From backpacks to sports gear, more items are machine-washable than you might think. 

By Nicole Sforza
Updated January 15, 2015
Jens Mortensen

1. Backpacks (without decals or adornments)
Turn inside out and remove any metal parts (aside from zippers). Place in a pillowcase, secure with a twist tie, and wash in cold water on a gentle cycle. Air-dry.

2. Sports gear (like knee pads and shin guards)
Wash in cold water on a gentle cycle. Air-dry.

3. Down and feather pillows
Wash on a delicate cycle. Make sure that they dry thoroughly in the dryer before using, as moist feathers can breed mildew. After tumble-drying, place near an open window or a radiator for a few hours before covering with pillowcases.