How To Wash A JanSport Backpack (Clean & Care Guide)

As the largest backpack maker in the world, JanSport is an excellent option for anyone who’s in the market for a new backpack. Just browse JanSport backpack reviews, and you’ll learn exactly why this brand is so beloved and has been since it was founded in 1967.

One thing that contributes to JanSport’s popularity is the fact that their backpacks are easy to maintain. Part of this has to do with the quality of materials used to construct each bag, but it also has to do with the easy-washing steps for keeping these backpacks clean.

In this guide, we’ll be covering exactly how to wash a JanSport backpack without ruining it and provide steps for washing by hand as well as machine washing.

What Materials Are JanSport Backpacks Made Of?

As we mentioned earlier, a huge factor to JanSport’s easy backpack maintenance has to do with the materials used to construct each of this brand’s bags. This company knows that a backpack is only as good as the materials it’s made of, which is why they use durable materials like these:

  • Denier Corduroy
  • Nylon
  • Suede Leather
  • Polyethylene Vinyl Acetate

In addition to using only the best materials, JanSport has focused on creating backpacks that are stylish, available in multiple sizes, water-resistant, comfortable to wear, and designed with useful pockets and pouches.

How To Wash A Jansport Backpack

Is My JanSport Backpack Washable?

Now on to the question that we’re all here for: Can you wash a JanSport backpack?

The answer is Yes, you absolutely can, and JanSport actually recommends it. In the brand’s backpack cleaning guide, JanSport says to “back away from the washing machine. To maintain the shape and finish of your bag, we recommend cleaning by hand.”

While it’s possible to wash your JanSport backpack in the machine - we’ll cover the steps on how to wash a JanSport backpack in the washing machine in a bit - it’s not recommended. When in doubt, go with hand washing.

How to Hand Wash Your JanSport Backpack

The steps for washing your JanSport backpack by hand are super simple. Here’s what to do:

  1. 1
    Remove all the contents from your backpack - You can’t expect to do a thorough cleaning if you still have a bag full of books, hiking supplies, etc. So start by emptying all of the contents from your bag, and be sure to check all the pockets.
  2. 2
    Remove the stains with a stain remover - This step isn’t necessary if your backpack doesn’t have stains, but if it does, it’s recommended that you use the JanSport Backpack Stain Remover. To use, just spray the cleaner on a wet cloth and scrub the stain. Then, wipe away any excess moisture and pat dry with a towel.
  3. 3
    Use cold water and a detergent - For a general backpack cleaning, use cool water on a soft damp cloth and a mild cleaning detergent. Wipe the exterior and interior of the bag with the cloth, avoiding suede and leather as you go.
  4. 4
    Rinse the bag thoroughly - By rinse, this doesn’t mean you should go and grab a hose to spray the backpack down. Simply rinse by taking another damp cloth, this time without detergent, and running it over the interior and exterior of the bag.
  5. 5
    Dry the backpack - Using a dry cloth or towel, wipe up any excess moisture. Then, hang the backpack up on a hanger and let it dry completely before using it again.
How To Wash A JanSport Backpack Without Ruining It

How to Machine Wash Your JanSport Backpack

JanSport says that you shouldn’t machine wash your backpack, but there are times when it’s OK to use the washer. However, never use the washing machine if your backpack is made with leather or suede materials since the water is likely to discolor the bag.

If the bag doesn’t have leather or suede accents, though, machine washing is perfectly doable as long as you follow these steps on how to wash a JanSport backpack in the washer:

  1. 1
    Remove all the contents from the bag - remember to check the pockets!
  2. 2
    Clean the backpack by hand before putting it in the machine to clean off surface-level dirt.
  3. 3
    Place the bag in a laundry bag or pillowcase.
  4. 4
    Use detergent sparingly - a little goes a long way!
  5. 5
    Wash on a gentle cycle to prevent damage.
  6. 6
    Air-dry the backpack - never use the dryer since tumble drying can damage the backpack and even melt the metal components. It’s best to towel dry the bag as soon as it gets out of the washing machine, then hang it to dry on a hanger out of direct sunlight.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are JanSport backpacks any good for students?

Absolutely! In fact, JanSport’s product called the Big Student Backpack is the top pick for high school and college students. This bag is lightweight, spacious, and great for students who have to lug around heavy textbooks.

Do all JanSport backpacks have a lifetime warranty?

Yep, all JanSport-branded bags - including backpacks - come with a lifetime warranty. According to their policy, “when your pack wears out as all things do, you’ll know you’ve gotten the most out of your gear and your experience. JanSport branded products covered by this warranty are warranted to the original owner against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product…”

Does JanSport use real leather?

Some JanSport backpacks have a beautiful leather that’s eye-catching and stylish. Most of them are constructed with faux suede leather, which is actually a good thing since this is longer-lasting than real leather and easier to maintain.

How do you clean a JanSport backpack with suede or leather bottoms?

In this case, you’ll want to follow the handwashing steps listed above. When suede or leather is in the picture, never use the washing machine since fully submerging the bag in water can discolor the leather and suede materials.

Can you put a Jansport backpack in the dryer?

It’s not recommended that you do. Dryers get extremely hot, and this heat can melt the metal and plastic components on the bag. On top of that, the tumbling motion tends to be too rough for the bag to handle, often causing rips, snags, broken zippers, etc.

How long do JanSport backpacks last?

If you treat it right, your JanSport backpack should last forever. JanSport seems to think so too, which is why their bags come with a lifetime warranty.

Are all JanSport backpacks waterproof?

To an extent. The suede and leather materials are not waterproof, but the other materials that JanSport uses to construct their backpacks are.

If this is an issue, you can also waterproof your backpack if the weather calls for it.


There’s no doubt about the fact that JanSport is a top dog in the backpack-making industry, so take pride in wearing that JanSport by keeping it clean. To do that, remember to hand wash the bag whenever possible, but if you do choose to use the machine, wash on a gentle cycle and always hang to dry.

  • Updated October 30, 2021