How to Clean Bag Without Washing

It’s not often that you have to clean a bag without washing it, but there are times when this is necessary. If you’re not sure how to do this, read on for instructions on how to clean bag without washing. Depending on the type of bag and the amount of dirt or stains, there are different ways to clean it.

How to Clean Bag Without Washing

In most cases, using a damp cloth should be enough, but if there is more serious contamination, you may need to use a detergent or enzymatic cleaner. With a little bit of effort, your bag will be as good as new in no time! Read on to know more!

Step by Step Guide: How to Clean Bag Without Washing

Step 1: Prep for Wash

Take the bag out of its pockets. Remove all items from the pockets and store them in a safe place. Next, open up all zippers to make sure nothing is stuck inside. Washable bags are usually made with two sets of zippers so they can be closed even during washing, so you need to open both sets before you start the process.

Step 2: Scrub Your Backpack

Fill a clean sink with water and add a generous amount of regular laundry detergent. Use your hand or an old toothbrush to scrub the entire bag. Use a small spoon, spatula, or other utensils to help get in between close spaces if needed.

Step 3: Give It a Good Rinse

After scrubbing, you need to rinse the soap off of your bag. Fill a clean sink with water and add a generous white vinegar. Dunk your backpack in it and swish it around thoroughly to remove all debris and residue. Rinse with fresh water and leave to dry.

Step 4: Dry It Out

While the backpack is still wet, you need to put it into the dryer on low heat. If your machine has an air-only setting, use that instead of low heat. Check every 5 minutes until the bag is completely dry. Remember, if you don’t wash and rinse your bag regularly, it will lead to a build-up of bacteria and germs, leading to bad odors.

Step 5: Air-dry the Backpack

If you have a washable backpack made with special materials, air dry it. Hang the bag on a hanger or lay flat on top of some towels to keep your bag shape. Let it air-dry overnight until fully dried.

Step 6: Store It for Next Time

After washing and drying your backpack, store everything back into all the pockets. Make a habit of washing the bag after every use to keep it clean and germ-free.

Store Bag for Next Time

Please note: Washing your backpack does not guarantee that it will stay clean forever, but it ensures that it’s completely sanitized. If you use or store your backpack in a dirty environment, then bacteria will accumulate over time which will cause bad odors.

Some Tips and Suggestions

1. If you do not wash your bag regularly, it will start to smell like sweat and mildew after a while. Also, note that some backpacks may require cold water instead of hot to be hand or machine washed.

2. You can diffuse essential oils into the dryer during the last few minutes of the tumble drying process to keep your bag smelling fresh and clean.

3. If the inside of the bag is damp, place a dryer sheet at the bottom of it before stuffing it back in its original space to get rid of that mildew smell.

4. You can also use dryer sheets on your clothes or inside your shoes if you like them to have a fresh smell.

5. If you’re not a fan of dryer sheets, use white distilled vinegar and water to clean the inside of your bag instead. Vinegar is an excellent deodorizer and disinfectant that will leave your bag smelling like new!

6. To clean the outside of your bag, mix one cup of water with half a cup of lemon juice to create a cleaning solution that will break up oil and grease stains on the surface.

7. Another option is to use baking soda mixed with water or seltzer water to clean the bag’s tough dirt or oil spots.

How Long Does it Take to Dry a Backpack?

Backpacks, when wet, tend to hold quite a bit of water. When backpacking or camping trips are no easy way to dry off the pack upon arrival, hikers and campers need to let their packs dry out well before using them again. Some brands offer instructions on how long this should take, but generally speaking, it’s best to let the pack sit in a dry place for at least two days before using it again.

While some people believe that they can get away with hanging their backpacks on a tree branch overnight (and some people may actually do this), doing this isn’t recommended unless you’re camping near running water or stuck in an area with heavy rain or snow, were hanging the pack is a better option than letting it sit against rock or soil. However, these are not options for most people, so to dry off your backpack inside of two days, you will need to know how to clean bag without washing.

Can You Put a Backpack in the Dryer?

 Backpack in Dryer

Yes, You Can but don’t throw your backpack or purse away just yet! It’s possible to clean a dirty canvas bag without washing it. This is especially great for backpacks and purses that have been neglected for months on end. While they may not look as good as new after the cleaning process, most of the time, you won’t know the difference after you’ve applied some elbow grease.

Make sure the backpack is made of canvas. If it’s not, there might be a chance that your dryer will damage the fabric and cause permanent tears or rips. Also, never use hot water to clean any nylon or polyester bag!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Use Bleach or Vinegar on My Dirty Bag?

A: Using bleach on your bag is not advised; it can affect the material, causing discoloration or even holes. Vinegar may work fine with nylon or leather bags, but using vinegar on canvas fabric is yellow.

Q: Is It Safe to Put My Bag in the Washing Machine?

A: Using a front-loading washer is the best option for cleaning your bag. It has a gentler cycle, which means it takes longer but will not agitate or twist the canvas fabric as much as a top-loading washer would. The gentler cycle allows more time to remove dirt particles without causing damage to your bag. Use cold water on a gentle cycle. Use liquid detergent, but avoid the use of color-safe bleach.

Q: How Can I Clean Leather?

Use a damp cloth with mild soap and wipe down the exterior leather surface. If the bag has metal hardware, avoid getting any moisture or soap on it as it can corrode or rust. Also, avoid using solvents on the leather to dry it out or cause discoloration.

Q: What Is the Best Way to Clean a Dirty Bag Without Washing It?

A: Dirt and grime usually sit on top of the fabric, so a gentle wipe down should remove it without any harm. Try using a cloth with water or a mild soap. If stains remain, try an eraser for scuff marks or steam ironing the bag to get rid of wrinkles.

Q: What Should I Use to Clean My Bag Without Washing It?

A: You can use a brush to remove dirt and grime before it gets ground into the fabric. A toothbrush works great for this, especially around zippers and hardware where you may not want to get liquid.

Toothbrush With Soap Can Clean Bag

For stains that won’t be removed with soap and water or an eraser, try dishwashing liquid (the kind made for pots and pans) to cut the stain. Asking professional cleaners or your manufacturer for more specific advice is always recommended. You can also see the steps provided in this blog post on how to clean bag without washing to get a clear idea.

Q: Is There Any Other Way to Clean a Dirty Bag That Doesn’t Involve Washing It First?

A: You can spot clean the bag by lightly dampening it. Don’t get anything wet that isn’t supposed to be, especially zippers and hardware. To avoid contact with water, try using a soap specifically designed for fabric or leather. Also, avoid products containing harsh chemicals or alcohol, which can damage the fabric or leave an unpleasant odor behind after drying.

If you really don’t want to wash your bag, but it’s too dirty or stained to tolerate anymore, some companies offer professional leather cleaning services or will even refinish the exterior of your bag. The cost may outweigh the benefits compared to simply buying a new purse, but replacing worn-out hardware may be worth it.

You Can Check It Out to: Clean Dooney and Bourke Pebble Leather


A clean bag is a happy one. There are many ways to clean a bag without washing it. We’ve outlined some methods in this blog post for you to try out, and let us know which one is your favorite!  Follow these simple steps to save time and money with our quick, easy way to get your bags looking like new again.

If you’re looking for an easy way to keep your purse or handbag fresh, we hope this blog post on how to clean bag without washing has helped provide some ideas that will work best with how often you use the bag and what type of material it’s made from. If you have any questions or comments about how we keep our bags in tip-top shape, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Jennifer Branett
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