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How To Wash Backpacks & Lunchboxes

Lunchboxes and backpacks are the unsung heroes of school supplies – they literally hold the tools that'll help little ones thrive. Both are prone to grime, odors, and stains, but our cleaning 101 will provide you with the skills you need to clean and maintain them so they carry your kids from school year to school year.


Cotton, Polyester, and Durable Fabrics

Your Cleaning “School Supply” List: Stain Solution, Stain Brush, Signature Detergent, Mesh Bag Bundle

STEP 1: Clear It Out

Remove all folders, papers, and writing utensils, and don’t forget to clear out pockets, too.

backpacks with Stain Solution

STEP 2: Pretreat Stains

Treat marks like dirt, grass, marker, and ink on the interior and/or exterior of the fabric with Stain Solution, working it in with a Stain Brush.

backpacks with mesh bags

STEP 3: Insert Into Mesh Bag

Place the backpack into a Mesh Washing Bag. This will protect zippers and straps from tangling or snagging during the wash cycle.

STEP 4: Machine Wash

Wash with Signature Detergent on the normal cycle, selecting hot water to achieve the deepest clean.

backpacks on hangers

STEP 5: Hang To Dry

Promptly remove the backpack from the washing machine and hang to dry. Make sure to leave all compartments unzipped for ventilation.


Your Cleaning “School Supply” List: Surface Cleaner, Scented Vinegar, Lint-Free Cleaning Cloth

To clean cloth lunchboxes like those made from vinyl or polyester, follow the steps above. For non-fabric lunchboxes constructed of metal, aluminum, or wood, spray the interior and exterior with Surface Cleaner and wipe with a Lint-Free Cleaning Cloth to mop up food and drink spills. To nix odors, you can spot treat any lunch box material as needed with a Lint-Free Cleaning Cloth dampened with Scented Vinegar. Scented Vinegar will absorb unwanted smells and leave behind our fresh No.247 scent.