When it comes to cleaning your backpack, there are a few things you need to know in order to do this properly. First, if your pack has any loose dirt on it, brush it off with a dry brush. Also, if the interior of your pack is dirty, you can wipe out the inside with a damp sponge and mild soap. If you do need to use water, be sure to rinse only. Even then, use cold water and a sponge or rinse the pack in a tub without soap. Never soak your pack in soapy water, as it may cause your pack to delaminate.

If you do end up needing soap, be sure to rinse your pack thoroughly to eliminate any soap residue. One you’re all done, place your pack on a frame to air dry. Never use a dryer. Then, always make sure you store it in a cool, dry place between uses.

One area that is often neglected when it comes to backpack care is its zippers. Taking care of your pack’s zippers starts with keeping any loose threads trimmed. You also want to make sure you keep them free from dirt. Aside from periodical cleanup, you can spray the zippers often with a silicone spray to help prolong their life, and also rinse them with clear water.

Outdoor gear care involves much more than a simple cleaning after getting dirty. Taking care of your backpack can be done in between uses with some touch-ups, applying protective solvents, and a simple wipe-down. The tips outlined above will help you extend the life of your backpack for several years of excitement on the trail.