Backpack Cleaning 101: Tips and Techniques for Optimal Care

by Stevie Smith July 27, 2023 4 min read

Backpack Cleaning 101: Tips and Techniques for Optimal Care

A backpack is an essential accessory for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. Whether you're hiking, camping, or traveling, your backpack carries all your gear and essentials. But with frequent use, your clean backpack can quickly become dirty, smelly, and worn out. That's why it's crucial to know how to properly clean and maintain your backpack. In this guide, we'll walk you through the top backpack cleaning tips and techniques, including the brand recommended cleaning instructions for top retailers like Jansport and The North Face, among others.

Brand Recommended Care Instructions

The North Face Backpack

Let’s get started with a bit of background on basic care as recommended by manufacturers. Different backpack brands have different care instructions based on the materials and processes used during manufacturing. 

Here are the care instructions from some of the most popular backpack brands:

The North Face

The North Face backpacks are made with high-quality fabrics and advanced technologies to provide optimal performance. To clean your North Face backpack, it is recommended to spot clean the exterior and rinse thoroughly. Then, let the backpack air dry completely. The interior can be cleaned with a small vacuum or brush to remove any dirt or debris. 

Again, the brand recommends avoiding machine washing or using bleach or fabric softeners that can harm the materials. The North Face also discourages dry cleaning that uses water or chemicals. Luckily, eClean’s backpack cleaning service offers completely water-free and chemical-free dry cleaning that won’t damage the fabric or waterproof coating.


Jansport backpacks have been trusted by students, travelers, and adventurers for decades. To clean your Jansport backpack, you should hand wash the exterior with a mild detergent (or diluted vinegar if you want to be even more eco friendly!)  and lukewarm water. Rinse thoroughly and air dry. The brand recommends cleaning the interior with a vacuum or brush to remove any dirt, crumbs, or other debris. 

Jansport does not recommend using a washing machine or hot water during the cleaning process. In addition, exposing the backpack to direct sunlight for extended periods can cause damage to the fibers and cause the fabric to degrade. If deep cleaning is needed, use a professional backpack cleaner to avoid causing damage.


Osprey backpacks are renowned for their comfort, durability, and sustainability features. To clean your Osprey backpack, spot clean the exterior with a damp cloth or sponge, and mild soap (if absolutely necessary). Rinse thoroughly and air dry. Yet again, you can use a vacuum or brush to remove any dirt, pet hair, or dust from the interior. 

Do not put your Osprey backpack in the washing machine or use harsh chemicals that can damage the materials or waterproof coating. Instead, find a dry fabric cleaner that specializes in outdoor gear or backpacks such as eClean CO2 dry cleaning.


Kanken backpacks are a popular minimalist backpack brand known for their durable, practical, and stylish designs. To clean a Kanken backpack, gently wipe the exterior with a damp cloth and mild soap.Then, rinse thoroughly with water and air dry. For the interior, use a vacuum or brush to remove any dirt or debris. 

Kanken recommends that you avoid machine washing, dry cleaning, or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the materials. For deep cleaning, find a professional backpack cleaning service that specializes in waterproof materials and fabric care to ensure a damage-free cleaning.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Options

stream and trees

While each brand has its care instructions, there are some general guidelines that apply to all backpacks:

  • Avoid machine washing or heated drying, unless the manufacturer explicitly recommends it.
  • Use a mild detergent or soap if necessary, preferably an eco-friendly option, that won't harm the environment or your backpack.
  • Don't use hot water, bleach, or fabric softeners that can weaken the fibers or coatings of your backpack.
  • Clean the zippers, pockets, and straps thoroughly with a soft brush or toothbrush to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Let your backpack dry completely before using or storing it. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat sources as they can damage the materials.

An Alternative Solution

eclean logo

When it comes to optimal care for your backpack, nothing can beat the power of CO2 dry cleaning. eClean’s patented non-toxic dry cleaning is a revolutionary dry cleaning technology that uses liquid carbon dioxide instead of harsh chemicals or solvents. Plus, there is no water or heat used in the process. It's safe for the environment, gentle on the materials, and highly effective in removing dirt, stains, and odors from your backpack.

eClean is also committed to sustainability and eco-friendly practices with the goal of revolutionizing dry cleaning. Plus, we offer services nationwide with free shipping within the United States. Give your backpack the care it deserves and the performance you need with eClean CO2 dry cleaning. 


Cleaning and maintaining your backpack is essential for its performance, longevity, and appearance. With the right techniques and tools, you can keep your backpack clean, fresh, and functional for years to come. Remember to follow the manufacturer's care instructions, opt for eco-friendly cleaning options, and considereClean CO2 dry cleaning for the best results. Enjoy your next adventure with a clean, well-maintained backpack!

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