How to clean your hiking backpack, sports bag or eastpak backpack by hand
To get rid of dust, dirt and marks, or to simply freshen up your backpack or sports bag, there's only one thing for it: hand washing. This is a gentle method that won't damage the components and that will protect the colours of the fabrics. But before you roll up your sleeves ready to clean your bag, check the care label to see whether there's anything to avoid.
To wash your backpack or sports bag by hand, you will need:
- a hoover
- a washing-up bowl, or your shower tray if your backpack is too big for a washing-up bowl
- a stiff-bristled brush or a sponge if it's a small backpack
- some Marseille soap or another gentle soap (shower gel, baby shampoo, etc.)
- a microfibre towel.
Let's get started!
● Take everything out of your bag. And just to be sure there's nothing left lurking inside, turn it upside down with the pockets open.
● Take out any foam padding or plates if you can and if you're sure that you'll be able to put them back again in afterwards.
● Hoover the inside and outside of your back to remove dust and dirt. Try to really get into the zips and the corners of the bag.
● Fill your washing-up bowl with cold or lukewarm water, add some soap, and submerge your backpack in it.
● Use a brush or sponge to rub any marks on the fabric on both the inside and the outside.
● Once you've finished, rinse your backpack or sports back in fresh water (cold or lukewarm).
● Take your microfibre towel and wipe your bag down, making sure the zips are nice and dry. If your bag has foam handles and straps, squeeze them to get as much water out as possible.
Even if your backpack isn't particularly dirty, you might find that the sweat soaked up by the straps still causes unpleasant odours. To make your bag smell fresh without having to wash the entire thing and without getting the straps wet, use a deodoriser that will neutralise the odours rather than just masking them.