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Washing a backpack?

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:05 pm
by moab
I wash my sleeping bags in the washer and then put them in the dryer. Any concern with doing the same with a backpack? It's a new 5.11 RUSH 12. I just want to take some of the new stiffness out of it. I was thinking slow wash cycle and then hang dry.

PS - I kind of need it to look "used" if you know what I mean? That's my story to the wife and I'm sticking to it. lol! ;)

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:11 pm
by BullOnParade
Only washed a pack once. Had a bottle of dr bronner open up on me on a hike home, soaked it in the tub, scrubbed out as much soap as I could, showered with it until suds stopped forming, soaked it in the tub some more and then hung to dry. It looked brand new (it wasn't worn any to begin with), but I would imagine your circumstances call for a little more agitation.

Ninja edit: you have the worst pack addiction I know of.

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:24 pm
by majorhavoc
BullOnParade wrote:Only washed a pack once. Had a bottle of dr bronner open up on me on a hike home, soaked it in the tub, scrubbed out as much soap as I could, showered with it until suds stopped forming, soaked it in the tub some more and then hung to dry. It looked brand new (it wasn't worn any to begin with), but I would imagine your circumstances call for a little more agitation.

Ninja edit: you have the worst pack addiction I know of.
While inadvertent, this is pretty much how you wash a pack. Use a mild soap (Dr. Bonners, Woolite, or even regular dish soap). Gentle cycle in a washing machine or just bring it into the tub/shower with you a few times. Don't use regular laundry detergent as some (most?) brands will attack the polyurethane coating that's applied to the inside of the pack fabric. Air dry.

Although in moab's case, sounds like he almost needs to "unwash" his new 5.11 RUSH 12. :wink:

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:29 pm
by Towanda
Dish soap is not mild and might damage any coatings on the fabric.

My cat puked on a Jansport Big Student backpack that I used for work. I emptied the pack, washed it in cold water on delicate cycle with a little regular laundry soap (because it was a one-item load) and hung it on a drying rack overnight. The pack came out looking like new.

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:47 pm
by quazi
I've washed my Jansport Big Student and an ALICE pack in the washing machine with just plain water, then air dried them. It cleaned the sticky gross stuff out of them both times, but I also noticed a lot of frayed and loose threads both times. I can't remember what cycle I used, maybe it was too aggressive.

Edit: Not so many frayed or loose threads that it seriously damaged either pack, but enough to convince me this was not something I should be doing on a regular basis. The damaged threads were mostly around seams and zippers.

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:12 pm
by moab
BullOnParade wrote:Only washed a pack once. Had a bottle of dr bronner open up on me on a hike home, soaked it in the tub, scrubbed out as much soap as I could, showered with it until suds stopped forming, soaked it in the tub some more and then hung to dry. It looked brand new (it wasn't worn any to begin with), but I would imagine your circumstances call for a little more agitation.

Ninja edit: you have the worst pack addiction I know of.
Hey. I only have 4 packs. And this will be my 5th. OK. Guilty as charged. LOL! ;) Either way it doesn't matter cause my wife thinks I have one too. Thus all the shenanigans on my part. That and a jacket addiction. My jacket addiction is WAY worse than my pack addiction though. I'm not gonna tell you how many jackets I have. I can't even count them I have so many. And some are boxed up.

I think I'll just run it thru the gentle cycle and then hang dry. No soap. Or I do have some DR. Bronners that I could use to make it smell eucalyptus. LOL!

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:36 pm
by eugene
I've washed mine in the washing machine before. A front loader it will come out fine, a top loader the center tends to push it up and they can drag on the door opening then.

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:04 am
by Doctorr Fabulous
Shower or tub with a soft-bristle brush and a gentle laundry soap (no bleach, no brighteners), hang to dry. Machines are hell on gear and gear is hell on machines.

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:33 am
by Smü
My Rush12 had a few rounds in the machine already. No complaints.


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Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:12 am
by moab
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Shower or tub with a soft-bristle brush and a gentle laundry soap (no bleach, no brighteners), hang to dry. Machines are hell on gear and gear is hell on machines.
Hey doc. Havent seen u in this section for awhile. :) hows it going?

Got the rush 12 yesterday. Really happy with it. The straps are quite something. Very padded. Ill do a mini review at some point.

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:14 am
by Doctorr Fabulous
moab wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Shower or tub with a soft-bristle brush and a gentle laundry soap (no bleach, no brighteners), hang to dry. Machines are hell on gear and gear is hell on machines.
Hey doc. Havent seen u in this section for awhile. :) hows it going?

Got the rush 12 yesterday. Really happy with it. The straps are quite something. Very padded. Ill do a mini review at some point.
Busy. School, work, repeat.

TBH, I have often just showered with my gear after a hike. Makes it easy.

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:16 am
by moab
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
moab wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Shower or tub with a soft-bristle brush and a gentle laundry soap (no bleach, no brighteners), hang to dry. Machines are hell on gear and gear is hell on machines.
Hey doc. Havent seen u in this section for awhile. :) hows it going?

Got the rush 12 yesterday. Really happy with it. The straps are quite something. Very padded. Ill do a mini review at some point.
Busy. School, work, repeat.

TBH, I have often just showered with my gear after a hike. Makes it easy.
We used to shower with our m16s after long hikes in the corps. Lol. We had a friend in the motor pool with lots of compressed air. Im sure that wasnt in the manual.

Glad to hear your doing well. :)

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:24 pm
by ManInBlack316
As others have stated, washing machine.
I washed my GGG Stealth Operator pack in the washing machine, half the soap I'd usually use, gentle cycle, capful of vinegar (damn cat pissed on it both times).
Came out fine, hung it up in the shower to dry overnight.

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:10 pm
by tony d tiger
Dishwasher... I thought everybody knew that? Don't even need soap...
Grab it out before the dry cycle, and hang it out.

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:02 pm
by Tobias05
moab wrote:...Got the rush 12 yesterday. Really happy with it. The straps are quite something. Very padded. Ill do a mini review at some point.
Excellent choice! I really like the shoulder straps and yoke design on the RUSH series of packs.

I think you'll be happy with the 12 over the 24, for EDC purposes...

Re: Washing a backpack?

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:18 pm
by wagdhead
For new packs, the washing machine. For my packs after they have lived in the mud for a few days during duck season or my son's catchers bag (it turns toxic after a couple of month's) I use a do it yourself carwash. The floor mat clips do a great job holding the pack up and you just brush and wash away, and I wash my truck at the same time.