BackpacksIf you've just bought a new backpack for your child, hopefully you checked out the results of our Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) test of 48 backpacks to find the best before making your purchase. But even if you didn't, here are five tips to make sure the bag you bought lasts from one school year to the next.
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1. Keep stains at bay with an application of a stain-repellent spray, like Scotchgard. It's best to spray the bag before the first use, but most likely it's still clean enough to treat now. This will help keep soil and spills from turning into stains. Several times during the year, spot clean (see tip#2) the bag the year and reapply the spray.
2. Spot clean dirt and grime with a cloth or stiff brush dipped into warm sudsy water. Most backpacks are made of durable, easy-care nylon so stains wash off with little effort. Even so, it's best to tackle them when you see them.
3. Stitch up loose seams and straps or have them reattached promptly by your local shoe-repair shop. If you are doing the mending, try using un-waxed dental floss or nylon thread for extra strength.
4. Avoid overloading the backpack. Not only is it unhealthy for your child to carry around a bag that weighs more than ten to twenty percent of his body weight, but overstuffing the bag puts strain on the zippers, seams, and straps making them more likely to tear and split.
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5. Every few months, empty the contents and spritz the interior with a deodorizing spray, like Lysol Neutra Air Fabric Mist, to kill bacteria, eliminate odors, and keep the backpack smelling fresh.
What are your favorite tricks for keeping your little one's backpack in top shape? Let me know in the comments!
-By Carolyn Forte
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