Can you put a backpack in a washing machine?

Most of the backpacks can be washed in a machine based on the materials they come with. If, for instance, you have a nylon or canvas backpack, you can wash it through the machine. If a backpack, however, contains some leather accents, you should consider spot cleaning it.

A backpack makes it easy to carry so many items at the same time. You can use it to carry your gym clothes, school supplies, or even a laptop. If you use your backpack to carry all kinds of items, it is bound to get dirty after some time. Things such as shoes can leave some residue and unpleasant smell in a backpack. You should consider washing it to keep it clean and even extend its lifespan. You can either wash a backpack by hand or through a washing machine. Find out more!

Cleaning a backpack using a washing machine

You should do a little preparation before putting a backpack in a washing machine. Start by getting some necessary items, such as a laundry bag. If you don’t have one, you can still utilize an old suitcase as an alternative. Before you put the backpack in a washing machine, you should also get a non-bleach detergent. This can help disinfect the backpack without bleaching it. If the backpack has some stains on it, get a stain remover before you put it in a backpack. This can help get rid of extra dirty patches on the backpack. Once you have these items, follow the steps below.

Empty the backpack

Before you start cleaning the backpack using this machine, you should ensure no items are in it. Most of the items that you carry through the backpack can be damaged by water if left inside the backpack during cleaning. Small items can also get caught in the washer and increase the risk of damage. Place all the small items in one place to avoid misplacing them. If some of the bag items are dirty, consider wiping them down before storing them.

You should also remove its pockets and attachments and wash them separately. Also, remove the small debris that tends to build up at the bottom part of the backpack. Turning the bag inside out can make this easy. You can also use a vacuum to get rid of debris in hard-to-reach places. If the backpack contains non-removable pockets, you should leave them open before cleaning it through the washing machine.

Prepare the backpack for cleaning

Start by cleaning any loose dirt on the surface of the backpack. Once you get rid of the surface dirt, get a damp cloth and wipe the backpack a second time. Do not forget to get rid of any metal frames from the backpack. Confirm that there are no loose threads near the zippers of the backpack. If there are, cut them since threads fray near zippers and can easily rip the bag’s material.

Read the backpack’s label

Every backpack comes with a label that can guide you on how to clean and maintain it properly. Take your time to go through this before putting it into a washing machine. The care label is often found in the bigger section of a backpack near the side seam. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines can prevent you from using harsh cleaning agents that can damage the backpack.

Pretreat stains

Add a pre-treatment stain remover on the backpack to get rid of any stains. Let the stain remover sit for some time before scrubbing the bag with a soft brush. If you don’t have a stain remover, you can use water and a liquid detergent. Avoid using bleach since this can discolor the backpack.

Wash the backpack

After pretreating stains, you can now wash the backpack through the washing machine. You should place it in a laundry sack or an old pillowcase before putting it in the washing machine. Once you put the backpack in the washer, add a gentle detergent as the water fills in the washing machine. You should wash the backpack with some lukewarm water. Ensure that you spread out the backpack evenly to keep the washing machine balanced during the spin cycle. Wait for the cycle to end, then take the backpack out of the covering. Start wiping down both the inside and outside compartments of the bag.

Dry it

When the backpack is clean, you should dry it outdoors rather than relying on a dryer. During drying, the backpack’s pockets should remain unzipped so that all the parts dry completely. Give it enough time to dry before storing the backpack or using it to carry items. Doing this can discourage the growth of mold in a backpack.

What you need How to wash a backpack through the washing machine
A laundry bag or old pillowcase Empty the backpack
Non-bleach detergent Wipe any surface dirt on it
Stain remover Check the label
Pretreat stains
Wash it
Dry the backpack


Students, travelers, and kids use backpacks almost every day. With time, moisture and food can make a backpack start smelling. Cleaning a backpack is important since it can keep it clean, presentable and extend its lifespan. If you don’t want to wash a backpack by hand, you can wash it through a washing machine. Though both nylon and canvas backpacks can be washed through a washing machine, you should not put a leather backpack in this machine.


Why should I put the backpack in a laundry bag before cleaning it through the washing machine?

This cover can prevent any parts such as the zipper or straps from getting caught in the washer. It, therefore, minimizes the risk of damaging the washing machine or backpack.

What is spot cleaning a backpack?

This involves removing spots on a backpack that cannot go into a washing machine. For this, you need a soft brush or cloth. A stain remover is also important for getting rid of the stains on the backpack.

Dennis Vaughn

Dennis Vaughn is a certified plumber and has been offering apprenticeship experiences to most of his employees for the past 12years. Dennis owns and runs an appliance store, and has a team made of different expertise from electricians, appliance repair individuals, and plumbers. According to him dealing with appliances is one thing but the after-sales services are what makes for the loyal clients. Many people don’t know who to call when their appliances break or become faulty, and a good number are not aware of the varieties of appliances in the market tailored to fit their expectations. The above is what necessitated the creation of the extensive excerpts on the washing machine units, which come complete with directions on the simple home repairs.