How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Backpack? Let's Find Out!

Backpacks are an everyday essential for many of us, whether you use yours for school, gym, work or small weekend trips, however, over time these bags can take a beating, and if you've recently had yours near a bonfire, you might be wondering how to get rid of that smoke smell in the material.

To get a smoke smell out of a backpack you will first need to make sure that you wash it well, deodorise the bag and air it out, it's also useful to know the cause of why your backpack smells so as you can avoid repeating the cause. 

Down below, we've composed a small informational guide which will discuss why your backpack smells of smoke, other potential causes of a smelly backpack as well as how to clean your backpack to get rid of that nasty smoke smell once and for all!

Why Does My Backpack Smell Of Smoke?

Backpacks can start to smell like a variety of things over time, from fish to sweat, but why does smoke tend to stick on the material the most? If you are a smoker, or your backpack has been near a smoker or bonfire, the smell of smoke will linger for a long time in the backpack's material. 

Smoky smells tend to stick around for a long time since the particles are loose and light, meaning they can penetrate a variety of surfaces material with ease.

Other Cause Of A Smelly Backpack

If your backpack gets smelly often, there could be several other potential causes which are to blame for making your backpack smell. 

We've listed them down below to help you out. 

  • Sweat - For people who use their backpacks for the gym, your bag might be getting unwanted odors from your workout clothes or shoes, always try to empty your gym bag asap when as you get home and wash your bag often to prevent odors from building up.
  • Mold - If your backpack got caught out in the rain and didn't dry properly it can cause mildew or mold which can cause all kinds of odors in delicate fabrics. You should always try to air your bag out asap to stop future odors.
  • Food products - If your leave lunchbox containers or old banana peels in your backpack throughout the period of your day then your backpack will start to absorb these orders if you are not careful. Avoid leaving food products in your bag when possible.

How To Clean Your Backpack (The Right Way!)

To get rid of the smoky odor molecules which have settled into your backpack material you will need to wash your backpack properly, deodorise it and air it out. 

We've listed the best possible way to do these three steps down below.

Handwashing Steps 

  1. First of all, take all the content out of your bag, unzip the pockets and tackle any stains, fill up a sink with around 6 inches of warm water, and some mild detergent then scrubs the bag lightly on the inside and out.
  2. Remove the dirty water then fill the basin up with clean water again and rinse the backpack. 
  3. Allow the bag to air dry.

Machine Washing Steps 

Washing your backpack in a machine is not recommended by all brands, so double check yours can be machine washed before trying this out. 

  1. Empty your backpack like the above, making sure there is nothing in the pockets and remove stains, turn the bag inside out or put it into a pillowcase then pop it in the washing machine. 
  2. Add detergent then wash on a cold wash gentle cycle.
  3. Air dry.

Deodorising Your Bag

If the bad odor smell still lingers in your bag after washing it or maybe you don't have time to wash your backpack, you can next try deodorising it. 

  1. Find a bag bigger than your backpack then put it inside, you can either use baking soda or coffee grounds to get rid of odor molecules, simply fill some up into a container and put it inside of the bag. 
  2. Leave overnight.

Airing Out Your Bag

  1. Make sure to use clothespin pegs when airing your backpack out on a washing line to avoid damaging the fabric, you can also put it in front of a fan to help increase airflow if you want.

Final Words

To conclude, to get the smoky smell out of a backpack, you will need to clean it and allow the bag to air dry properly to avoid the smell sticking or mold growing inside of the bag. For odor removal, we suggest also trying coffee grounds or baking soda overnight to absorb any leftover molecules.

About this Guide

Written By Alex
Last Updated On July 27, 2022
Reading Time 
4 minutes
Guide Views 
178 Views

Author Information

Alex

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