Can You Wash Jansport Backpack? The Ultimate Guide To a Squeaky Clean Backpack

* As an affiliate, I may earn a commission from purchases made through the links on this page.
can you wash jansport backpack

Jansport builds their backpacks to last. However, they use unique materials like Cordura and 600D polyester, which require special care. You cannot use harsh detergents or even warm water to clean it. So, can you wash Jansport backpack?

You can wash your Jansport backpack by applying the proper method. To properly clean your Jansport backpack, hand wash it with cold water. After washing it, let it out to air dry or line dry. Additionally, avoid getting the leather and suede trim wet.

This guide will tell you all you need to know about cleaning your prized backpack. We also included some maintenance tips to help keep it in pristine condition for longer.

Materials Needed For Washing A Jansport Backpack

The materials you need to clean your Jansport backpack should be pretty easy to find around your house. Here is a complete list of all the things you will need:

1. Cleaning Cloth

A simple microfiber cleaning cloth will do. You can also use nano towels which are just high-end cloth. But it is not necessary.

2. Spot Cleaner 

If you have not cleaned your backpack for a while, some stains might be caked on there. So, a spot cleaner will help you eliminate any tough stains.

3. Soft Fabric Brush 

Get a soft fabric cleaning brush as well. You will want to scrub the stains off your backpack. However, make sure it is a soft fabric one.

4. Vacuum Cleaner

Yes, a vacuum cleaner. It will come in handy for sucking out any dirt stuck at the bottom and corners.

5. Leather and Suede Cleaner

Many Jansport bags have leather and suede sections. You should not get those areas wet. It might cause it to discolor over time. A leather and suede cleaner will help keep those sections clean and preserve its look.

6. Mesh Laundry Bag

These easy-to-use laundry bags are not only great for washing your Jansport backpack, but they can protect all your fine washables. You can use it to wash your delicate items and avoid them getting damaged during the wash cycle.

Preparing the backpack for washing

After gathering all the necessary tools, it is time to prepare your backpack for cleaning. This is relatively easy to do.

  • Take Out All The Bag’s Contents: First, start by emptying your backpack. You do not want to leave anything to ensure you can reach every nook and cranny of your backpack when cleaning it.
  • Shake Out Any Loose Debris: After emptying your backpack, flip it over and shake it. This will allow all the loose debris to fall on the ground. You can do this over a trash bin.
  • Vacuum Out Dirt and Debris: Some dirt and debris might still be lodged into your backpack’s bottom and nook and crannies. Use a vacuum to suck up that debris easily.
  • Check the Care Instructions For Your Backpack: There are many different types of Jansport backpacks made with various materials. These materials might need special care. For example, you should never use detergent for bags that use 600D Polyester or Cordura. 
    Check the official care instructions. It will help you keep the backpack’s shape and color intact for years.

Washing Your JanSport Backpack

washing a JanSport Backpack

Jansport recommends only hand washing your backpack. However, if you carefully follow our steps, you can also machine wash it. But we do not recommend you do this regularly:

Step 1: Place Your Backpack Inside a Mesh Laundry Bag

After you have prepared your backpack, place it inside a mesh laundry bag and tie it properly. Mesh laundry bags are pretty common. However, a pillowcase would do just fine if you do not have one.

Step 2: Put Your Backpack Into the Washer

Then place your backpack inside your washing machine. Use the most gentle wash cycle you have on your machine.

Additionally, add cold water only and a very mild detergent. Do not use bleach or hot water. Those will damage the fabric. Also, avoid any kind of fabric softeners.

Step 3: Remove From Backpack From the Washer and Air Dry

After washing your backpack, remove it immediately and let it air dry. Do not use clothes or a hair dryer to speed up the drying process. Moreover, do not wring out the excess water. Air drying it in a place with good air circulation is best.

How to Hand Wash a Jansport Backpack

How to Hand Wash a Jansport Backpack

The best way to clean your backpack is to hand wash it. If you want to ensure your backpack lasts the longest, hand wash it and avoid detergent. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Prepare Your Backpack

Prepare your backpack first. As mentioned above, remove all the contents. Then turn the backpack upside down and shake to remove any loose dirt or debris. Shaking it might not get rid of all the dirt inside. Vacuum out any debris that is still stuck at the bottom.

Step 2: Use Cold Water and a Soft Cloth to Wash Your Backpack

Now get a soft cloth and dampen it with some cold water. Remember never to use warm water. It can damage your Jansport backpack, especially the leather or suede trims, and the fabric.

