Sleeping bags can get dirty when used at the campsite. Fortunately, you do not need to clean your sleeping bag every time you use it. To take care of it, you must be sure that you wash it when you need to wash it, and that you wash it correctly.
Of course, keep in mind that the sleeping bag will get worn down after too many washes, so wash it carefully. But at some point, you will need to clean it correctly. For camping enthusiasts, washing a sleeping bag is common. However, if you have a good quality sleeping bag and you don’t want it to be damaged by the wrong washing methods, you need to know the special ways to wash the sleeping bag.
Below are recommendations on how to wash sleeping bags without any damage.
Tip #1: Try to keep your sleeping bag as clean as possible
The first step to properly cleaning your sleeping bag is to prevent it from becoming dirty. Sweating, body oil and dirt interfere with the normal breathing of the sleeping bag. Always try to wear long, or similar, underwear while sleeping and do not wear dirty clothes in your sleeping bag.
If it’s too hot for long laundry, buying a sleeping bag liner can keep your bag clean and give you extra warmth and comfort. Sleeping in dirty clothes can not only damage your bag but can also be dangerous if you carry any food in your pockets as they can attract animals.
Tip #2: Ventilate the sleeping bag after use
Ventilating the bag after each use is another essential element of the service. Proper drying and ventilation will keep the bag high. To ventilate the bag, first, turn it inward, then hang it to dry. Try not to hang the bag in direct sunlight, as ultraviolet rays will damage the fabric if left open for a long time.
Tip #3: Every sleeping bag now comes with cleaning instructions
Before washing your sleeping bag, carefully read the instructions on the label. You will find cleaning instructions most of the time. If you don’t, it’s possible your sleeping bag is quite old.
Then, check the inside of the sleeping bag to make sure there is nothing else in it. Since there may be stains on the bag, they should be removed with a sponge first before you wash the whole bag. Thus, these stains can be removed more easily.
Tip #4: Wash by hand, if you can
It is best to wash the bag by hand, but sometimes it is much easier to wash in a washing machine! To wash it by hand, fill the bathtub with warm water and a light soap dish (a few examples are given below). Soak for 15 minutes, drain the bath and press (do not unscrew) the water from the bag. Rinse the bag in cold water, squeeze the water, and continue. If you wash it in a washing machine, use the gentle setting.
You can then put the closure bag in hot water and make sure it is thoroughly wet. Hand washing can be a good way to protect your bag, but it will take a lot of effort and time. And since the bag is made of synthetic fibers and is also very large, it can be terrible and annoying when you try to make soap from a big bag. Using a shaker sink will be very convenient and save time. Then put mild soap in water. You can also add a softener to make it easier to clean the bag.
Tip #5: Rinse after washing with soap
After washing the bags in soap, repeat washing in water without soap. As a result, your bag will be washed several times. Then you must remove the bag and try to remove the water by dumping it out it several times. Then you can wrap the sleeping bag and take it to the dryer, where it will dry on low heat. You can also put the bag in the sun to dry naturally. However, this can be time-consuming.
Every time you wash a sleeping bag, just as with clothes, it reduces the life of the product. For this reason, it is recommended to wash the bag only when it is needed, at most once a year, if possible. On-site cleaning is a good alternative to full washing. To remove stains that build up around the hood and collar, you can use diluted detergent, a toothbrush, and a little elbow grease. Rinse the area thoroughly and let the bag dry.
Other tips to keep in mind
It is recommended to use specially made linen, for example, for washing, if you decide to wash your bag at home. If you have a front-loading washing machine, you can use it, although we usually recommend hand washing. Remember to wash in cold water and use low or no rotation.
If you want to wash the bag by hand, it is better to use a bathtub or a large sink. Mix the cleaning solution with warm water and let the bag soften for 15 minutes. Gently wash all areas, then empty the bath. Fill with cold water and set aside for another 15 minutes. Drain and slip through the bag. Repeat rinsing until there is no soap in the bag: air drying (best method) or clothes dryer at the lowest temperature. If you use a dryer, you can add tennis balls to break pieces of insulation and remove static.
If the sleeping bag is down-filled, zip it up before washing. Then wash it in a huge commercial front-loading washing machine. To remove your bag, use warm water with a mild soap, such as Woolite or Ivory Snow, without detergents, sweeteners, or bleaches.
After the wash cycle, start the washer for another full wash cycle without soap to ensure that the soap is completely rinsed. When removing the bag, handle it carefully. Do not squeeze water, but press on it. Wrap the ball and place it in the dryer. When dry, cook very low. Add some clean tennis balls to the dryer.
When you add tennis balls to the dryer, kicks will crush and hold your breath. Dry the bag before storage, although this may take some time. Then, like a synthetic sleeping bag, keep it as loose as possible in a large cotton bag.
See you at the camp site!