How to Wash North Face Backpack – Useful & Effective Guide

Last Updated on June 15, 2022 by Backpackultra

Backpacks are the best friends in our daily life. This is why everybody wants a quality backpack to use for a longer time. Some users tend to buy branded backpacks. North face backpacks, Oakley backpacks, TUMI backpacks, Fjallraven Kanken Backpacks, Herschel Supply Co. Backpacks, JanSport backpacks, and so many others are great backpacks that are worth buying. Carrying important files and documents, a good backpack plays an important role.

Using a rucksack for a long time may require cleaning it. Some manufacturers discourage cleaning it. But, you know, a shoulder backpack goes some harshest conditions and still it is good. Sometimes some spots or dirt is put on it and then there is no option left but cleaning it.

How do backpacks get dirty?

dirty backpack

As a backpack is a shadow friend of you, wherever you go, the bag on your shoulder goes with you. You go, it goes; you stop, it stops with you. If you use a rucksack for school, college, office, or any work, you just need to take some necessary items in the bag. Important papers, books, small instruments, and even food. However, your backpack may be dirty due to spilling food, careless use, moisture, harsh use, regular wear and tears, and heavy-duty use.

So while it becomes so smelly and filthy, you proceed to wash your backpack. When the backpack is a north face backpack you have to know how to wash north face backpack properly without damaging it. Even a range backpack can be washed perfectly if you follow the washing instructions. Now, the question may arise is washing really necessary?

Is It Really Necessary To Wash A North Face Backpack?

Truly, washing a backpack is not highly recommended by anyone even the manufacturers. However, there are quality backpacks that have higher endurance power to cope with any challenging situations. These backpacks usually come with a DWR coating that repels water keeping the items inside dry.

Aside from this, washing a backpack can be a risk to get damaging your bag during the process. You can lose the real color and it may even be completely ruined if not properly washed and using detergent and bleach. So, one must be very careful about how to best wash a backpack by The North Face.

Well, don’t worry much about it because we will guide you how to how to wash your north face backpack without being damaged. We will also show you the proper way and 3 Methods to clean your favorite northface backpack.

Note that most backpacks have tags written as a precaution that they are not advisable to wash. But, because of the advanced materials and quality fabrics like 600D Nylon or 1000D Cordura, the backpacks have been more durable and washable. In this modern age, the manufacturers use the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) method which is a coating added to fabrics at the factory in order to make them water-resistant. If you already know what is nylon fabric and its processing structure, you would already know what the water-resistance is!

Are you now thinking of north face washing instructions? Well, in this article I will show you the proper steps and guidance on how to wash north face backpack safely. Just hold on a moment. We will let you through. You need to know something important before the processing starts.

Then, what are they to know before washing my north face backpack?


Things to Do Before Washing

Removing all items from backpack

What you need to do first before washing your backpack is clear everything out inside from your bag. Just empty your bag perfectly so that no important items like documents, pen drives, or any electrical small items. Now, as all the zippers are wide open, you make the backpack upside down and shake it gently as if any items, as well as dust from the inside of the bag, can fall on the ground.

Even if it is a bushcraft backpack, doesn’t matter, shake the bag facing to the ground to remove every item like pens, pencils, paper, bushcraft gears, light, or any electronic devices as well as dust, dirt, and debris nicely and gently so that nothing remains in the bag. Well, when the backpack is completely empty, there you are to proceed to the next step.


The Methods of How to Wash North Face Backpack

Cleaning a north face backpack is very easy if you just follow some steps. A little carelessness can damage your bag. So you need to know how to best wash a backpack by The North Face. Please be passionate and know well what is the best way to clean a backpack?

Well, we will show here the best 3-Methods of cleaning a north face backpack. You must apply the one you need.

The 3-methods are –

  1. The Wipe Down Method
  2. The Soaking Method
  3. Detergent-Using Method

Now is the time to explicate these three methods to you. After reading this whole article, I hope you will be able to wash your north-face backpack by yourself. Before doing so, all you need is patience. Let’s discuss them.

