How To Wash a Sleeping Bag [Hand & Machine Wash]

How To Wash a Sleeping Bag [Hand & Machine Wash]
a blue color packed sleeping bag

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Caring for your sleeping should be the first priority because as you can see many campers usually prefer to pay a professional to clean it.

So, if you take extra care of it then you will need to clean it less often. It also becomes utter important when your sleeping bag is of down material.

Let’s see if you need to clean the sleeping bag like a professional then how you can do it.


Engage in spot cleaning

Spot cleaning can make a lot of difference between a dirty and a clean sleeping bag. Sometimes, all you need is to clean it instantly as it gets dirty.

Spot cleaning becomes important as when you wash a sleeping bag then it becomes prone to wear and tear and it also decreases the loftiness.

Whenever you need to clean it then make a paste of a non-detergent soap and water. You can use a toothbrush to gently clean the shell of the bag.

Focus especially on the hood and collar side of the bag as hair and oil tend to accumulate over there.

If you try to hold the fabric or the shell of the bag and clean it then the inside insulation cannot get wet easily.

Remember, usually, the bag can be used over many years before it actually needs a complete wash.


How to hand wash a sleeping bag?

If your sleeping bag is losing the loftiness and is dirty then it is time to clean it.

Before washing it always see the instruction given in the manufacturers washing instructions.

After washing, the bag needs time to dry as long as 3 to 4 hours, down ones can take a little longer time than synthetic ones.

You can use non-detergent based soaps which are made for washing and cleaning down and synthetically filled things.


Step 1: fill a tub with warm or cold water and add cleaner for you down or synthetic sleeping bag. Never use warm water if it is made up of synthetic.

Step 2: do not use too much soap as it will become too sudsy and will be very hard to rinse it out.

Step 3: lay the bag in the water and gently clean the shell of the bag. You can rub the dirty areas of the bag with a gentle brush for better results.

Step 4: leave it for an hour and again rub where it is needed.

Step 5: drain the water and press out any remaining water from the bag.

Step 6: then again fill the tub with clean cold water and let the bag sit there for a minute then press out remaining water.

Step 7: Repeat the process until it is needed.

Step 8: now lift the bag by working your hands underneath it, by this the bag will not get damaged by the weight.

Step 9: keep this sleeping bag in the dryer. If you do not have a dryer then you can air dry it. Remember it will take a lot of time if the climate is moist. You could also have to break the clumps of the insulation as your bag dries up.


How to machine wash a sleeping bag?

Step 1: keep the setting of the machine to gentle and fill it with water and use less soap to avoid sudsing.

Step 2: you can also add a few other things with a sleeping bag like a towel or shirts to help balance the spin of the machine.

Step 3: rinse it well to completely wash the soap.

Step 4: leave it is open to dry it completely.


How to dry a sleeping bag?

Step 1: first set the dryer on low heat to prevent damaging the bag.

Step 2: you can add two or three clean tennis balls in the dryer as it will help to break up any clumps of down as it spins inside the dryer. It will help to restore the loftiness of a sleeping bag.

Step 3: always make sure that the bag is totally dry before you place it inside a storage bag. After drying it in the dryer leave the sleeping bag overnight to be sure there is no moisture left inside it.


Never do this

Never dry clean your sleeping bag because the solvents which are used in dry cleaning can strip the natural oils from the down material. These are useful in retaining the softness and loftiness of the material.

Do not use bleach products on sleeping bag.

Do not wash the bag in a loading machine with an agitator. The agitator can strain or rip the seams of the bag.  


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