Step 2: Wipe It Down
Once I knew there weren’t any surprises inside, it was time to wipe the bag down. JanSport’s instructions say to use cool water with a soft, damp cloth. I decided to fill up a small bowl with extra water in case the damp cloth wasn’t enough, but this was definitely not necessary. When I was reading over the instructions, I had thought either the bag would get sopping wet and make a mess, or that a damp cloth would not be nearly enough for a durable backpack—but I was wrong about both. In fact, I was amazed by how the bag absorbed the water without getting heavy and drippy like other materials.
I used the cloth to wipe the front, back, bottom, and inside, as well as the straps (don’t want to forget about those!). I wish hand washing all items could be this easy, with literally no drips or spills.
I noticed a small smudge on the front, so I grabbed the JanSport Backpack Stain Remover, as the instructions state not to use bleach or harsh detergents on the bag. I sprayed it onto my damp cloth and scrubbed at the spot. I could tell it was working because the stain remover got a little sudsy. The bottle’s instructions recommend using a clean, dry cloth to wipe away excess moisture and dirt when you’re done.
One note: If the stain’s big, it’s probably best to use the spray prior to wiping the bag down with the damp cloth, so it doesn’t smudge across the bag or set in. I didn’t notice the stain until after I’d started wiping, but luckily it all worked out.