It is said that a dog is a man’s best friend, but in all honesty, your backpack is your best friend. Why do you ask? Well, try and look back at all the times that you had a backpack with you. Now, imagine those scenarios without your backpack. Scary, right? Remember the last time your dog did that for you? No? Well, this might cause you some grief, but believe me, your dog will never carry your belongings as your backpack does.
Backpacks are perhaps one of the most useful inventions this world has ever seen. Every time you head out, your backpack will have your back (pun intended). Do you want to carry your laptop? Sure, put it in. Do you need to take along your books? By all means, put them in there. Do you need to carry an extra set of slippers or joggers? Put them in a plastic backpack and in they go. Do you need to take your clothes too? Oh well, put them right in. Planning to go out of the city just for two days? Your backpack is all the luggage you need. All that and so much more, has any other invention ever been so practical? Of course not.
Since your backpack gives you so much, it deserves to be cared for. You should make sure you do not overburden it. You should make sure you protect it against any objects that would tear it. Most of all, you need to make sure your backpack stays clean. Who wants a dirty best friend anyway? But washing a backpack can sometimes harm it. You must make sure you do it right. How to do it right? Well, here goes:
What does the Backpack say?
Before you throw the backpack in a bucket and start rubbing at it rigorously with a hard brush, you have to make sure that that would not ruin your backpack. For this, you need to look at the care labels on your backpack (yes there may be several of those on the same product). The care label will inform you about the do’s and don’ts of washing your particular backpack. It will tell you whether the backpack is safe for machine washing or not, whether you should use cold water or warm (sometimes, it will even tell you specific temperatures to use), whether you should put in a dryer after washing or not, whether you should leave it hanging out to dry or not. All this will be very important for you to know if you want the backpack to have a long life.
Empty Your Backpack
Of course, your backpack needs to be empty. Who would want to wash their books with their backpack? How would you even wash your backpack without completely emptying it? But, if its common sense, why is it specifically stated here. This is because the need to thoroughly check the backpack to be empty is essential. Stuff like stapler pins, buttons, coins, or keys will not just fall out if you turn the backpack over. You have to make sure that they are out of the backpack because if you put it in a washing machine and any of those small things come out and go inside the machine, it could mean the end of your washing machine and maybe even an electrical shock to you. Moreover, you need to make sure that there are no buttons or zippers on your backpack that may break while you are washing the backpack.
What Way to Wash Your Backpack?
You will usually have a choice about how to wash your backpack (depending on what the care label says. You can either choose to hand wash your backpack or machine wash it.
Hand Washing your Backpack:
- Dust off: before formally washing your backpack, just dust off the loose dirt from the surface.
- Work stains: before the backpack goes in the water, try removing sticky stains, like chewing gums melted rubber bands because once they get wet, it will become even more challenging to work on them.
- Get the Water: There will almost always be instructions on the care label about what temperature the water should be. There will also be instructions about the type of detergent to be used. Use these instructions to get the water and detergent mixture ready.
- Soaking: Before you start brushing the backpack, let it soak. Soaking will let the detergent work its way inside the fabric and then clean it.
- Brush: After plenty of soaking, which is usually a good 30 minutes to 1 hour, you should work on the remaining stains with a soft-bristled brush. If the bristles are too hard, they will ruin the backpack.
- Rinse: After you have worked on all the stains, you will have to rinse off all the detergent from the backpack. This will take plenty of water.
- Dry: After all this, let your backpack hang in the open inside out for a day, and you are done.
Machine Washing your Backpack:
- Dust off: Dust off loose dirt before putting the backpack inside the machine.
- Work on stains: try removing sticky stains before putting the backpack in the machine, this will reduce your work later.
- Water and Detergent: The water and detergent specifications will be on the care label. Use it to get the water temperature of the water and the right type of detergent.
- Put the backpack in the machine: Set the washing cycle as mild and give it around 20 minutes. Stop the machine in the middle and turn the backpack inside out and put it back. If the backpack is too delicate, put it in a cloth backpack before you put it inside the machine.
- Rinse: Use plenty of water to get the detergent out.
- Dry: Although you may want to use a dryer, it is usually advised against using it. Just hang the backpack outside for a day or two, and you will be good to go.