How to Wash a JanSport Backpack – A Step-by-Step Guide

JanSport is one of the most well-known names in the backpack market. JanSport backpacks are known for their ability to last for years, even decades, without falling apart, but just because they are in one piece doesn’t mean they are still perfectly clean after all that time.

JanSport backpacks require gentle washing to help them retain their shape and resilience. Read on to learn exactly how to wash a JanSport backpack and keep them clean and looking new on all your adventures!

JanSport Hiking Backpack

Important Things to Avoid

  • Hot water
  • Harsh detergents
  • Washer & Dryer
  • Bleach

Washing a JanSport Backpack

Step One – Empty the Backpack

Completely empty the backpack, checking all the pockets and corners for any hidden items. Leave your pockets open during the cleaning process to encourage rapid drying of all areas.

If your backpack is extra dirty, you can use the hose attachments on your vacuum to get every little bit of dirt and gunk out.

Step Two – Remove any Excess Dirt

JanSport backpacks need to be hand washed. Never wash them in the washing machine. It degrades the fabric, especially on bags with leather or suede.

Instead of your trusty washing machine, you’ll be cleaning this backpack manually. But not to worry! JanSport bags are made of incredibly durable, water-resistant material that also repels stains fairly well.

Surface-level dirtiness, like patches of dried mud, can be removed with a stiff brush with no water washing. Check your JanSport for any of these easily removable blemishes and clean them before washing with lukewarm water.

Step Three – Hand Wash the Bag

Once you’ve brushed off any dirt, it’s time to wash. Fill a bowl with cold water (avoid warm water) and a mild detergent to spot clean your backpack.

JanSport bags shouldn’t be submerged. Instead, you’ll use your bowl of water and a clean rag or brush to wash away any offending stains. Rinse the spot with more cool water, this time with no detergent.

You can also give your backpack a general wipe down inside and out with just water. For this, skip the soap, and clean the backpack inside and out with a damp cloth, avoiding any suede or leather areas.

Damp is the keyword here. We don’t want soaked, dripping rags. Only use a bit of water.

It’s also important to never use bleach, harsh detergents, or soap on your bag. If your bag has any spots of suede or leather, make sure to keep these areas dry and away from any water.

Step Four – Hang to Dry

Like with most backpacks, you’re going to want to hang your JanSport to dry. You can hang it outside in the sun, upside down in your bathtub, or even over a kitchen chair.

What’s important is that your backpack has adequate airflow to dry quickly.

Avoid the dryer if at all possible. Dryers are the enemy of backpacks, tangling their straps and weakening the fabric. A lot of backpacks also have metal buckles that can destroy other clothes in the dryer, or even damage the inside of the machine itself.

Try to keep your bag in its regular shape when drying. One of the biggest reasons to avoid using your dryer with backpacks is that the heat can make the bag appear misshapen. This can happen with air drying, too, so have your drying bag stretched out to keep it looking new.

Once your bag is dry, check all the pockets and crevices for even dryness, and you’re finished!

Tips for Removing Stains

Spray cleaner – Apply your stain removing spray on any areas that are dirty and need extra work.

Scrub it in – Use a sponge or brush and scrub in the remover into any sports on the bag.

Allow it to dry – Wipe away the excess water or spray on the bag and then allow it to sit and air dry.

Can You Put JanSport Backpacks in the Washer?

You should avoid putting any Jansport bag into the washer if you want to avoid causing any damage. If it’s put into the washer the backpack can lose its shape and start to wear down.

Leaving the bag on a clothesline is the safest and best way to dry it, although it does take a while until it’s completely dry and ready to use again.

Can You Put JanSport Backpacks in the Dryer?

JanSport backpacks should never be placed in the dryer because the heat will damage the fabric on the bag. It’s also possible for zippers, straps, and zipper pulls to get ruined from the heat and from being thrown around in the dryer.

You should instead hand dry the backpack and leave it hanging overnight.