Skip to main navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

How to Clean and Sanitize a Backpack

The amount of dirt, sweat and grime that can accumulate on a kid’s backpack is staggering. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure that school bag isn’t packed with icky germs.

More from Clorox experts
Get more for less with bundles

Tackle household messes with 10% off curated cleaning bundles or build your own.

Get more for less

Save 10% on curated cleaning bundles or build your own.

It should come as no surprise that school gear can pick up and harbor all kinds of sweaty, germy dirt. And while most school clothes are washed on a regular basis, bags and backpacks can go neglected for weeks, months, even years. You’ll be glad to know that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to clean and sanitize that piece of essential school gear. 

A regular cleaning routine

Unless the backpack requires a full bleach laundering, Clorox® Disinfecting Mist is recommended for daily cleanup. This convenient spray can be used on many soft surfaces, no wipe required. Just give the backpack a good spray at the end of the school day.

Related articles

Cleaning backpacks in the wash

If the backpack is made of nylon or polyester, it can be washed in a machine. And if the bag happens to be white, you can simply wash it in your regular bleach load with Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach with CLOROMAX®. Just be sure to read the care label to make sure there’s no spandex, and check for colorfastness to bleach. 

Related products

How to sanitize and wash your backpack

For most other non-white bags and backpacks, a good bleach-free fabric sanitizer and a washing machine is all you need to keep dirt, germs and odor at bay. Just follow these simple steps.

Gather your supplies

Steps to wash a backpack

  1. 1

    Spray with Fabric Sanitizer

    We recommend bleach-free Clorox® Fabric Sanitizer spray to pre-treat odors and stains.

  2. 2

    Wait 5 minutes

    Allow enough time to let the sanitizer solution do its job.

  3. 3

    Wash as usual

    Add the backpack to a regular load of laundry, using your favorite detergent.