Method-1: The Wiping Down Method

  • Brush the Dust, Dirt, & Mud
Using a brush during backpack washing

This is the pre-step before washing your backpack. However, to be truthful, this part is no less important than washing your north face backpack.

To start brushing the backpack, simply take a dust-removing brush and then begin brushing on its surface. Reach every corner that is even shrunk. The bottom and the top part are usually dustier so do not leave those places untouched.

Anyways, please do not make mistakes thinking that you will brush the backpack after soaking it. It must be a grievous mistake. Let’s experience an example; if somehow your favorite and valuable backpack has a 3” mud-spot on it. What would you do? Brush them instantly while even it is raw? No, of course not. You will have to wait until it dries. Once it’s dried hard, just rub gently and brush it. The technique will make your backpack as new as before.

So, the more you try to remove the mud from its raw state, the more you would make messier your bag. This is why try to follow the previous example.

Brush the whole surface of your rucksack gently and carefully so that no careless damage happens. Take time and make your move with extra precaution. You can use disposable hand towels as well.

  • Clean the Interior
using brush to clean interior

Though cleaning the interior is not that necessary but it will make your backpack more glassy and new as before. The interior could be messy and filled with a bad smell. If you keep varieties items inside the bag, sometimes the packets or bottles may open up somehow and it could be really messy inside. However, you can use a clean soft towel to clean it. Wet the towel and start rubbing inside the bag and reach every corner and narrow space. Reach every chamber, small pockets, side pockets, and everywhere. Just make sure no dirt is in the bag. Once wiped perfectly inside of the bag, you are ready to follow the next step.

  • Clean the Exterior
Rubbing with Sponge

Well, after cleaning the interior nicely you can go ahead with cleaning the exterior. The front means the top of the surface of the backpack needs to clean with extra care. You can use a damp cloth to clean the exterior part. As you cleaned the surface first use a brush to remove mud, spot, or any dirt from it, and now is the time to wipe those off.

This is why, a clean, soft, and wet cloth or towel would be the preference to do it. Just make sure the backpack doesn’t have any cracks, nicks, or strains. Truthfully, you need the patience to do this kind of work. If you need water to do the job, use water as little as possible. To wring it out, re-soak the cloth as needed. When done cleaning your backpack, let it be hung to dry. Well, don’t keep it directly under the sunlight because it may fade the bag’s color away. If this process works for your north face backpack, it is the safest way to clean your backpack.

Method-2: The Soaking Method

Backpack in a Sink

If the first method doesn’t work for your backpack, you need to follow the second method which is now being discussed. So, what is the soaking method and how can you apply it? Well, let’s go more thoroughly.

To start this soaking method in terms of cleaning your north face backpack, run some tepid or lukewarm water in your basin or bathtub. If the sink seems smaller, choose the bathtub. Actually, I prefer the bathtub because it is easy to handle things in big spaces.

At this stage, fill the tub at that level with lukewarm water so that the backpack can be under it. Make sure all the small pockets and main chambers are open and then submerge the bag. After an hour or two, surface the bag and gently try to rub using your fingers or brush to get the dirt away. 

Note that, we will not still use any chemical detergent or cleaner in this 2nd method too. Better we try a natural way to clean your backpack. Here is still no risk to lose your bag. If we use chemicals, we don’t know how they would interact with your bag. This is why tepid water in a bathtub and scrubbing the dirt can clean your bag as new. If the dirt goes away, let it dry and use it as needed. It would be great if you don’t need to go to the third or last step.

So, what is the third or last step?

Method-3: The Detergent-Using Method

Backpack in water

The third method is only applicable if the first and the second method fail. You may experience some stubborn stains (coffee or red wine) while drinking coffee with friends. Those kinds of strains are truly tough to remove from your backpack. Only wiping and scrubbing doesn’t work in these cases. This is why an advanced and risky method would have to be applied.

