5 Tips To Keep Your Child’s Backpack Squeaky Clean
No matter how good your child’s backpack looks currently, eventually it will get dirty and worn. After all, it’s thrown on the floor countless times every week. But how often do you clean your child’s backpack?
It’s something you should consider. A Cleveland TV station recently sent a dirty child’s backpack to a lab to find out the kinds of bacteria were lurking there.
The facility found more than 300 units of staph. And the test found there was so much staph in the dirty backpack that it couldn’t count anymore! There also were 25 units of e. Coli found.
Therefore, the following tips will help you keep your child’s backpack clean and tidy.
Machine Wash A Backpack
Even the best school backpack, like those featured here, will get dirty sooner or later. But most backpacks can be machine washed to get them squeaky clean. However, if it has suede or leather on the bottom, you should handwash it.
When machine washing a backpack, use the gentle cycle with regular detergent but only use a small amount. Also, it helps to put your backpack in a laundry bag or pillowcase that you tie at the top.
After the backpack is washed, allow it to air dry. Putting a backpack in the dryer can cause damage. Heat may damage the backpack fabric and the tumbling can ruin the zippers.
Handwash A Backpack
If you don’t want to put the backpack in the washing machine, you may be able to handwash it.
First, fill your bathtub with warm water and add mild soap. Before you put the backpack underwater, be sure it’s completely cleaned out. Also, spot treat any tough stains first.
If the backpack has suede or leather on the bottom, don’t add detergent to the water.
Next, put the bag underwater and agitate it a bit to get rid of the dirt. Try an old toothbrush to carefully scrub the threads, mesh, and zippers.
After it is washed, drain the tub and refill with clean water. Let the backpack soak for 20 minutes and then squeeze out as much as possible. Then, let it air dry.
How To Lightly Clean A Backpack
Maybe your child’s backpack doesn’t need to be washed. Instead, it might only need a light cleaning. Here’s how to do it:
- Make sure every backpack pocket is empty. Turn it upside down and shake it to get out the dirt and sand.
- Use a clean, moist sponge to wipe out the inside of the backpack.
- Scrub spots or stains on the outside with the sponge and a few drops of soap.
- Use clean water on the sponge to rinse the soap from the fabric.
- Let it air dry before your child uses the backpack again.
How To Deep Clean A Backpack
Sometimes a child’s backpack can get really dirty! Here’s what you should do:
- After emptying the backpack, vacuum the nooks and crannies of every pocket. Reach down to the bottom of the backpack and suck out dirt, sand, crumbs, etc.
- Take off the the shoulder straps and hip belt, if you can. Wash these separately with some soap and sponge. Rinse the backpack well under warm running water.
- Now, put the backpack in warm water in the bathtub and follow the instructions outlined above.
Additional Backpack Tips
Now you know several ways to clean your child’s backpack. Next, let’s review how to keep your child’s backpack as organized as possible.
Choose The Correct Backpack
If you buy a new backpack, it’s critical to select the right one for their needs. Younger children may have difficulty with fine motor skills and could have challenges with a bigger backpack, unless it comes with wheels. But many schools don’t allow wheeled backpacks. If you need one for your child, check with the school first.
The new backpack should be sturdy and feature several pockets and compartments to store as much stuff neatly as possible. If the child gets frustrated searching for things and using zippers, look for a pack with Velcro and fewer pockets.
Empty Out An Old Backpack
If you are reusing last year’s backpack, empty it out. Next, help your child sort all items from the backpack.
Use two piles – the first is for their school supplies, including papers, notebooks, pencils, and pens. The second pile is for all the miscellaneous stuff that must go to and from school daily – gym shoes, lunchbox, etc.
Anything that doesn’t fit in those two groups should be put away or tossed. Remember to turn the backpack upside down and shake it out to get rid of dirt and crumbs.
Make A Map of The Backpack
If the child is younger, she will probably need your help to keep it organized. Once you have shown her where everything goes in the pack, help her draw a map that shows where everything goes.
The map will help your child remember where everything goes when they get ready for school and pack up for the day. It also will remind her where to put books and homework every evening.
You can practice loading and unloading the backpack with the child to make sure she has the routine down.
Instruct About Proper Backpack Lifting
Few children pay attention to how they lift the backpack. But this should be reviewed because a heavy backpack can hurt the back, especially if it’s lifted incorrectly.
Show the child they should bend at the knees to lift the backpack, like when you do a squat. Then, hold the pack with two hands before standing.
They also should use both shoulder straps to evenly distribute the weight on their back. If the child slings it over one shoulder, they’ll be off-balance, and it could hurt their back.
Everyone wants their child to have a useful and attractive backpack. Following our simple tips will keep your child’s backpack as clean as possible. And if it’s clean and tidy, you can get more years of use from it and save money.