How To Wash A JanSport Backpack

Regardless of how gently you use it, any backpack– even one as robust as a JanSport Backpack, requires cleaning from time to time.

A lot of us own a JanSport Backpack that’s been serving us over the years.

Jansport backpacks are popular and long-lasting, affordable traditional style, a great warranty, and simple to use.

We’ve all considered putting it in the washer at some point when trying to clean it.

Is it, however, a good idea? And, in general, what is the best approach to clean a filthy JanSport Backpack?

This article includes all the bits and pieces of knowledge I’ve gathered over the years about cleaning JanSport backpacks.

Make sure to read to the end for a comprehensive critique!

Is The JanSport Backpack Washable?

Since most JanSport Backpacks are made of high-quality materials, they are unlikely to crack or deteriorate during any wash.

As a result, it’s safe to presume that they’re machine washable.

And as evidenced by customer’s feedback, JanSport Backpacks are pretty easy to wash, and when tossed in the laundry, they come out looking as fresh as they did at the time of purchase.

You can either try the washing machine or give it a hand-wash.

With that being said, avoid using the washing machine if you have a leather bag because leather is quite delicate and can easily crack if it comes into touch with water or a device.

JanSport’s customer service also provides some instructions to help you properly wash the bags on their official web page.

But first, let’s address some main worries you might be having about washing your favorite JanSport Backpack.

Should You Dry Your JanSport Backpack In The Dryer?

Electric/automated dryers generate direct heat that can harm your bag and its contents.

So, it’d be best if you never use the dryer for drying your backpack.

And remember, heat only sets stains. Thus, by placing your bag in the dryer, you might end up getting the opposite effect.

Instead, it would be best if you let your bag dry naturally away from any direct heat sources.

Hanging your pack upside-down will also get rid of any remaining water in the pockets or corners.

How Long Does It Take For A JanSport Backpack To Dry?

It will take approximately a day, maybe two, for the material to dry, depending on how thick it is and how much water is left in the backpack.

Generally, Nylon or canvas bags take the longest to dry.

On the other hand, a bag made of leather or polyester dries much faster, taking roughly half a day.

How To Wash A JanSport Backpack Effectively In The Washing Machine?

A backpack will inevitably become dirty and smelly over time.

Washing it is not just a good idea, but also necessary.

A machine wash could remove all the dirt and stains that are too difficult to remove with only your hands.

Of course, you’ll have to be extra careful with the wash and follow specific directions, which are as simple as they sound and require very little work.

Follow these basic instructions if you wish to wash your JanSport Backpack in the washing machine effectively.

  • First and foremost, empty the bag, go through each compartment, and dust away any residues you find inside.
  • Add a small amount of bleach-free gentle detergent to your washing machine.
  • Make sure the water is either cold or warm (do not use hot water).
  • Turn the settings to gentle or delicate wash.
  • Switch on the washing machine. Allow it to run for a minute or two.
  • Take your backpack out and turn it inside out.
  • Place it back in the washer and continue the cycle for two more minutes.
  • Finally, it’s time to turn the washer off.
  • Rinse it thoroughly, and check for any water dripping from your backpack.
  • Lastly, leave it hanging under a cool, windy place for drying.

**Please note that these guidelines only apply to non-leather bags.

Backpacks made of leather should not contact water and certainly not be placed in the washing machine.

How to Hand-Wash Your JanSport Backpack

If you’re planning on hand-washing your JanSport Backpack and aren’t sure how to do it, here’s how!

Step 1:

Remove all of the contents from your backpack and clean any leftover debris from the pockets.

You can also use a soft brush to remove stubborn gunk.

The gentle bristles will help release the particles while preventing fabric damage.

If there’s a metal frame inside the pack, take it out as well.

Step 2:

For tough stains, gently apply some stain remover and let it sit for about 30 minutes before you proceed with the other steps.

Step 3:

Fill the basin/tub halfway with lukewarm water and a tiny amount of mild detergent.

Scrub the bag with a gentle brush or cloth, paying particular attention to the parts that appear to be the dirtiest.

Turn the bag inside-out and repeat the same technique.

Step 4:

Drain the unclean water and re-fill the basin with cool, clean water. Rinse and wring out the bag as much as possible.

Step 5:

Finally, open all of the zippers, hang the bag upside down, and let it air dry. Once the bag is completely dry, it’s ready for you to use!

How do You Wash A JanSport Backpack With A Suede/Leather Bottom?

Use the following approach if you need to wash a JanSport backpack with a suede or leather bottom.

  1. Combine lukewarm water and a spoonful of mild detergent in a large basin or bathtub.
  2. If the backpack’s labeling states it can be soaked, do it right away (Keep in mind, though, that they can not withstand being submerged underwater for long periods.), or dampen only the areas that need cleaning.
  3. Using a sponge or washcloth, gently scrub both the interior and outside of the backpack.
  4. Rinse thoroughly and hang to dry once it appears clean enough to you.

Easiest Ways To Remove Smells Out Of JanSport Backpacks

If the smell is mainly on the outside, you can wash it with white vinegar, which is commonly used to remove odors from fabrics.

For the interior, you can use baking soda, which also seems to do the trick.

Alternatively, gently scrub the area with a damp sponge and allow it to air dry for a few days.

Liquid soap is another excellent option for getting out smelly stains; follow the directions on the bottle if you’re going for a machine wash.

Or use a store-bought deodorizer to get rid of odors from food, sweaty gym clothes, shoes, or other sources in your backpack.

Do JanSport Backpacks Have Lifetime Warranty?

JanSport claims to offer a lifetime warranty on their backpacks.

According to their website,

“We stand by our packs for a lifetime, and since we’ve been making packs since 1967, that’s a guarantee you can stand by.”

They advise you to leave the backpack at their warranty center if it ever breaks down.

If your JanSport bag needs to be repaired, they will do so for free.

In any case, If the item is not repairable or the cost of repairing it exceeds the price of a new one, the company pledges to replace it.

What Materials Are Used To Make JanSport Backpacks?

Jansport backpacks include:

  • Good quality fabric.
  • Stain-resistant plastic bottom.
  • Durable leather.
  • Metal zinc.

Nylon, textiles from the CORDURA brand, and a variety of leathers fall into this category.

Is Washing Backpacks Necessary?

For most bags, the answer is yes.

It mainly depends on the material, but as long as you follow the technique correctly, it shouldn’t cause an issue.

By doing so, your backpack will not only appear clean, but its longevity will also increase.

If you’d like, you can also read this article where I’ve explained how to wash a North Face Backpack properly.


To get the backpack thoroughly cleaned, sometimes we may need to use the washing machine in addition to hand washing.

As much as our backpack requires cleaning, it is equally crucial to make sure it doesn’t get dirty too often.

That’s why it’s critical to remove any leftover junk from the pack as soon as we get home.

Wipe down the bag regularly, and keep it dry on the inside to avoid getting mold.

I hope the article helped you clear your confusion regarding the washing procedure of the JanSport Backpack.

I am confident that after completing the deep cleaning and following a few maintenance tips, you will be able to keep your backpack in excellent shape for quite a long time.

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