Can You Wash North Face Backpacks?

The North Face has been making incredible hiking and outdoor gear since the birth of their company in 1968.

If you’re a person who likes to spend time out in nature, then you’ll no doubt be familiar with North Face backpacks and how great they can be to carry supplies and important items.

North Face backpacks are of great quality, made to last in difficult conditions over long periods of time.

If you’re a climber or just somebody who likes to spend a lot of time out on hikes and trails, a North Face backpack is an essential item that will highly enrich your experiences in nature.

With their catchy names and branding, there are a whole variety of different popular backpacks such as the Borealis, the Commuter, the Bozer, Base Camp, Explorer, Jester, and Vault.

All of these have slightly different designs to allow for different uses, but almost all of them are made of similar materials with similar care.

But here’s the catch – the more you take a backpack out into the wilderness, the more likely it is to get dirty.

When a North Face bag gets dirty, be careful when approaching how to clean it.

The last thing you would want is to ruin it! We’re here to help you with that – below is a short guide that will highlight some of the most important things to keep in mind when cleaning your North Face Backpack.

Can You Put A North Face Backpack In The Washing Machine?

This is the most important thing to address first off.

No, we do not recommend that you put your North Face backpack through the washing machine.

This is mostly because – unless your bag is absolutely ruined – completely submerging it in water is likely to do more harm than good.

If your bag is muddy, dusty, or just in need of a small clean, then there is no point in completely soaking it with water.

Bags are made of tough materials, so you can’t treat them in the same way you might with a shirt or pair of jeans.

Take a look at your bag – it’s pretty likely you’ll be able to remove much of the dirt with a wet cloth and a deft hand.

This is called spot cleaning – and the best way to clean your North Face bag.

We only recommend washing your North Face if it is so dirty that it hardly resembles the bag it once was.

In this case, it may be okay to wash it with increased percentages of water. Avoid completely submerging it if you can.

How To Clean A North Face Backpack

Remove Anything Inside The Backpack

This includes any important items of clothing, accessories, or anything else you normally take on your adventures.

Especially keep an eye on small items that you can easily miss – like your wallet or phone.

Wiping The Inside

Here you will want to take a wet cloth and begin to wipe the inside of your backpack.

You don’t want to completely soak your backpack, just to use enough water on the cloth to spread around and help clean any dirty parts that are inside.

This can be great to remove dust, debris, and anything else you might come across.

If your backpack is on the smaller and less bulky side of the North Face line, you can try to turn it inside out

Be careful when you do this to make sure you don’t damage the bag, but you should be able to get a better idea of just how dirty it is with the insides turned outwards.

Once the inside of your North Face Backpack has been suitably wiped down, you can begin to check the smaller pockets.


Over time, it’s likely that there will be a build-up of dirt within the smaller pockets of your North Face backpack.

This is where your small cloth comes in handy once again – wet it with a tiny bit of water, or water with detergent, and stuff it into the small pockets of your bag.

Move it around to wipe the soft material inside and take a look to see if it’s clean in there.

After that, move to the next pocket and continue until every little crease of your bag has been cleaned.

Note: be very careful with detergent as this can damage your backpack.

Make sure you check the kind of detergent and how well it interacts with the color and material of your North Face backpack.

Dry Mud

If you find that the external or interior of your back is caked with dry mud, then you might need something stronger than a cloth to clean it off.

This is where you can buy a coarse brush or toothbrush to work at these bits of mud and scrub them off.

Be careful not to select too coarse of a brush, however, as this could damage the external material of your bag.

We recommend using a toothbrush to scrub away at the parts you need to. Add water to the toothbrush if you need a little bit extra.


Once you have spot cleaned the entirety of your North Face backpack, it’s hopefully going to be looking a lot more like its regular self.

Here is where you will want to hang it up somewhere to dry. We recommend a coat hanger somewhere it can get good sunlight.

Alternatively, try placing it in an airing cupboard where it will be able to dry faster.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide has given you a good understanding of how to clean your North Face Backpack, as well as whether or not you can wash it.

We do not recommend placing it in a washing machine, and this should only be done as a last resort if your bag is totally destroyed from an intense battle with the elements.

Good care and regular cleaning of your North Face backpack are sure to make it last for a long time.

They are made to be durable, but with a little extra care and attention, your favorite bag is likely to last for a lot longer.

We hope that this guide has your backpack looking more like its usual self, and wish you the best on future outdoor adventures!

George Alexander
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