Q:

How do I clean my hiking backpack?

A:

To clean your hiking backpack, remove any detachable pockets, vacuum out the bag, and wipe it down with a sponge and a mild detergent that is free of dyes and chemicals. Rinse the bag with a hose, or dip it in a tub of cold water.

  1. Clean out the bag

    With a brush or vacuum, get rid of any debris in the backpack. Use the crevice tool of the vacuum to get crumbs and dirt embedded deep in the pockets or in the corners. Take off any detachable parts, and clean them separately. Wipe the bag with a sponge and a mild detergent.

  2. Perform zipper maintenance

    Use a toothbrush to clean dirt from the zippers. To ensure smooth operation, apply a silicone spray to the zippers. Trim any loose threads, which can get in the way of the zipper.

  3. Rinse off the soap

    Rinse the backpack well to remove any trace of soap. Use the hose outside or a detachable shower head to rinse off the detergent. You can also dunk the bag in a tub of cold water.

  4. Dry the bag

    Hang the bag to dry outside in a cool, dark place. If you do not have a suitable spot outdoors, hang the bag in a well-ventilated room, or use a fan to circulate the air. The drying process can take two to three days, depending on the weather.

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