Can You Put A Backpack In The Washing Machine

Can You Put A Backpack In The Washing Machine? Everything You Need To Know

Washing a backpack by hand can be extremely tiring. Due to this, we consider the luxury of cleaning a backpack in a washing machine. Well, if you don’t know the protocols, it might not be the safest choice.

So can you put a backpack in the washing machine? Yes, you can wash a backpack there. However, you need to consider the manufacturer’s recommendation first. Similarly, the material, design, and size of the bag should be taken into account. Lastly, the cleaning agent must be mild.

Before you put your bag in the backpack, there are many additional things to think about. To acquire a powerful and secure wash, you also need to understand them in-depth.

Can You Put A Backpack In The Washing Machine?

As already mentioned, you can put a backpack in there. However, not following the correct method can lead to a damaged backpack and damaged contents within the backpack. 

Nevertheless, you can always get a direct answer from the manufacturer’s care instructions. Yet, if the manufacturer didn’t provide any seal there then you must examine the bag yourself before washing it in a washing machine.

On the other hand, the manufacturer may say the bag is washable but will not provide the instructions for it. This is why it’s crucial to be aware of what to take into account before throwing the bag in the machine. So let’s check them out.


The material of your bag plays the most significant role out of all. The only thing you need to keep in mind is whether your backpack is made out of delicate material or not. Some common delicate backpack materials include;

  • Down-filled jackets
  • Waterproof membranes
  • Leather Finishes
  • Silk

If your backpack is made out of the materials mentioned above then don’t try to wash it in a washing machine. It will only damage your backpack and may make it unusable.

On the other hand, if it’s made up of materials such as nylon, or polyester then you can use it in the machine.


Backpacks that have multiple zippers, pockets, and compartments shouldn’t be washed in a washing machine. The same goes for backpacks with very complicated or detailed designs.

The zippers and other components of the backpack may be harmed by the washing machine’s spinning motion. Straps, handles, or pockets may break, fray, or even come completely off due to the machine’s intense operation.

On the other hand, the detailed design can get ruined due to the washing machine’s powerful force.

Electric Wires And Any Electronics

Nowadays, electric wires are quite common in backpacks. They are there to provide you with better accessibility, but they also prevent you from washing it in a machine.

On the other hand, there may be electronics present in your backpack. It’s most likely that they are not waterproof. Overall, backpacks with electric wires and electronics should be avoided from a washing machine as it will damage it.

Detachable Parts

If it’s not a basic backpack then there might be a chance it has detachable parts such as straps, hip belts, or frames. It’s vital for you that you get rid of them before putting them into the cleaning machine. This helps prevent tangling or damage during the washing cycle.

Size Of the Backpack

Another important factor to consider is your backpack size. Your washing machine needs to avoid bulky and large backpacks. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be able to clean it and rather damage your washing machine. 

On the other hand, if your washing machine is also big enough to be able to afford cleaning your large bag then go for it. If not then go for hand washing or spot cleaning.

Here’s a video that will help you with spot cleaning;

Cleaning Agent

Use a mild detergent while washing a backpack in a washing machine. The fabric and color of the backpack can be harmed by harsh detergents or bleach. 

On the other hand, fabric softeners should not be used since they can leave residue on the backpack.

Washing Cycle

The washing cycle setting allows you to control various factors that affect the cleaning process. These factors include water temperature, agitation level, and duration of the wash. 

For the best result, you can go for the gentle or delicate cycle to minimize the risk of damaging your bag as well as receive a clean bag.

How To Clean A Backpack In The Washing Machine

Now that you know the dos and don’ts of backpack washing, let’s look at a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it.

  • Step 1: Use a soft brush to gently brush away any visible loose dirt.
  • Step 2: Use a mild detergent and a brush to spot-clean any specific stains on the backpack.
  • Step 3: To avoid the straps tangling during the wash cycle, put the backpack in a pillowcase and then into the washing machine.
  • Step 4: Put the cleaning agent of your choice into the machine.
  • Step 5: Set the gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine and use cold water.
  • Step 6: After the washing cycle is over, remove the bag, give it a light shake, and place it on a drying rack.  

Drying Time For Each Material

Drying your backpack after washing it is crucial. It’s best to avoid any artificial heating to dry your bag. Rather go for natural drying in a well-ventilated place. 

However, the drying time varies for each material. Our table outlining the necessary drying time for teaching materials that are proven useful;

MaterialDrying Time
Nylon2-4 hours
Polyester1-2 hours
Synthetic-filled1-2 hours
Cotton2-3 hours
Mesh1-2 hours

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s look at some of the most often-asked questions about washing backpacks using the washing machine.

Q. Should I use hot or cold water when washing a backpack in a washing machine?

When washing a backpack in a washing machine, it is generally recommended to use cold water. Cold water is less likely to cause damage to the backpack’s materials and colors.

Q. Can I wash multiple backpacks together in one load?

You shouldn’t as they might be made out of different materials. Thus, washing them together would lead to uneven cleaning and potential damage to the backpacks. Additionally, there will be rubbing between the two bags which is not good for the bags.

Q. Is it necessary to empty all the pockets of the backpack before washing it?

When a backpack is washed with items within the pockets, the fabric or material may become pressured. The backpack may sustain tears, rips, or other damage as a result of the weight and movement of the laundry throughout the washing process. 


You now know for sure whether can you put a backpack in the washing machine. It’s safe as long as it’s not made out of delicate materials such as leather or silk and does not have multiple compartments. Also, your backpack shouldn’t contain any electronics.

Furthermore, ensure that you are using mild detergents and not harsh detergents like bleach. For the washing cycle setting, always opt for the gentle or delicate cycle. Following these guidelines would undoubtedly result in a clean, non-damaged backpack.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *