Can You Put a School Backpack in the Washer?

Can You Put a School Backpack in the Washer?


As the school year comes to a close, your child’s backpack may be a little grungy. Luckily, you can clean a school backpack in the washer with a little prep! The backpack will be fresh and like new again in no time.

When it comes to washing school gear, bulky items, or shoes in the washer, knowing the right steps makes all the difference.

Clean a School Backpack in the Washer in 5 Easy Steps

So can you put a school backpack in the washer? You bet! Just follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Empty it Out

You can’t wash a school backpack in the washer until it’s cleared out. Not just books — empty out all the little pockets, hidden crevices, and definitely make sure there aren’t any loose pieces of gum or ink pens left inside!

Step 2 – Detach Removable Parts

Remove any part of the backpack that you can detach. If straps are detachable, remove them. Are there any accessories added? Remove them, too. Removing these pieces will protect your washer, your backpack, and keep the items from getting damaged.

Any detachable parts that are washable can be pretreated and placed inside a laundry bag like the ones pictured below. If the straps are smelly or have stains, soak them for 30 minutes in a solution of 1 part laundry detergent and 1 part water, then use a toothbrush to scrub them before washing them in the machine.

laundry bags for washing a backpak in the washing machine

Image from Amazon

Step 3 – Pretreat Stains

Use a solution of 1 part heavy duty laundry detergent and 1 part water to pretreat stains before you wash a school backpack in the washer. Scrub the stains with a toothbrush to remove the grime. Don’t forget to scrub inside the pockets!

Once the backpack is treated, put it inside a large laundry bag and place the bag in the washer.

can you wash a backpack in a washing machine

Image from One Good Thing

Step 4 – Disinfect (Optional)

Has the backpack in question been used for sweaty gym clothes? PE shoes? Then you need to know how to wash a backpack in the washer while disinfecting it. Foot fungus and bacteria can spread to other items they come into contact with. Disinfecting a backpack that has carried such things is paramount to a deep clean.

Disinfect your school backpack in the washer by adding a product with at least 80% pine oil (such as Pine-Sol) to the wash water before adding the backpack. Pine oil disinfectants are effective, gentle on fabrics, and a much safer alternative to bleach.

Step 5 – Wash Your Backpack in the Washing Machine

Now you’re ready to wash a backpack in the washing machine? The backpack is empty, stains pretreated, and inside a laundry bag, so throw it into the washer and let the magic begin!

When the wash cycle is complete, remember to let the backpack and its parts air dry – do not put it into the dryer.

how to wash a backpack in the washer

Image from e-Outdoor

Contact Lake Appliance Repair if you are in need of appliance service or washer repair so you can get all your school gear clean!