I have a normal waterproof backpack. Last weekend when I went camping, I lethargically packed it, and the whole bottle of edible oil got spilt inside. I have tried cleaning it with salt water, luke warm water, the smell just wouldn't go. How should I clean it?

Edit: I am more concerned about getting rid of the smell.

  • 1
    When trying to get rid of odors, I usually let it dry in direct sunlight. Works for me, but I must add that I don't have anything to back up this claim.
    – Roflo
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Oil needs a soap or detergent, and ideally hot water to dissolve.

Hand washed with a laundry detergent and hot water. if it is still a problem, remove the aluminium frame and any loose bits you can and wash it on a gentle cycle (no spin) in a front loading washing machine. You may want to take it to a laundrymart with large washers. Ideally put it into a large cloth bag to stop straps etc getting caught up.

Commercial Dry cleaning will also be able to deal with the oils.

Depending on what you mean by "normal" all this may destroy the waterproofing, so once fully dry rewater proof it.

  • 6
    Turning it inside out (if possible) or opening all the zips can help avoid dry spots inside when washing.
    – aucuparia
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 7:50

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