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Article: How to Clean your Pack

How to Clean your Pack
How To

How to Clean your Pack

A good pack is a major investment that is meant to last for many years of exploration, and as such, it’s one that needs care. Whether you’re wearing a sling bag or larger backpack, as time goes on, it will collect dirt, dust, oil from your skin, etc.

These are all contributing factors that add up over time and degrade the fabric of even the toughest bags out there. 

So it's in yours and your bag's best interest to give it a clean every now and then. Regardless of whether you’re doing a light wash or you just came back from a mud-filled trek and need to do some serious deep cleaning, here’s what you’ll need to get you started:

  • Mild soap—one that has no fragrances or other additives. A product like backpack cleaning soap (yes, it does exist), castile soap or even baby shampoo would work.
  • Clean sponge or washcloth
  • Soft (not stiff) nylon-bristled brush or used toothbrush


If your pack is in need of a light wash, here’s how you do it:

    1. Empty all pockets. Shake it upside down to get out sand and dirt.
    2. Use your clean sponge (no soap needed) to wipe out interiors.
    3. Lightly scrub any stains or spots on the exterior with your sponge and a little soap (use one of the above-mentioned soaps).
    4. Use clean, cool or lukewarm (not hot) water with your sponge or cloth to rinse off the soap.
    5. Hang the pack to dry in the shade or indoors, not in the direct sun.

Your pack should be ready to go for your next outing!


This will obviously take more time and effort but ultimately leave your pack spotless.

    1. In order to deep clean your bag effectively, you will need to untie all the straps, open all zippers, and remove anything that can be detached on the bag.
    2. Follow the first step of 'light cleaning'.
    3. In order to get rid of tiny bits of dirt and crumbs that might still be lurking in the bag, use a vacuum.
    4. If you have a bathtub or shower with a removable showerhead, great. You can start by spraying the bag with lukewarm water thoroughly.
  • If you don't have a removable showerhead you can fill your bathtub or sink with water and a small amount of mild soap.
  • Sponge and brush the exterior and interior of the bag thoroughly (but gently) with mild soap.
  • Rinse with cool water.
  • Hang the pack to dry in the shade or indoors, not in the direct sun.


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