Polyester is a very versatile fabric which is capable of being machine washed with no problems regardless of the thickness.
Almost all polyester backpacks can be washed on a cold water gentle cycle.
The only type that you can’t wash safely are those with studs or leather straps and/or trim.
If you are uncertain about whether you can wash yours or not, then resort to hand washing.
- Machine Washing Your Polyester Backpack
Most backpacks in infrequent use will only need a light, occasional wash to stay in pristine condition.
Machine Washing Your Polyester Backpack
Most good polyester and polyester-nylon blend backpacks can be washed in a washing machine without any worries. Follow these simple instructions to have your backpack clean in just one quick cycle.
Empty all the compartments and pockets
Start by unzipping every compartment and opening every pocket. Turn them inside-out to make sure that there is no loose dirt or debris. If there is an excessive amount of debris lodged within the corners, use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of as much dirt as possible.
Check your zippers, straps and fasteners
All the zippers on your backpack need to be unzipped as they can get damaged. Also make certain that all buckles, fasteners and straps are secure. If there are any embellishments or clasps which you suspect could cause a problem, then place your backpack inside of a large pillowcase before machine-washing it. Putting your backpack inside of a pillowcase is highly recommended for anyone who owns a top-loader.
Removal the frame and/or base plate
Many backpacks feature an internal frame and possibly a supportive covered card at the bottom of the backpack, helping it hold its shape. Remove the frame and any support structures as a machine-wash will cause them to tear or contort.
Inspect for stains and tears
Give your backpack a once-over, looking for any signs of fraying fabrics, rips, or tears. If you notice any areas which are worn, then rather proceed to hand wash your backpack instead. Before machine washing, you also need to spot treat any stains that may be present.
Use suitable stain remover or opt for something mild like a combination of salt, bicarb and vinegar.
Consider rinsing your backpack in warm water
If your backpack has accrued a significant number of stubborn dirt stains, or few grimy patches which you’re struggling to get clean (the corners for example) then consider lightly washing your backpack in warm water by hand before putting it through a machine wash cycle.
Run your backpack through a cold, gentle cycle
Now it’s time to wash your backpack in the washing machine. Most polyester items, including backpacks, come with individual care instructions. If yours has any specific instructions, follow them to the better to prevent damage to your backpack. It’s best to use a mild detergent while refraining from using any form of bleach, chlorine, or fabric softener.
Your backpack needs to be run on a cold gentle cycle only. While most people find no issues adding a few light items to the wash, it is better to wash your backpack by itself.
Put It in the dryer or hang it on the line
You always run a slight risk when drying a backpack in the dryer but if you set the dryer to delicate there shouldn’t be any problems encountered. The safest way to dry your backpack is to leave it in a warm, sunny area with a good breeze.
It may take a full day or more to dry but don’t take it off early or you’ll leave your backpack with a terrible smell, risking mold and mildew. If you do need to leave it for more than a day, then hang it inside on a hanger in your shower at night.
Hand Washing a Polyester Backpack
An expensive backpack is an investment which can last you many years if you treat it right. Machine washing gets the job done quickly with minimal effort but it does take a toll on your backpack’s lifespan. Here’s how to hand wash your backpack.
Empty it out, unzip, and tighten fasteners
Empty all the compartments and unzip all the zippers. Make sure that any fasteners present are securely tightened. Clean out the inside of your backpack with a brush or vacuum cleaner.
Remove supportive structures
Remove any internal frame or support structure inside your backpack.
Fill a large tub
Either fill a large wash-tub or your bathtub with lukewarm water.
Gently rinse the backpack
Submerge your backpack in the tub of warm water and gently shake it around to make sure that it’s soaked.
Scrub your backpack
Take your backpack out of the tub and use a soft cloth or brush a little mild detergent to clean the inside and the outside, building up foam with the warm water from the bath and your soap.
Rinse your backpack
Rinse your backpack in the shower or empty the bath and fill it with clean water, rinsing after.
Allow your backpack to dry
Following the same precautions as before, allow to backpack to dry completely before use.
Keeping Your Backpack in Good Condition
The best way to keep your backpack looking its best is to clean it regularly, wiping it down after every few uses. Also, make sure to allow it to air at least once a week to keep it smelling fresh. With regular light care, you won’t need to wash your backpack as frequently which will vastly improve how long it lasts.