Well, let’s collect some OxiClean first. We will use it if needed. Warning! Before using this OxiClean cleaner, make sure your cleaner DOES NOT contain any bleach. If it has and if you use that it certainly would be messy. Why is that? Because let’s just say your red bag will be pink if you get bleach involved.

Now the process begins. Pour the bathtub with tepid water until the backpack is fully drowned into it. Add some cleaner. Just guess how much cleaner or detergent will you need to mix with the amount of water in the tub. I think 1-2 teaspoons of powdered detergent would work well. Now, stir the water around unless the detergent is dissolved completely.

At this point, bury the bag underwater as you did at the second method. Then let it soak for 2-4 hours (the time varies on the strain, person to person’s opinion, and practical experience but a huge amount of time like 10-15 hours may have a negative impact). Anyways, use your common sense and best judgment here. After an hour, if you see the strain you can guess how much time it may need. So, it is highly recommended that use your fingers or a brush to rub on the stain every hour to see whether there is any positive progress or not.

Remember, hit each strain with a brush or something helpful to help loosen and then re-soak. It will work fast.

Well, now that the strain is gone, rinse, rinse, and rinse the bag with gentle touch until the soapy residue is gone. Just change the water in the bathtub and rinse it. However, repeat this process until all of the soapy residues are gone.


What to do after cleaning?

After the strain is gone and rinsing repeatedly the soapy residue is gone as well. You now will have to hang the bag upside down in order to drain out water fully. It helps to dry quickly. Now, hang the backpack in an open place so that it dries fast to use it. However, it won’t be a wise decision to dry it directly under the sun for hours. Just collect it after it is dried.


Traditional Way to Wash North Face Backpack

Wandering here and there and camping can make your backpack so dirty. Sometimes you may have stubborn strains on your loving backpack. What would you do then? Would you try the very traditional method to wash your North Face Backpack? Yes, that would be a great idea.

First, you need to gather some requirements –

Remove all of the belongings from the inside of your bag. Now you can start the process.

Well then, place your backpack in a large sink without any water. Put a little amount of shampoo where you have the strain and rub it with the sponge so that no harms come to your bag. Be careful and gentle while you are going through this. Don’t forget to touch liners and any corners or narrow places to your backpack.

Wash now the backpack with fresh water. Normal water is good but you can use tepid water too. After washing and cleaning your north face backpack, waterproofing spray is needed. Spray on it. Which is one of the most important things is your zipper lubricant. So, lubricate the zippers of your bag so that no rust or corrosion can attack.

Then, make your backpack upside down and let it hang for a day.

For your kind information, if the traditional method fails to remove the strain of your backpack, you are strongly suggested (if you must remove the strain) to follow the Method-3 which is a Detergent Using Method. (Washing a backpack is not advisable).

Warning! Please don’t use any dryer or any kind of electronic machine to quickly dry. It may damage your precious backpack.


What Happened To My Backpack And How I Washed It? (Practical Experience)

A couple of years back I used to study at University. It was summer vacation. I went to my village to spend my time with my parents. However, the vacation was about to be over. I was coming back. My mom gave me some food including a jar of Honey. During the journey, the jar anyhow got opened and the honey spilled inside my bag. It was terribly messy.

Anyways, I started cleaning it after I come to my Hall. I tried the First Method but it was a total failure because the honey was sticky. The more I tried to rub it out, the more sticky substance spread over the bag.

And then I went for the Second Method of bag cleaning and it was an amazing success. I drowned it underwater (of course I took out everything such as travel gears and accessories from my bag before beginning the process) and in half an hour, I rubbed gently and the honey was gone. I cleaned my backpack perfectly, hung it on the roof for a couple of hours under sunlight, and then brought it back for use.

I was so much happy after the backpack was Ok again. So, you can use the technique for cleaning your backpack the one you need.


Can I Machine Wash My North Face Backpack?

