How to Clean a Backpack with Baking Soda

backpack cover

Backpacks are an extremely useful type of bag. They have straps so you can carry them on your back and they have a lot of pockets that can hold quite a bit of stuff. Because of their durability and convenience, they are often used by students, athletes, hikers, and many others as a way to carry their belongings or equipment around with them. 

However, like all bags, they can get dirty or smelly over time. It is important to clean your backpack regularly to keep it in good condition and also prevent the spread of germs. Baking soda is a safe and effective cleaning agent that will help remove stains and grime from your backpack.

In this article, I’ll show you how I use baking soda to clean my backpack.

Let’s get started.

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Warm Water
  • Dish Soap (optional)
  • Soft Scrub Brush or Toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • Clean Cloth
  • Bowl


  1. Using a bowl, mix baking soda with water until you achieve a paste-like consistency. You can also add a few drops of dish soap if you want.
  2. Apply the paste to any dirty areas of your backpack and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Using a sponge or an old toothbrush, scrub your backpack in gentle circles, taking care not to tear or damage the fabric in the process.
  4. Rinse off your backpack completely under clear running water and leave it to air dry before storing it away.

Why Use Baking Soda to Clean a Backpack?

Baking soda is an excellent ingredient for a backpack cleaning solution. It’s safe to use on fabric and a powerful odor neutralizer. Plus, it’s inexpensive and easy to find.

You can use the same baking soda powder you keep in your fridge to deodorize the inside of your backpack. Sprinkle some of it on the inside material and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up.

How Often Should You Clean Your Backpack?

After every use if possible. If you can’t clean your backpack after each use, aim for at least once every two months. This will keep it from getting too gross or smelly over time. If you notice a stain, clean it immediately.

If you use it for days outside, such as taking it camping, make sure to clean it when you come home.

Backpack Care Tips

Now that your backpack is clean again, take care of it so it can last you a long time. A few tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a backpack cover when you’re out in the rain.
  • Always air out your backpack after use. If possible, lay the bag down flat inside out. This will help prevent mold or mildew from forming inside your pack and keep it smelling fresh.
  • Don’t use bleach on your backpack—it can damage some of the synthetic materials used to make backpacks lighter and faster drying.
  • Avoid machine washing or drying your backpack. Instead, spot clean using warm water, mild soap, and a soft cloth or sponge (or use commercial cleaning solutions). If you really must use the washer, use the gentlest setting and use a mild detergent. Air dry afterward.
  • When washing your backpack, remember to check all the pockets for dirt and leftovers from snacks or lunches, as these are areas that can collect dirt and grime easily if not cleaned regularly. This will ensure that bacteria and germs don’t grow inside your backpack while at school or work during the weekdays, as well as make sure it doesn’t smell bad during weekend adventures!


By now you should have a fresh backpack that is ready to be used again.

Remember to clean your backpack regularly, and always take extra care of it when using it outdoors.

If you enjoy this article and want to learn more, please read my article on how to use baking soda to deodorize jeans.

Thanks for reading!

-Baking Soda Guy

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels