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How To Wash a North Face Backpack – An Ultimate Guide

Ah, the trusty North Face backpack – your faithful companion through rain and shine. It’s been with you through thick and thin, but now it’s looking a bit worse for wear. Fear not, dear adventurer! It’s time to embark on the noble quest of washing your beloved backpack.

But hold on, before you wonder “how to wash a North Face backpack,” it’s easier than navigating your way through a crowded mall sale. In this guide, we’ll unravel the secrets to keeping your North Face backpack spick, span, and ready for the next great adventure.

So, let’s dive into the bubbly world of backpack cleansing!

Is Washing North Face Backpacks Safe?

Not all backpacks are alike. Some fabrics cannot withstand a trip through the washing machine, so read the care instructions beforehand. However, most North Face backpacks have durable fabrics such as nylon that can withstand washing.

However, it is best to wash your pricey backpacks occasionally. The particular weather protection might be worn out with frequent washing. However, you may need to clean it from time to time.

The following is a list of washing methods arranged from least to most intense:

  • To avoid mold, keep it away from wet areas.
  • Spots can be cleaned with a towel or an old toothbrush.
  • Gently wash with soapy water.
  • Take a hot bath with soap.
  • If necessary, use a soft cycle in the washing machine.

Note: Never, ever, ever put it in the dryer. Allow it to dry outside in the sun completely.

How To Wash a North Face Backpack – Step by Step Instructions

Washing a North Face backpack can help extend its lifespan and keep it looking its best. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash your North Face backpack:

Spot Cleaning

  • Empty the backpack: Remove all contents, including loose items or debris.
  • Shake well: Shake the backpack vigorously to dislodge any dirt or dust trapped inside.
  • Clean the zipper: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush dipped in warm water to gently clean the zipper tracks and remove dirt or grime.
  • Spot clean stains: Dampen a sponge with warm water and a mild detergent for visible stains. Gently dab the stain, working from the outside edge towards the center. Avoid scrubbing too hard, as this could damage the fabric.

Soak and Scrub

Try soaking and scrubbing the backpack if spot cleaning isn’t enough to remove stubborn stains.

  • Fill a bathtub or sink with lukewarm water.
  • Add a small amount of mild detergent.
  • Submerge the backpack in the water.
  • Allow the backpack to soak for 15-30 minutes.
  • Gently scrub the stained areas with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Rinse the backpack thoroughly with clean water.


  • Hang the backpack to air dry: Choose a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Do not use a clothes dryer, as this can damage the fabric.
  • Stuff the backpack with paper towels or crumpled newspapers: This will help maintain the backpack’s shape and prevent it from sagging.
  • Allow the backpack to dry completely before storing it.

Additional Tips

  • Use a mild detergent designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid harsh detergents or bleach, which can damage the backpack’s material.
  • If the backpack has a removable DWR (durable water-repellent) coating, you can refresh it by applying a DWR spray once completely dry.
  • Regularly spot-cleaning your backpack can help prevent dirt and grime from building up, making it harder to clean later.

Machine Washing Your North Face Backpack: A Cautionary Guide

Although handwashing North Face backpacks is usually advised to preserve their integrity, machine cleaning is also an option. But it’s crucial to proceed with caution and adhere to these rules:

Opt for the mildest cycle: Use cold water and the gentlest cycle on your washing machine. Hot water and strong detergents should not be used on the backpack’s fabric or coatings.

Minimize spinning: To lessen the backpack’s agitation, choose a moderate spin cycle. The zippers and seams may get stressed as a result of excessive spinning.

Use a mesh laundry bag: Putting the backpack inside a mesh laundry bag adds a layer of defense against ripping or snagging while being washed.

Skip the dryer: Air-drying is essential for preserving the backpack’s shape and material. Never put a North Face backpack in the dryer, as the high heat can deform the fabric and damage the coatings.

Remember, handwashing is always the preferred method for cleaning North Face backpacks, as it minimizes the risk of damage. However, if machine washing is necessary, follow these guidelines carefully to protect your backpack.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I dry my North Face backpack?

Never put a North Face backpack in the dryer. Air-drying is essential for preserving the backpack’s shape and material. Hang it indoors or in a well-ventilated area away from sunlight to prevent fading and discoloration.

How to wash a north face backpack using detergent?

Use a mild detergent for delicate fabrics to wash the north face backpack. Avoid harsh detergents or bleach, which can damage the backpack’s material.

How frequently should my North Face backpack be cleaned?

Wash it as needed; too many washes might weaken the weatherproofing.

Should I clean my backpack after each hike?

It’s not required; routine maintenance generally only requires brushing off dirt.

How can I keep my backpack from growing mold?

Dust it regularly and avoid storing it in confined, moist locations.


In wrapping up this guide on how to wash a North Face backpack, the key takeaway is the delicate balance between cleanliness and preservation. Whether you choose handwashing or machine-cleaning, the process revolves around understanding and respecting the unique characteristics of your backpack.

As we’ve explored various methods, from spot cleaning to soaking and machine washing, the overarching goal is clear: maintain your North Face companion with care. By adhering to these instructions, you ensure not just cleanliness but the longevity of a faithful adventurer who stands ready for the journeys that await.

Happy washing and happy trails!