Can You Wash a Backpack in the Washing Machine?

It is not uncommon for a backpack to get dirty. No matter if you are carrying a school backpack, office, or hiking backpack, it will get rusty over time. Washing a backpack can be a tedious process if you do not know how to do it properly. You might be still confused about how to clean a bag.

You can wash a backpack in various ways. So, one question might swing around your head that can you wash a backpack in the washing machine?. Let me break the suspense, the answer is yes you can.

Hence down below, I will discuss everything related to washing backpacks in the washing machine.


What Types of the bag can I wash in the washing machine?

This is a crucial thing to keep in the head because you cannot wash any types of backpacks in the washing machine. Generally, you will find a small label on the backpack that states whether the backpack is machine washable or not.

Nylon/Polyester or cloth:

If you are using a Nylon, polyester, or clothes backpack then you are good to go. Your backpack is good to go for washing in a washing machine.

However, straps often have a terrible reputation of getting stuck in washing machine parts and damaging it. So, it would help if you are careful with loosely hanging buckles and straps. Additionally, do not forget to check the zippers also for hanging threads.

Leather, vinyl, or suede:

In case if you are backpack is made out of leather, vinyl, or suede then sorry to say; you cannot wash your backpack in a washing machine. There is a high possibility that your backpack will get damaged when you throw it in the washing machine.

Camping or Hiking backpacks:

These types of backpacks typically come with frames that can either be external or internal. Washing a backpack like this in the washing machine is not possible since the frames can bend and break down.

Although, if the frame is detachable and you can take the frame out, then you can wash the backpack easily in the washing machine.

Waterproof backpacks:

Many backpacks come with a waterproofing layer. It is advisable not to wash your waterproof backpack frequently. Washing the backpack frequently will damage the waterproof layer. You can wash this type of backpack once or twice a year.

However, Waterproof backpacks that come with polyurethane coating cannot be machine washed. You can only wash them by hand.


Different ways to Wash your backpack

As I mentioned above, there are many different ways to wash a backpack. But, commonly, we use two methods. But in this guide, I will only discuss one that is washing a backpack in the washing machine.


How to wash your backpack in the washing machine?

Since you can easily wash most of the backpacks in the washing machine, you now need to know how can you do the cleaning quickly and correctly. I will design the cleaning process in five simple steps.


Step 1: Emptying the contents

The first and foremost step is to empty the bag. You need to check all the compartments and get everything out of the backpack. You need to clean these hard to remove specks of dust using a soft brush so that it doesn’t damage your fabrics.

To remove crumbs and any type of dust, you can use a handheld vacuum cleaner to clean it. You also need to remove all the straps and pockets that are detachable. Make sure to cut any threads hanging from zippers, or else it can get stuck in the washing machine.

Step 2: Stain Remover

For this step, you will need a stain remover to remove all types of external and internal strains. Use a soft brush and apply the stain remover where there are stains and wait for around half an hour.

Step 3: Wrapping the backpack

This is a step that many do not follow, but it is essential to ensure the safety of your washing machine. It would be best if you placed your backpack inside a big laundry bag; you can also use a pillowcase.

Step 4: Detergent Wash

You need to give some gentle detergent on your washing machine and clean the backpack on a gentle cycle. Make sure to do this process in cold water. However, you will often see that the backpack can become clogged up during the cleaning process.

During washing backpack, if this clog up happens, just stop the washing machine and spread the backpack by hand.

Step 5: Drying

After you are done with the washing process, now you just need to follow a straightforward step. You need to air-dry the bag. Keep all your zippers open and hand the backpack upside down. Dry it very well to avoid any sort of bad smell.

On average it takes around half a day outside for the backpack to dry. However, for more surety keep the backpack out for a whole day. Keeping it outside for the entire day will make your backpack and dry like a new one freshly brought from the store.

Last Step: Additional treatment

After finishing the cleaning and drying of your backpack, you need to follow this last step which will increase the longevity of your backpack. After washing the backpack, remember to remove any stains using soap and a wet cloth.

It is also common to find detergent residue which you need to remove using a wet cloth.


Important Point

Read the backpack label carefully. Every backpack comes with a backpack care label. This label contains all the information related to the Washing backpack. You need to follow these guidelines, so that material of your backpack doesn’t get damaged during machine wash.


Can You put a backpack in the dryer?

Yes, you can, but you should not. You will often see that when you put a backpack in the dryer, it comes out with damages and usually has spots all over it. Nylon or plastic constructed backpack often has the reputation of causing a fire in the dryer.

There is an exception. However, you can dry cotton backpacks in the dryer.

The best way to dry a backpack is by air-drying it. It is a simple process, go outside and hang your backpack upside down. This will ensure that there is no water left in the backpack and no smell left in it. However, dry it thoroughly before using it back.



It is not fun to move around with a dirty backpack. The best way to remove the dirt is by washing a backpack, but it can be time-consuming to clean manually. You can machine wash the backpack.

So above, I have discussed everything that you need to know related to backpack wash in the washing machine. I hope that this guide was enough to answer your question, can you wash a backpack in the washing machine. I tried to cover everything related to washing the backpack in the washing machine.

Hence, now you should have no more queries related to the machine washing of your backpack

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