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5 Simple Methods to Clean a North Face Backpack

By Sophia W. Martin
1.4K views 2 mins read

A trusty North Face backpack can last well up to five years. But to maintain this long life, you need to take good care of it.

North Face bag owners often wonder: “Can I wash it without ruining it?” or “How to clean a North Face Backpack to keep it pristine?”

Well, this blog has got you covered!

After all, these bags are quite durable, and people use them for a variety of tasks. This high-quality backpack is an essential tool that can carry food, water, clothes, and pretty much anything you manage to fit into it.

That’s why, in the following discussion, we’ll talk about the art of cleaning the North Face backpack, revealing tips and tricks that will not only refresh its appearance but also extend its lifespan.

Keep reading to find out!

Key Takeaways:
Consider professional cleaning for thorough care, especially if the backpack needs extra attention. However, expect higher costs but superior results.
Thorough drying is crucial to avoid odors and mold growth.
Clean the backpack when it gets dirty, using a damp cloth for regular maintenance.

Can You Wash a North Face Backpack Without Ruining It? Yes!

North Face backpacks have a sort of water-resistant surface. This material protects the bag from any accidental spills. That’s why some people are hesitant when washing a North Face backpack.

But have no fear!

There are several ways to wash your North Face backpack without damaging the material. Remember to let the backpack dry properly before using it again. In other words, give it some breathing space, letting the air flow through its zippers and compartments.

Cleaning Tips for Your North Face Backpack

There are several methods to clean a backpack. But here are some tips to make all these methods easier:

  • Use an old and soft toothbrush
  • Keep a handy zipper lubricant to clean the zipper
  • Use a soft sponge or washcloth
  • Use a mild detergent for machine washing
  • Use a handheld vacuum to clean the surface of the bag and inner surfaces
  • Cut away any threads or loose strings that might get caught in the wash

What You’ll Need

Before you can start cleaning, it’s time to get the tools ready. You will need the following things:

  • A pair of latex gloves
  • Old toothbrushes
  • A mild detergent or cleaning agent
  • A washcloth or sponge
  • A bucket or basin with depth
  • Stain remover
  • A laundry bag or pillowcase
  • Lubricant made for zippers

How to Clean a North Face Backpack: 5 Different Methods You Can Follow

Cleaning your North Fack backpack doesn’t have to be a complicated task. In fact, it can be quite simple and even a little therapeutic.

Methods to Clean a North Face Backpack
Methods to Clean a North Face Backpack

Here are the 5 different methods to make your beloved backpack look as good as brand new:

Light Washing

You don’t always need to deep clean your backpack. Sometimes it’s okay to just give it a good scrub. Before you begin cleaning your North Face bag, it needs to be prepared for the wash.

First off, empty all the pockets and shake them. Then, use a soft brush to rub stain remover onto any spots or grease on the bag.

Lightly wipe the bag’s surface with a damp cloth. Make sure to scrub properly to remove all the external dirt and grime.

After the wash, use a dry towel or cloth to wipe off the excess water. Hang the bag to air dry or leave it in the sunlight for some hours. The bag will be properly dried and ready for use in no time.

“This method is perfect for those days when your backpack just needs a touch of freshness.”

Spot Cleaning

There might be some pesky spots on the surface of your backpack. These ruin the look of your bag. Usually, normal scrubbing and soap can’t remove these spots.

You can follow these simple steps to remove the spots:

  • Prepare the latex gloves or some equally strong protective gloves.
  • Empty the bag properly and check for any items inside.
  • Turn the bag inside out and shake it to make sure it’s properly prepped for the wash.
  • Use an old toothbrush or a makeup brush to apply stain remover to the exterior and interior of the bag.
  • Keep the stain remover applied for at least 30 minutes.

Hand Washing

Hand washing a North Face backpack is the least damaging method. The backpack can be washed easily and then air-dried.

Here is how you can wash your North Face backpack by hand,

  • Take a bucket and fill it with lukewarm water. Be careful not to make the water too hot!
  • Add the unscented detergent and mix to create foam.
  • Submerge the backpack in the water and soak it for at least an hour.
  • Use a soft brush or makeup brush to scrub off the stains.
  • The toothbrush can reach crevices inside the bag, while the washcloth or sponge can clean the surface and mesh areas.
  • Rinse the bag properly and wring it out. This should remove any dirt without harming the material.
  • Empty the dirty water and refill it with clean water.
  • Soak the bag in clean water again to wash away any soap.

Machine Washing

If you check the care instructions for your backpack, it might warn against putting the backpack in the washing machine.

Hence, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure that the bag is safe for a machine wash.

Here are the steps to follow to wash a North Face backpack in a machine:

  • As always, start by emptying all the compartments and unzipping all the pockets.
  • Set the washing machine to a gentle wash cycle.
  • Add a generous amount of detergent to the washing machine.
  • Put the bag in and start the machine.
  • If the bag gets bunched up or tangled during the wash, stop the wash and spread it out again before putting the backpack in the water.

