Stepping into a crowded train during peak hour can often be an assault on the senses. Being sandwiched in a crowd of people in the close confines of the carriage can cause you to be overwhelmed by the heady mix of odours – from sweaty bodies after a long day to the overpowering smell of grubby backpacks that are long overdue for a wash.
The beauty of a backpack is that it’s a comfortable bag that is carried close to the body and is roomy enough to contain everything from our personal items, laptops, food to dirty workout clothes.
But in our heat and humidity, and with frequent use, these bags absorb the sweat and oil of its owner while getting dirty from the surroundings. Unfortunately, cleaning these multipurpose bags isn’t always top of mind for many.
Lynn Kee, director of Dr Bags, emphasised the importance of regular cleaning. “Cleaning backpacks regularly will help with hygiene, maintenance of appearance and also extends its lifespan,” she explained.
She recommends a monthly basic clean if your backpack is being used on a daily basis and a deep-clean twice a year to maintain the hygiene of your bag. But if they’re being used for hiking, sports or other outdoor activities where they will get dirty faster, she suggests cleaning them right after the activity.
Before you take action and start pulling out all your backpacks for a clean, take note of these expert tips from Kee.
Always read the care Instructions provided by the manufacturer. This is important as some backpacks may have specific cleaning recommendations based on the materials used and their construction.Remove all items from the backpackBrush off all debris/dust/dirt that has accumulated, especially from the corners of pockets or fold areas.
Pro tip: Find a sunny and windy day to air dry backpacks. Tools like lint-free cloth, brush, gentle cleanser and hairdryer may come in handy to properly clean the sac.
How to moisturise your skin correctly: Start with knowing the difference between dry and dehydrated skin
HOW TO PROPERLY CLEAN YOUR BACKPACK
If odours are the issue and you want your bag smelling fresh and clean again, here’s what Kee suggests:
Air-dry your backpack in a well-ventilated area (with direct wind) for a few hours or overnight. With the proper circulation of air, odours can be minimised.Use odour-minimising products like odour eliminating sprays or charcoal pouches.Sunlight helps to kill odour-causing bacterial and freshen the backpack. But do not sun-dry your bag for more than five hours as it will cause discolouration and weakening of the materials.
5 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BACKPACK IN TOP FORM