How to Remove Mould from a Hiking Backpack - A Quick Guide

How to Remove Mould from a Hiking Backpack – A Quick Guide

Perhaps you haven’t been out for a hike in a while. You finally have some time available to get out in nature and the weather is looking decent too. You go to get you gear ready and find that your hiking backpack has gone mouldy while being stored away. Don’t panic and don’t throw out a bag with mould on it before trying the method for removing mould from a hiking backpack that I share in this article.

save a backpack with mould on it

How to save a backpack with mould on it.

Mould is nasty stuff. As soon as I spot a hint of mould on anything, I want to treat the mould to get rid of it instantly. The above happened to us. The children’s hiking bags had been in a cupboard over winter and we got them out ready for a walk and saw mould on the bags. They must have been slightly damp when the kids put them away.

I really didn’t want to bin the kids’ hiking backpacks as they’re relatively new and in decent condition. So, I decided to try to save them instead.

Bleach is great for removing mould but I didn’t want to risk bleach stains on the children’s backpacks. Because of that, I opted for a milder option – white vinegar.

How to Remove Mould from a Hiking Backpack - A Quick Guide

Getting rid of mould on a backpack with vinegar.

I didn’t follow any particular guidance for my method. I just wanted to try using vinegar to save these mouldy backpacks. Here’s what I did:

  • Put the backpack in a mesh laundry bag to protect it in the washing machine.
  • Put the detergent straight in the drum, then wash your bag on a 60 degree wash cycle.
  • As soon as the wash cycle begins, pour half a bottle of white vinegar (about 250ml) in the detergent drawer’s main compartment. Let the washing machine finish its cycle.
  • Hang the bag out to dry in the sunshine outdoors until fully dry.

Does vinegar get rid of mould on backpacks?

Yes, I can confirm that this method worked really well for us and that the 60 degree vinegar wash got rid of the mould. The bags look as good as new and all the mould washed away completely. You can see the result in the top image of this blog post.

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