Professional Cleaning

When your North Pack has been through the wringer and needs a little extra TLC, consider professional cleaning. Drop it off at a reputable cleaner, and let the experts work their magic.

They’ll know the right solutions and techniques to bring your backpack back to life without compromising its integrity. It’s like a spa day for your bag—pampering at its finest.

However, a professional wash for your bag will cost a lot more than hand washing or machine washing. So, if you’re not in the mood and need a quick wash solution, this might be your preferred method.

Drying a North Face Backpack

Now that your bag is well-washed and clean, it’s time to dry it properly. It’s best to allow the backpack to air dry completely.

Let’s take a look at these short steps to properly dry out your washed backpack:

  • Wrap the bag in a towel to shake off excess water
  • Wring out the backpack tightly to remove the remaining moisture.
  • Shake the bag and hang it upside down using ropes or hooks. Secure it well so it doesn’t fall off.
  • Let the wind and sunlight dry your backpack.

Cleaning a Moldy Backpack

A moldy backpack is an unfortunate situation to find yourself in. If the bag hasn’t been cleaned for too long and it’s left in a humid environment, the zipper, cover, or bag insides might grow mold.

Moreover, backpacks can also grow mold if they aren’t dried properly after a wash. So make sure to dry the bag properly and keep it in an open environment.

Plain White Vinegar Can Help You Get Rid of Mold on Your North Face Backpack

  • Time to put on a pair of latex or protective gloves again.
  • Prepare a plain vinegar solution to clean your backpack.
  • Any cup, bucket, bottle, or basin can be used to wash it.
  • Fill the bucket with white vinegar and dip a washcloth into the solution.
  • Use a damp washcloth or sponge to rub the moldy spot.
  • Use the vinegar solution until the mold is all gone.
  • Wipe away the excess vinegar with a dry cloth.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Washing a North Face Backpack

We’ve already established that your North Face backpack cost you a big buck. So it’s better to be cautious when washing it.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Washing a North Face Backpack
North Face Backpack

Here are some things you shouldn’t do when washing a North Face backpack:

Using Harsh Cleaning Agents

The number one rule is: Always use unscented and mild soaps or detergents.


Well, if you use a harsh detergent, it may wash away the color of your backpack. The material may also get eroded. To avoid such troubles, stick to gentle cleaning agents and tools.

Scrubbing Too Vigorously

Sure, your backpack might have seen some dirt and grime on its travels, but that doesn’t mean you should take out your frustrations on it.

You must use a soft brush to scrub the bag. Also, use a soft washcloth when rubbing, as scrubbing the bag too vigorously might cause tears or fractures on its surface.

You might rub off the bag’s logo or even lighten the color by rubbing it too hard. Hence, be gentle with the bag’s surface to keep its quality intact.

Using Hot Water

It’s always better to use lukewarm water or cold water to wash backpacks. Why? Well, hot water can ruin the bag’s waterproof material.

Furthermore, the mesh covering and fabric can be affected. That’s why it’s best to wash with cold water or lukewarm water.

Drying With High Heat

Your backpack is not a fan of extreme temperatures. Just like you wouldn’t toss it into a blazing fire, avoid using high heat when drying.

It can warp the fabric, damage zippers, and leave you with a misshapen bag. Something you will never want!

Air-drying or using a low-heat setting is the way to go for a happy backpack reunion.

Not Allowing Sufficient Drying Time

You have to allow the backpack to dry completely. But if the bag has any wet spots or patches, it may leave a bad smell. Mold might also grow on parts of your backpack with wet spots.

All of these complications will ruin the quality of your bag and affect its longevity. That’s why it’s important to let your bag have time out in the sun before bringing it inside.

The Bottom Line

Now you know how to clean a North Face backpack without ruining it.

Regular cleaning is one of the best ways to keep your bag suitable for long-term usage. A clean bag also completes your look and gives you a confidence boost.

No wonder North Face backpacks are designed to be fashionable accessories. So they need to be in their ultimate form to make you look your best.

Time to keep your gear looking as fresh as the memories you create—because every stain tells a story, but not every story needs to stay in your backpack.

Happy cleaning and adventuring!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you put a North Face backpack in the washer?

Yes, you can put your bag in the washer. But it’s best to wash it by hand. Hence, if you put your North Face backpack in the washer, it might stretch or face damage. So it needs to be cleaned in a gentle wash cycle with cold water.

How do you clean a white North Face backpack?

The best way to clean a white bag would be to hand wash it. Use stain removers and cleaning agents to remove any spots or stains on the surface. An old toothbrush or washcloth can be used to clean any dirt or to scrub off any stains.

How often should you wash a North Face backpack?

It’s best to wash a backpack when it gets too dirty or grimy. But it’s not necessary to deep clean the bag every time. You can use a damp cloth to wipe the bag and scrub off any dust on it. Only machine wash your bag if it’s an emergency. Avoid cleaning the bag too often, as it may ruin the fabric and original color.

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