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Cleaning my Synapse

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    Cleaning my Synapse

    Hi there,

    a friend of mine gave me a Synapse he bought at eBay. In the first place I was very happy about that, so I got a TB Rucksack at a very low price :-).

    But now comes the bad news: the bag smells like a fully loaded ashtray, which wasn't cleaned for a very long time. It was really bad. Now I ventilate (is this the correct word?) the bag on my balcony and that helped a little bit. But after three weeks the bags still smells like a buch of cigarettes.

    What can I do? Throw it in a washing machine?

    Thanks for your help!

    And sorry, if I used a few wrong translated word. I hope you all understand what I would say.

    Originally posted by karlimann View Post
    What can I do? Throw it in a washing machine?
    Hi Karl
    Check out this FAQ for recommended cleaning

    TB does NOT recommend the washing machine.

    I usually do the soak method and it works well. After you soak, if it still smells, rinse all the water out and do it again until it smells clean, then air dry.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...


      thanks, I'll try it.


        Hi Karl, and a special welcome from a fellow German!

        I washed my Synapse (after I had used it on a couple of strenuous hikes where it had been soaked with sweat and smelled correspondingly) as described in the link that G42 posted and that worked very well. Afterwards it looked and smelled like new.

        Viele Grüße!
        ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
        current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces


          I have read online that hand wash with baking soda can reduce cigarette smell. I think this would be the safest method for your bag. Rinse and repeat.


            Some strategies you can try:

            - When you soak it, add a bit of white vinegar to the water (maybe up to 1/4 cup?), along with your mild liquid soap. After it has soaked a good long time - maybe even overnight - rinse thoroughly, then hang outside if possible, somewhere where it can get some sunlight. Turn over a few times, turn it inside out, to expose all sides to the UV light. Even if it's cloudy or rainy there will be UV light outside. Allow to dry. Check for odors. If there are still lingering odors, repeat the process.

            - If you can find Mirazyme, try using that according to the directions.

            - Try putting it in a garbage bag along with some charcoal or baking soda or one of those commercial deodorizers.


              Hi karlimann,

              I think that all the suggestions for standard washing given above will work for you. To add to haraya’s mention of Mirazyme, which is a deodorizing product that you used to be able to buy on the Tom Bihn web site, I’ll add a product link for Mirazyme at Amazon’s German store. It’s usually sold with camping supplies to remove odors, and has figured in earlier posts about removing smells like cat pee. I don’t think you’ll need it in your case, but at least you’ll know what we’re talking about.

              Good luck,



                I bought a brain bag off of ebay that stunk of cigarette smoke. However you wash it (I didn’t follow the TB recommendations as I was a newbie at the time and didn’t know any better, sadly it was also supposed to be my first-ever TB bag) make sure you air dry it in the sun. That made a huge difference. I cleaned it early morning and then let it sit in the sun all day. Smelled normal afterwards. Sadly, I did rerelease it into the wild, it was too large for my needs, and I just couldn’t shake the monkey-on-my-back feeling about the smell. Luckily the person I gave it to loved it, (full disclosure to them and all).

                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                "Not all who wander are lost"
                "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
                Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB


                  Thanks again for all your suggestions.

                  I cleant it one with normal soap. That helped a lot, but I think I will make it again, just for sure.