You can submerge your bag while cleaning, but do not soak it. Wash it then move on. This part shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Move your backpack around vigorously in the water. Use an old toothbrush for extra cleaning power on problematic spots.
Make sure to give embroidered areas extra attention with the toothbrush as dirt can get lodged between the threads. Run the toothbrush gently along your bag’s zippers to clean between the teeth and keep them running smoothly. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your bag, drain the soapy water from the tub.
Then refill it with clean water for the “rinse cycle.” Gently rinse your bag out with the clean water. You can even run water over the bag if you do so gently. Use a nozzle, rather than the open spigot, for this. Once you’ve rinsed your bag, remove it from the water and wring it out as best as you can.
This will help it dry faster. Finally, hang your bag to air dry. Open all of the compartments and pockets to prevent mustiness. A shady but open space is best as direct sunlight can cause your bag’s colors to fade.