Use the damp cloth to gently clean the entire backpack. You can spot clean stubborn stains. Use a spot cleaner with a soft fabric brush to clean those areas.

Step 4: Clean Leather and Suede Trim

If your backpack has leather and suede trims that are not too dirty, leave it. It is best not to get them wet. However, if they are filthy, you can use a leather and suede cleaner to clean them.

Step 5: Let Air Dry

After cleaning your backpack, let it air dry. Do not try to hurry this process. To reiterate, you should not use a hair or clothes dryer. Simply hang it up and let the air dry. After it is completely dry, you can start using it again.

Drying the JanSport backpack

Letting your backpack dry completely before using it is very important. You should always let it air dry whether you hand-washed it or used a washing machine.

Moreover, avoid using a hairdryer or a clothes dryer. Just hang your backpack in the open to dry, and you should be fine. After it is bone dry, fluff it out a bit, and you are ready to use it again.

Special Care Instructions for Leather or Suede Backpacks

When cleaning leather or suede backpacks, it is best to avoid contact with water. Water can discolor it. If your backpack’s leather or suede trims are not even that dirty, we recommend avoiding getting those areas wet.

If you must clean it, you can use a leather spot cleaner. There are suede cleaners as well. Apart from that, use a microfiber cloth to wipe it down gently.

Important Things to Avoid When Cleaning Jansport Backpack

When cleaning your Jansport backpack, always avoid hot water and harsh detergents. It is always best to hand wash your backpack as well. 

However, if you do not have time, and want to wash it quickly, a low wash cycle with a very mild detergent should be enough. Although we do not recommend machine-washing your backpack regularly. Here are some things you should always avoid when washing your backpack:

  • Harsh detergents
  • bleach 
  • Hair or clothes dryer
  • Warm water

Tips for Maintaining a Clean JanSport Backpack

Tips for Maintaining a Clean JanSport Backpack

Jansport backpacks are very high quality. However, they also have special instructions that ensure the backpack’s longest life. Here are some effective and easy maintenance tips:

Do Not Put Smelly or Wet Items In Your Backpack: Avoid putting any wet or smelly items in your backpack. Those can stain your backpack and also cause odor.

Remember to Sanitize Your Backpack: Sanitizing your backpack is very important. You can use antibacterial wipes or sprays to keep it germ-free.

Oil the Zippers: Oiling the zipper periodically will keep them smooth for longer. It also reduces the chances of them getting jammed.

Spot Clean Regularly: Regularly spot-cleaning your backpack with a damp cloth is better than deep cleaning it once a year or so.

Loosen Shoulder Straps When Storing It For a Long Time: If you need to store your backpack for a long time, loosen the shoulder straps. Otherwise, the straps might get strained.

After ensuring a squeaky clean Jansport backpack, you’re all set for a well-prepared outdoor adventure. Just like other items, It’s important to pack your sleeping bag as well! For a detailed guide on how to attach a sleeping bag to your backpack, check out our valuable resource: How to Attach a Sleeping Bag to a Backpack


Is JanSport waterproof?

Jansport backpacks are not waterproof. The covered zippers slow down water entering into the backpack. However, water can seep in over time.

Is a backpack washing machine safe?

The manufacturer recommends not to machine wash the backpack. It is better to hand wash it for maximum longevity.

Can You Put JanSport Backpacks in the Washer?

Washers are not safe for Jansport backpacks. You should hand wash your backpack.

Can you put a JanSport backpack in the dryer?

Always air-dry your backpack after washing it. Putting it in the dryer can damage it and also change its shape.


Hopefully, now you know the answer to the question, can you wash Jansport backpack or not? Jansport backpacks are pretty easy to clean and maintain. Hand washing is the best way to go. In addition, make sure you avoid harsh detergents, warm water, and bleach. Also, remember to always air dry your backpack completely before using it. If you have any questions about your backpack, contact Jansport Customer Support.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Alex Cooper

Alex Cooper

Hey there! I’m Alex Cooper—a nature enthusiast, always seeking thrilling adventures in camping and climbing. The crackle of a campfire and the starry night sky fill my heart with joy and a sense of belonging. As I conquer mountains, I feel an incredible rush of excitement. Through my heartfelt words, I want to share my deep connection with nature and inspire others, like you, to experience the same awe-inspiring emotions. Let’s embark on this amazing journey together, where we’ll discover the extraordinary and find ourselves embraced by the beauty of the outdoors.


Scroll to Top