How to Wash Osprey Backpack? [Complete Guide]

There are a few brands that are as famous as Osprey. Let’s be honest, you cannot be a hiker without at least having heard of this brand. If you do not have one of their amazing backpacks, you need to look into getting one as soon as possible!

Here is why – Osprey backpacks are some of the best backpacks. This company has been creating backpacks for the past 50 years, so they have had quite a lot of time developing their designs and making them flawless. As a result of their hard work and dedication, they have created outdoor gear unlike any other.

But there is no doubt about it – their best equipment to date is the backpacks. They are not only durable, but they are also all very stylish and have modern designs. To add to that, the backpacks are compact but have a lot of compartments.

Yet another great thing you should know about these backpacks is that they are very easy to clean and maintain. That is, of course, if you know how to go about the maintenance.

In case you do not know how to clean Osprey backpacks, I am here to tell you all about it. Stick around for this guide, and you will learn everything about these backpacks that you need to know!


Osprey backpacks ready for hiking

How to Wash an Osprey Backpack? [Step-By-Step]

To bring your Osprey backpack to perfect condition, you will need to clean it now and then. Especially if you take the backpack outdoors, you need to clean it to keep it in top shape. The cleaning does not have to happen that often, but you should not leave it out completely.

When you decide to wash your Osprey backpack for the first time, you will need to know the steps you need to follow. You will need some lukewarm soapy water, a mild detergent or soap, a toothbrush, and a cloth for the cleaning process. You can choose to wash the backpack in the bathtub or a smaller tub – it depends on your preference.

When you have everything you need, you can get right into the step-by-step guide. By the time you reach the end of it, your backpack will be as good as new. So, let’s get into it and see what the best way to go about cleaning an Osprey backpack is!

Step 1 – Check the label

The smartest thing to do would be to follow the label or the instructions given by the company. There are so many different Osprey backpacks that it can be difficult to say this cleaning guide is perfect for each one. It might turn out that there are some other instructions you need to follow, so you should check the label before starting.

If Osprey recommends cleaning the backpack by hand instead of using a machine, you should do that. If Osprey recommends using a particular soap or detergent, try to get that one for the wash. You can never go wrong by following their recommendations!

Step 2 – Remove everything from the backpack

After checking the label, I recommend that you go over all compartments of your backpack and empty them. That way, you will not damage your stuff by accident while washing the backpack.

It would be a good idea for you to remove the parts of the backpack that are removable. That includes unzipping, untying, and unbuckling all removable parts. After you are sure that the backpack is empty, you can move on to the next part.

Step 3 – Turn upside down and shake

The next thing I recommend is turning the backpack upside down and removing all larger debris and dirt from it. If you are a hiker or camper and take the backpack to the outdoors often, you might find some dirt has made its way to your backpack.

There can also be crumbs from your food or other debris in it that you can take out. Make sure to remove all the larger debris and loose dirt before washing the backpack. It will make your life so much easier, and it help you clean the backpack way faster!

Step 4 – Clean the inside of the backpack

In this step, you will finally start with the actual cleaning. It depends on your preference whether you will clean the insider or the outside first. If it has been a while since your last cleanup and the backpack is quite dirty, ensure that you clean the whole pack!

You will need some cold water or lukewarm water when cleaning the inside. I recommend that you do not use warm water as it can cause some damage to the fabric. You should go with cool water and detergent.

Ensure that the detergent is not based on harsh chemicals because they can affect the protective coatings on the backpack. You should use a natural or mild detergent or soap.

Once you have everything you need, grab a cloth and make it damp using the water. Then, start going over the backpack and rinsing every fabric part. Make sure that you wipe over all the sections and pockets.

Step 5 – Clean the outside of the backpack

Cleaning the outside of the backpack is like cleaning the inside. You can use the same cold water with detergent. If it is too dirty by now, you can replace it with some new water before proceeding.

