How to Wash North Face Backpack Safely?

How to Wash North Face Backpack Backpacks are with us for a long time. Whether for carrying essentials for school or simply being there for a hunting tour. Of course, there are different types and designed bags meant for different activities. But one thing is pretty common. All type of backpacks needs cleaning.

Because of food, everyday mess, moisture, and regular wear and tears, backpacks get quite smelly and filthy. Yes, they are built to tolerate the torture we put it through for a pretty long time. But it’s good to keep them clean. You just make it usable for some extra years.

How to Wash North Face Backpack:

General Idea, Methods, Cleaning in a Washing Machine & More…

I’ll be discussing some methods as well as tricks on washing North Face Backpack. Since I am a huge fan of hunting. So, I got a hunting backpack from North Face. And It’s wonderful! So, let me share what I do for keeping it clean.

Is It Really Necessary?

I absolutely understand, it seems pretty strange that before jumping into cleaning or maybe washing method, why such questions come up. Well, there are reasons and these are important ones!

Most backpacks are advisable to not wash. There are many options of quality backpacks that are made with quite withstanding components. These are fabulous to survive in challenging conditions. And this is because of a special type of water repel coating called DWR.

There’s always a risk of damaging the backpack while washing it. Especially when you involve harsh detergents. North Face does not recommend users to fully wash or submerge with water. So that’s something you must know beforehand.

However, your situation might be quite tricky and spot cleaning isn’t enough. What would you do in such cases to get rid of the grime and dirt?

Well, that’s when you don’t need to follow what’s recommended. Because your situation needs you to take action fast and clean it up as soon as possible.

Things You’ll Need:

Start with gathering a few stuffs for cleanup. It’s mandatory if you want to work smoothly and properly. Stuff that you’ll need are listed below:

  1. Large sink, basin or bathtub to hold the backpack.
  2. Non-bleaching and mild detergent or cleaning liquid.
  3. Hand towel or paper cloth.
  4. Toothbrush.
  5. Hanger.
How to Wash North Face Backpack

The Before Saga.

Make sure that there’s nothing inside the backpack. You should have a look at every pocket  and also don’t forget the compartments. Everything needs to be out.

Once everything is out, turn the backpack upside down with open zippers. Give it a good shake. This will bring out any tiny particle or thing inside. Some dirt’s are left inside in hard to reach places. Shaking will bring those out partially too.

Brushing Off Dirt and Grime.

The next step is brushing off every part of backpack. You’ll focus on wiping off any dirt that’s outside plus inside the backpack. This is an important step before soaking it in water. Some dirt needs force to come out. Contact to water might just get dirt stuck with fabric. And this is going to worsen everything.

Use a soft brush or toothbrush for this step. You can also use a dry paper instead if that’s accessible only. A toothbrush will make it easy to reach harder areas. While for a larger surface, you can go with paper towels.

Make sure you are as gentle as possible with this step. Additional force or pressure might be a reason for scratches later. You don’t want to leave an ugly spot in any way, right?

Option 1: Wiping Off with Clean Water

This is safer than washing and probably enough in most cases. There’s less risk of any damage since you’ll use plain clean water and absolutely no detergent.

  • Take a clean fabric or cloth first and wet it with water. Then wring it finely to get out as much as water possible. Then use this to wipe the interior of your backpack.
  • Take your time to clean and focus on each part of the inside compartments as well as pocket.
  • Then use another damp clean cloth to wipe the outside of your backpack. Take your time to deal with every part of the backpack.
  • If there are serious spots then use a cloth damp with mild detergent and water to only rub at that particular area. This is called spot cleaning and considered safe by North Face.
  • You should wash the cloth multiple times if necessary. Make sure to wring it properly just like before. And then go for another wipe as you need. If you find that the backpack is clean enough, stop here and hang it to get dry. Or else keep on reading and try the other method.

Option 2: Soaking Method

My answer to those who ask, how to wash a backpack is always the same actually. I recommend them to go for the soaking method instead and see if it works for them. This is better to option-one but still safe enough than completely washing.

  • Use tepid water for this process. Simply fill up a basin, bathtub or container that can hold your backpack.
  • There’s no need to use any detergent or soap yet. Just let the backpack soak in this water for some time. Most of the time, this helps to get rid of grime and dirt quite effectively.
  • Make sure all the compartments and pockets are open while you soak it. This will allow for thorough cleaning.
  • In some cases, you can use a toothbrush to gently scrub areas that are hard to reach. Light fabric will also work well.
  • Take it out after soaking for some time. If you feel the backpack is clean enough then let it dry and use as needed. However, if still the cleaning isn’t successful, go for next and final option.

Option 3: Cleaning with Detergent.

This method is risky but if there’s absolutely no choice left and stains don’t seem to go away, you might want to try. Make sure the detergent is mild and there are no chemicals that can react badly with DWR coating. NikWax or Oxiclean products are quite good for such mild cleaning with no bleach formula.

  • Here also you need to use tepid water. Start by mixing the cleaner with water. There’s no need to directly pour this mixture inside the bag. Use a little amount with water and dissolve properly.
  • Dip the bag into water and let stains soak inside. Depending on how bad these stains are, wait for a few hours. Check after every hour to see whether the stains come off.
  • Once again, fully submerge the bag in water, making sure that stained area remains underwater.
  • Eventually, the stain will come out and you may have to use gentle scrubbing as well to get it off better. Once the cleaning is successful rinse it off well. Use a hanger to dry it completely. There should be no trace of detergent or water left.
  • Usually, it takes around 24 to 36 hours to dry completely. Don’t even think about using a hairdryer for quick drying. It’s going to melt the plastic components and leave you a messed-up backpack.

How to Wash a Backpack in Washing Machine?

Check the instruction set that comes with your backpack. If it allows you to wash inside a washing machine, then go for it. There’s no problem in those cases. But some of the backpack manufacturers strictly forbids to do that. So be completely sure beforehand trying cleaning in a washing machine.

If you are allowed then make sure the washing machine you have is huge enough to hold your backpack. Otherwise, you may want to go to the local laundromat for huge machines.

Make sure you empty it properly and bring every external feature out such as loose cords or carabiners. Then simply turn it inside out and put inside a pillowcase. A large cloth bag will also help. This will take care of the color and features. Once you are done with cleaning, follow the recommended time for drying and you are good to use it.


Congratulations, you have learned how to wash north face backpack. I hope the learning was fun and my instructions were helpful. Just make sure to not play with the safety parts. Because if you take a risk unknowingly, this might ruin your precious bag.

So, avoid anything harsh or dangerous and go for the soft methods first. And if you think that it’s not working and you’re still left with ugly unbearable stains, then try the harder routes.

No matter what you choose to do make sure this is done with complete observation. You should always practice good maintenance habits. This way there will be no chance of ever meeting a situation where you need to wash it. Also, the durability of your favorite backpack will increase with proper take care.

So, Think about It!