How to Clean a Moldy Backpack with Vinegar

backpack outside

If you’ve ever had a moldy backpack, you know that it’s not only gross but also hard to clean. 

Carrying around a moldy bag is not exactly good for your health. Not to mention the funky smell you take with you. 

But with some effort and a little vinegar, you can use this method to clean mold off your backpack. It will not only remove the mold but also deodorize your bag.

Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to clean a moldy backpack with vinegar.

Let’s begin.

What You’ll Need:

  • White vinegar
  • Sponge, brush, or cloth
  • A spray bottle (optional)
  • Clean water


  1. Empty out your backpack. 
  2. Mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then spray the moldy part of the backpack. I mix equal parts vinegar and water but you can adjust it to your liking. Just pour the mixture on a small spot first to test if it will damage the surface of your backpack.
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes to give the vinegar time to dissolve the mold.
  4. Rub the affected area with a cloth, brush, or sponge, rinsing with clean water as you go along until all traces of mold are gone.
  5. Dry off your backpack by opening it up and hanging it outside or on a fan.

Why Use Vinegar?

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer that’s non-toxic, biodegradable, and cheap to buy. 

It can be used on all types of fabrics without damaging them. (Although it may discolor some materials. Always test first.) 

More importantly, research studies show that vinegar is effective against mold growth

So you have a powerful natural mold killer and deodorizer in one mean package.

How Often Should You Clean Your Backpack?

How often you need to clean your backpack depends on how often you use it. 

If it’s a daily rider, then cleaning it after every few days of use is probably best. 

On the other hand, if your backpack only sees action once every few months or so, then cleaning it every few months should be sufficient.

The best way to decide when to clean your bag is by keeping an eye on how dirty it gets: if you see any stains or smells that weren’t there before, then now’s the time to give it a good scrubbing!


That’s all there is to it. 

You may have some leftover vinegar that you don’t want to use, but don’t worry — it won’t go to waste! 

You can always use it for other household cleaning purposes, such as removing stains from clothing or removing soap scum from your tub. 

Here’s an article on How to Clean Dusty Window Blinds with Vinegar. Check it out if you have time.

Also, if you don’t want to use vinegar to clean your backpack, you can give good ole baking soda a shot. Here’s an article on How to Clean a Backpack with Baking Soda.

Thanks for dropping by my blog!

-Baking Soda Guy

Photo by Avinash Patel from Pexels