Well, this is a very frequently asked question from the north face backpack user’s end. Though some people claim that yes, the north face backpack is machine washable, honestly it is by no means advisable.

Do you know what the backpack product care guide suggests?

“The best way to clean our backpacks is to spot clean with a damp cloth, then let it air dry. We do not recommend fully submerging our backpacks in water.”

So, they discourage submerging backpacks in water. This is why it is not the recommended cleaning method. You can follow Method-1 according to their guide. If you put your bag in the washing machine, that means you are fully submerging it in water which is clearly not recommended. But they are machine washable backpacks.

Nevertheless, you can technically put your backpack in the washing machine with some precautions so that your bag stays safe.

So what are the steps to machine wash my north face backpack?


How To Machine Wash Your North Face Backpack

Camping, hiking, mountaineering, outdoor excursion, and such kind of adventure makes your backpack dirty. Sometimes this type of stubborn spot cannot be removed by hand wash. For this reason, you may try machine washing your favorite backpack.

However, if you really intend to wash your north face backpack by machine, you must have to follow a few steps so that your bag comes out of the machine unharmed.

  • Firstly, remove all the items from the bag before you proceed.
  • Secondly, clean the dust, dirt, and mud from interior and exterior surface
  • Thirdly, now, put the bag in a pillowcase to keep it more protected
  • Fourthly, put a little amount of detergent (but no bleach) may be 1 or 2 spoons figuring out the water
  • Fifthly, run the machine setting a gentle mode cycle
  • Sixthly, once the cleaning is done, pull it outside

Well, the machine wash is done, and now is the time to hang it under the sunlight for a couple of hours. And when the backpack is dried perfectly, it is ready to use.


How To Hand Wash a North Face Backpack

First of all, a backpack is not advisable to wash. But, it is true that sometimes our backpacks get so dirty that we don’t find other ways but hand washes them. However, hand washing a north face backpack is obviously better than machine wash. If you are ready to wash your bag, you got to follow some steps.

Required supplies

  • A large sink or bathtub (I prefer bathtub)
  • A non-bleaching mild detergent
  • A cloth or paper towels
  • A toothbrush / dirt removing brush, and
  • A hanger

Now if you have collected all the requirements, you are to follow some steps. Here they are:

  1. First, remove all the belongings from inside the bag
  2. Use a brush to rub off the dirt, dust, debris, etc.
  3. Fill up the bathtub with tepid water
  4. Mix a little detergent (not bleach) with it
  5. Put the bag in the water
  6. Rub the spot repeatedly after few minutes
  7. Rinse the bag with clean water until the residue is gone
  8. Once everything is ok, let the bag hang under the sunlight to dry

Warning! Dry the backpack off completely to avoid rusting and corrosion and double-check whether it is completely free of bleach or not. OxiClean works well, but you can use any mild bleach-free detergent that you have around the house


Can I Dry My North Face Backpack In The Dryer?

It is highly advisable NOT to use any dryer or any kind of fast-drying method. A dryer can shrink your bag or it can even melt some of the components such as the nylon or polyester part of the bag. Rather, you hang your backpack upside-down position in order to release the water completely so that it can dry fast.


How Can I Store My North Face Backpack To Keep It Clean?

I like my north face backpack very much. That’s why I always try to keep my bag clean. After every use, I brush my bag if so much dust is there. If there is any mud on it, I let it dry and then scrub with a brush to pull out the dirt carefully. If I don’t use it for a long time, I try to wrap it with polythene so that no insects, dust, or debris can be on or in it. And yes, I try to keep my bag off the ground to avoid any bad happening to my backpack.


Last Words

Even an expensive backpack can be ruined in lack of proper take care. Having a north face backpack is such an investment that anyone should not let the bag damage for not properly utilizing it. Bear in mind, regular maintenance can make your backpack shiny and new as well. Owning a backpack is not that important but maintaining it properly is what everybody needs. Know more about how to wash north face backpack and you will see, your backpack is in good condition.


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Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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