A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Wash A Soccer Bag

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

Knowing how to wash your soccer bag is crucial for both hygiene and the longevity of your soccer equipment. If you’re a soccer player who trains often, having a designated soccer bag or backpack to help transport all of your gear and equipment is very convenient and efficient.

Whether you have a nylon backpack, a polyester backpack, or even a leather backpack, following the right washing steps is essential to keep your gear in top condition. In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to wash your soccer bag.

How to Wash A Soccer Bag

Choose a Soccer Bag

The first step in washing your soccer bag is choosing the right bag for you. When picking a soccer bag, choose materials like nylon or polyester, which can be washed using a washing machine for easier cleaning, because other materials, such as leather, will have to be hand-washed.

If you are in need of a new soccer bag, check out this article: Best soccer bags

Check Care Instructions Label

Before you start the cleaning process it is important to always check the care instructions label first because different materials will require different cleaning instructions.

Gather Supplies

After you have read the care instructions label, it is now time to gather your supplies, including a large container, tub, or sink, a clean towel, a mild detergent, a soft brush, and a large mesh laundry bag.

Empty Backpack

The next step after you have gathered your supplies is to empty your backpack and make sure no loose threads or debris are left behind. Also, remove any detachable straps or pockets to prevent any damage to the contents during cleaning.

With the backpack upside down, shake the backpack over a trashcan or use a handheld vacuum to clean the inside. Make sure you don’t leave anything important inside as the backpack will get wet with the next steps.

Prep Backpack for Cleaning

Before diving into the washing machine or a hand washing routine, prep your backpack by spot cleaning with a damp cloth or a wet old toothbrush and scrubbing the stains.

How to Wash A Soccer Bag

How to Hand Wash Your Soccer Bag

When it comes to hand washing your soccer bag, especially if it’s made of delicate materials like nylon or leather, a careful approach is important. Begin by filling a basin or sink with lukewarm water and avoid overly hot water to prevent damage.

Add a small amount of gentle detergent or mild soap into the sink with warm water and mix it together. Afterwards, completely submerge the bag into the warm water with soap and you can use a soft brush or an old toothbrush, again, to spot clean any particularly dirty areas.

After a gentle wash, rinse the bag with cool water until all the mild soap is removed and carefully squeeze excess water out, but avoid wringing the bag too much, especially if it’s made of delicate materials.

How to use a washing machine to wash soccer bag

For soccer bags that are washing machine safe, such as those made from durable materials like polyester or canvas, you won’t have to worry about hand washing them.

Start by emptying all the pockets and placing the bag inside a large mesh laundry bag to protect it during the wash. Select a gentle cycle with cold water, and add a mild detergent, ideally made from natural ingredients.

If your bag is particularly dirty or has stains, consider adding a stain remover to the washing machine provided. For nylon or polyester backpacks, use a gentle wash cycle to prevent damages to your bag.

Once the cycle is complete, remove the bag from the mesh laundry bag and inspect it for any loose threads or damage. To ensure all excess moisture is removed you can wring out the bag or use a towel.

Air Dry

Air drying is the final crucial step in the soccer bag cleaning process, regardless of whether you’ve hand-washed or used a washing machine. Once you are done washing your bag, find a well-ventilated area outside and allow the bag to completely dry.

Do not leave your backpack inside or in the shade if it is still wet. To speed up the drying process, you can use a drying rack or hang the bag upside down. Also ensure all zippers are open to allow air circulation, especially in pockets and hard-to-reach crevices.

How to Wash A Soccer Bag Image by Edouard Gilles

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you wash a smelly backpack without damaging it?

To wash a smelly backpack without damaging it read over this blog and follow our simple cleaning method.

Can you put a backpack in the dryer?

Putting a backpack in the dryer is generally not recommended, as it can lead to damage and alterations in the backpack’s shape and material. Most backpacks, especially those made of materials like nylon, polyester, or leather, are best air-dried to ensure they maintain their structure and functionality.


In conclusion, knowing how to wash your soccer bag is important for hygiene and for extending the lifespan of your equipment. There are many different types of soccer bags such as canvas, polyester, leather, and nylon backpacks and each one may have different cleaning instructions which is why one of the first steps of the cleaning process is to read your bag’s label.

In this blog I provided you with a quick and easy guide for how to wash your soccer bag effectively without damaging it. Remember, if you are in need of a new soccer bag check out our detailed blog on the best soccer bags.

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