How Do You Clean a Backpack After Backpacking?

By Robert Palmer

One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors is backpacking, but it’s important to properly clean and maintain your backpack after a backpacking excursion. Not only will this ensure that your backpack lasts longer, but it will also help keep you and the environment healthy. Here are some tips for cleaning your backpack after a backpacking trip:

Step 1: Empty Your Backpack

The first step in cleaning a backpack is to empty out all of its contents. Take out any items that may have been tucked away in pockets or compartments and set them aside. This will make it easier to access all of the surfaces of the bag for cleaning.

Step 2: Clean The Exterior

Once everything has been emptied, you can start on the exterior of the bag. First, use a damp cloth or sponge with warm water and mild detergent to wipe down the exterior surface of the bag. Make sure to go slowly and pay attention to any areas where dirt or mud may have accumulated.

Step 3: Clean The Interior

Once the exterior has been cleaned, move on to the interior of the bag. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck inside pockets or compartments.

You may also want to use damp cloths or sponges with warm water and mild detergent to wipe down any hard-to-reach areas inside.

Step 4: Dry The Bag

Before putting anything back into your backpack, make sure that it is completely dry. Hang it up in an open area and let it air dry for at least 24 hours before packing it up again. If necessary, you can use a hairdryer on low heat settings to speed up the drying process.

Step 5: Store Your Backpack Properly

Once your backpack is clean and dry, store it properly in an area where it won’t get too much direct sunlight or be exposed to moisture or humidity. This will help ensure that your bag stays in good condition for many years.



Cleaning your backpack after a backpacking trip is essential for keeping both you and your gear healthy and protected from harm. By following these five simple steps, you can easily clean your backpack after backpacking without damaging its fabric or components.