How to Clean Backpacks
In the daily routine of lunchboxes, science experiments, markers & pens, gum and more, backpacks are often-overlooked cleanup jobs waiting to happen. Cleaning your kids' backpack every few months will keep it looking (and smelling!) good throughout the year, and beyond.
The first step to cleaning a backpack is to empty everything out of all the pockets. Remove the treasure trove of papers, notes, coins, pens & pencils, candy & gum and other items, and set them aside. Look for any tags that offer washing instructions, as most fabric backpacks can be either hand washed or machine washed.
While most insulated and fabric lunchboxes can be put in the washing machine, some won’t hold up under the agitation of a washer.
- Dab the stain with a wet cloth or paper towel, then spray the stain with Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner.
- Use a soft brush (an old toothbrush works great) to work the cleaner into the stained area.
- Rinse area thoroughly and air dry.
Hand Wash a Backpack
If your pack's washing instructions or care tag suggests hand-washing, fill a sink with warm water (hot water can make colors bleed), and add 1/4 cup of Simple Green. For larger bags, you can fill a bathtub with warm water and add 1 cup of Simple Green
- Using a soft brush or cloth, scrub the backpack thoroughly, focusing on seams, the bottom of the bag and other areas that appear particularly dirty.
- Use a toothbrush to scrub particularly tough stains and get into seams and difficult-to-reach areas
- Rinse your backpack thoroughly, and allow to air dry.
Wash a Backpack in a Washing Machine
- Set your washer to the smallest load on cold water, gentle cycle
- Add 1/4 cup of Simple Green to washer.
- Turn backpack inside out (to avoid zippers and metal parts damaging your machine) and add to washer.
- Remove the backpack and air dry. Do not place in dryer