrade any water-resistant coating. It’s usually on the inside. Use a soft sponge inside, or just fill it with slightly soapy water and slosh it around. It’ll probably hold water like a bucket. Just having soap and water in there for a minute will do wonders.

The outside of the bag should be abrasion resistant, so you can go at it with a brush or with a stronger sponge scrub. Use a toothbrush to clean the spots where webbing is sewn to fabric. Grime can build up under the edges of the webbing.

Can JanSport backpacks go in the washer

Yes, most Jansport backpacks can safely be placed in the washing machine for cleaning, but there are a few important caveats to keep in mind:

  • Check the tag or label on your specific Jansport backpack for any special washing instructions or warnings. Some models may have certain materials or components that require hand washing only.
  • Flip the backpack inside out before placing in the washer. This protects the exterior fabric and prevents the straps and zippers from catching on other laundry items.
  • Zip up all compartments and velcro closures so nothing comes loose or gets tangled during the wash cycle.
  • Wash on a gentle cycle using cold water, with a mild detergent. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners.
  • It’s best to air dry your backpack after washing rather than placing it in the dryer. Lay flat or hang it upside down to dry thoroughly.
  • Remove any items from the interior pockets before washing, as pens or other objects may leak ink or color.
  • For backpacks with leather trims, clean the leather separately with a damp cloth to avoid damage.
  • Washing regularly can help remove dirt, stains, and odors especially if the backpack is used heavily for travel or outdoor activities.
  • Avoid washing backpacks containing electronics, battery packs or other moisture-sensitive items that could be damaged.

I hope the above article has answered the following questions.

  1. How to wash JanSport backpacks
  2. How to wash JanSport backpack
  3. How to wash a polyester backpack
  4. Can you wash a JanSport backpack
  5. How to clean a JanSport backpack


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