How to Clean a Backpack With Dish Soap

Backpacks are essential for carrying our belongings and can quickly become dirty and stained with regular use. While some may use harsh chemicals to clean their backpacks, dish soap is a gentler and more cost-effective solution.

Yes, you read that right! With just a few household items and some elbow grease, you can easily clean your backpack and restore it to its former glory.

In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to clean a backpack with dish soap. So, grab your backpack, and let’s get started!

Importance of Cleaning a Backpack

Cleaning a backpack is essential to ensuring the bag stays hygienic, durable, and functional. Below are four detailed reasons why cleaning a backpack is important:

  1. Maintaining hygiene – Backpacks are constantly exposed to various environments, which can harbor germs, bacteria, and other pathogens. If left uncleaned, these germs can multiply, leading to infections and illnesses. Regularly cleaning the backpack with dish soap helps eliminate these harmful microbes, reducing the risk of infections and ensuring the backpack is hygienic.
  2. Protecting the backpack’s material – Dirt, dust, and other debris can accumulate on a backpack over time. These particles can cause scratches and abrasions on the backpack’s surface, making it look worn out and reducing its durability. By cleaning the backpack, you remove the dirt and dust particles, protect the bag’s material, and ensure it looks new and lasts longer.
  3. Removing unpleasant smells – Backpacks can accumulate unpleasant odors from sweat, food, and other substances. These odors can be difficult to remove, especially if deeply ingrained in the backpack’s material. Cleaning the backpack with dish soap eliminates these odors, leaving the backpack smelling fresh and clean.
  4. Improving organization – A cluttered and disorganized backpack can be frustrating and make finding items difficult. Regular cleaning of the backpack allows you to declutter and organize the contents of your bag, making it easier to find items when needed. Additionally, you can remove any unnecessary items or trash that may have accumulated in the bag.

By making cleaning a regular habit, you can ensure that your backpack stays functional, durable, and hygienic and can use comfortably for an extended period.

Using Dish Soap for Cleaning Backpack

How to clean a backpack with dish soap
Source: Unsplash

Cleaning your backpack with dish soap is simple, easy, and cost-effective. Follow these steps to clean your backpack:

Materials Needed

  • Backpack
  • Dish Soap
  • Water
  • Soft-Bristled Brush
  • Clean Cloth

Once you have all the materials, you can clean the backpack. Here are the detailed explanations for each of the steps in cleaning a backpack with dish soap:

  1. Empty the Backpack: Start by emptying your backpack. Take out all the items from the compartments, pockets, and zippers. You don’t want to get any of the contents wet or soapy.
  2. Mix the Dish Soap and Water: Fill a bucket or sink with lukewarm water and add a small dish soap. The amount of dish soap needed will depend on the size of your backpack, but generally, a tablespoon or two should be enough. Mix the soap and water until it’s well combined.
  3. Dip the Brush in the Soapy Water: Dip a soft-bristled brush into the soapy water. Make sure the bristles are saturated with the soapy solution.
  4. Scrub the Backpack With the Brush: Begin scrubbing the backpack with the brush, starting with the exterior. Use gentle circular motions to clean the backpack’s surface, and pay special attention to any dirty or stained areas. Next, move on the straps and zippers, careful not to damage any hardware. Finally, scrub the interior of the backpack.
  5. Rinse the Backpack With Clean Water: Once scrubbing the backpack, rinse it thoroughly. Use a hose or faucet to rinse the backpack, ensuring you remove all the soap.
  6. Wipe Down the Backpack With a Clean Cloth: Use a clean cloth to wipe down the backpack, removing any excess water. Make sure to get all of the crevices and corners of the backpack.

That’s it! After you’ve completed these steps, it’s important to let the backpack air dry completely before using it again. Avoid putting the backpack in direct sunlight, as this can cause fading or damage to the materials.

READ ALSO: How to Clean a Backpack With Alcohol


Now that you know how to clean a backpack with dish soap, you can keep your backpack looking and smelling fresh. Regular cleaning not only helps maintain the appearance of the bag but also extends its life and keeps it hygienic.

Follow these steps every few months to ensure optimal care for your backpack.

Happy Cleaning! 😀