When cleaning the outside of the backpack, you should avoid scrubbing or pressing too hard on the fabric. One of the reasons you should avoid doing these things is that you can damage the waterproof coating and exterior material. You should be as gentle as possible, and you should use a gentle, soft sponge.

When it comes to the outside, you can also spend some time scrubbing the zippers and the buckles. You can use a toothbrush and some detergent or soap for that purpose. Again, when scrubbing, make sure that you are not being too tough.

Step 6 – Focus on the tough stains more

There might be some stains on the inside or outside of the backpack. They will not come out with a simple wiping, so you will need to figure out the best way to clean them.

As I have found thus far, the best way to clean tough stains is to use a toothbrush and some detergent on them. You can focus on these stains more, putting detergent on them and scrubbing over them with the toothbrush. You should make circular movements but not press too hard with the toothbrush.

If you see that the stain is too tough, try using some warm water instead of scrubbing harder. That should make the stain come out quickly. You can repeat this process on the parts of the backpack that have a bad smell – for example, the parts where there is some sweat.

Step 7 – Rinse the backpack

After you have gone over the entire backpack and

cleaned everything up, you should rinse the backpack in a tub of cold water. Make sure that you rinse all the soap from the outside and then turn it upside down, rinsing the inside as well.

Step 8 – Air dry the backpack

I know many of you will feel tempted to throw the backpack in the dryer and let it dry for a few minutes. This is a big no-no with most outdoor gear, and the same goes for backpacks. They can suffer a lot of damage from all that tumbling in the dryer, so you should avoid drying it like that.

The best thing to do is let the backpack dry on its own. You can put it on your balcony, in the yard, or somewhere inside the house where there is enough air movement. If you put it in direct sunlight, you will find that it dries the quickest!

Another thing to remember is to occasionally turn the backpack inside out and let it dry like that. It is not enough to dry the outside – you have to make sure that the inside is dry. Otherwise, it will adopt a bad smell, and you will have to rewash it!

How to Wash the Osprey Backpack in a Washing Machine

How to Wash the Osprey Backpack in a Washing Machine?

The best way to wash an Osprey backpack does not include the washing machine. These backpacks are incredibly durable, but if you put them in the washer, that will go right out the window! The backpacks are not made to be machine washed – you need to wash them by hand!

Do not worry – the washing does not take a lot of effort or time. When you think about the fact that you are preserving the durability of your backpack and its protective coating, you will realize that it is also smart to wash it by hand. That way, you control the washing process and what you do to the backpack during that process.

If you want to wash your backpack by hand, make sure that you follow the steps above. If you are not sold on the idea of handwashing with a soft sponge, you can always check the label on your backpack and see if you can wash it in a washing machine. If it says that it is okay to wash it with a washing machine or dry clean it – be my guest!

Even in that case, remember to use water that is not too hot. Also, use mild soap or detergent without chemicals. You should be safe rather than sorry because when the time comes for you to be sorry, it will be too late for you to save the backpack.

backpack in lukewarm soapy water

How to Clean an Osprey Backpack? [Interior & Exterior]

Even though I mentioned how to clean the backpack’s interior and exterior, I want to give you a couple more tips that you can follow. This is all to make sure you have a clean pack the next time you go on a trip!

When it comes to washing both the interior and exterior of the backpack, make sure that you are being gentle and using a soft sponge. You can go over the tough stains using a toothbrush and some detergent. Then, you can use cold water to rinse everything.

Another good idea would be to go over the zippers and buckles. If you take the backpack on a hiking or camping trip, sometimes dirt can get stuck in them. The only way to get it out of there is by scrubbing the zipper or buckle!

You can rely on the toothbrush and some mild soap for that purpose. Scrub all the zippers thoroughly, going into them as much as possible. Do the same with the buckles or other metal and plastic parts on the backpack. Being that thorough will not only make the backpack spotless, but it will also make it smell better, and it will increase its durability!

Andrew Mullen

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