As expensive as some backpacks can be, it’s essential to take good care of them to maintain their condition. Washing a pack can be a pain in the butt, so it’s best to do more preventative maintenance measures. Even the best of bags will eventually need a deep clean. Here are some tips for keeping your new backpack clean.
Keep Food Fully Sealed
Spilled food is one of the most notorious contributors to a dirty backpack. Even if you think you screwed a lid on tightly, things can still leak out. Any liquid, such as a protein shake, salad dressing, tea, or coffee, can cause issues. So make sure that whatever food containers you put inside can handle jostling and turning. In other words, don’t use plastic to-go containers! You might even consider storing food inside of a gallon-sized Ziplock bag to keep any spills contained. Also, you can make sure you have the right backpack based on how you plan to use it. You might consider switching out a small, cramped one for a more spacious one to carry food more safely, along with other supplies.
Don’t Let Gym Clothes Reek
Another culprit of a smelly pack is gym clothes. There’s a reason why people have a second bag for working out! If you absolutely have no other option, at least put the dirty clothes in a plastic trash bag so that the sweat doesn’t dry on the backpack’s fabric. If you notice a smell lingering, empty the pack, sprinkle it with baking soda, and let it sit outside overnight.
Soak the Bag in a Bucket or Tub
When the day comes where the stench is unmistakable, you need to bathe your bag. Usually, a two- or three-gallon bucket is sufficient, but you could also use a sink or a tub. Pour in about a tablespoon of detergent or whatever cleaner you have, fill the bucket with warm water, and submerge the backpack in it. You can agitate the bag a bit every hour. After a few hours, you can rinse the pack off and let it air dry outside.
Few bags can handle a cycle in the washing machine. Stick to these tips for keeping your new backpack clean so that you can maintain yours for years, if not decades.