How To Wash A Down & Synthetic Sleeping Bag
See these guidelines for information to protect and care for your sleeping bag. A top tip to increase the lifespan of your sleeping bag is to use a sleeping bag liner and spot clean marks on the outside with a damp cloth, to reduce the need to wash your sleeping bag. When you do need to wash your sleeping bag follow specific washing instructions on the label. Do not dry clean your sleeping bag.
How to Wash a Synthetic Sleeping Bag
Do not dry clean your synthetic sleeping bag, follow specific washing instructions on the label of your sleeping bag. Most synthetic sleeping bags can me hand washed or machine washed. Avoid bleaching and ironing as these will damage the sleeping bag.
How to Wash a Down Sleeping Bag
Down sleeping bags are constructed with an internal baffle system, filled with loft to provide adequate insulation by holding the down in sections. Do not dry clean your down sleeping bag, follow specific washing instructions on the label of your sleeping bag. Avoid bleaching and ironing as these will damage the sleeping bag.
Follow these washing instructions carefully; please refer to the washing instructions inside of your sleeping bag first to ensure all appropriate steps are being taking to carefully wash your sleeping bag:
Machine Washing Your Sleeping Bag
- Use a front loading industrial washing machine to ensure that there is adequate space for the sleeping bag to fit. Top loaders can cause friction and melt or rip the sleeping bag.
- Use a gentle warm wash cycle (up to 30°C) with a mild washing powder.
- Before starting the wash cycle ensure that all zippers and velcro tabs are fastened and secure to avoid any damage.
- After the cycle gentle cradle your sleeping bag when removing it from the washing machine. Be extremely cautious with down sleeping bags as wet down is heavy and can tear the internal baffles within the sleeping bag if not handled with care.
Hand washing Your Sleeping Bag
- The simplest way to hand wash your sleeping bag is in the bath tub.
- Fill the bath with approximately 15cm of warm water with an added mild washing powder.
- Lay the sleeping bag flat in the bath, so that it is just submerged under the water, using your hands gently massage the water into the sleeping bag until the bag is saturated. Leave to soak for up to 4 hours.
- Do not lift the soaked bag, drain the water from the bath and add fresh water and massage the sleeping bag, repeat this process until all the soap studs have disappeared.
- Empty the bath and press down on the sleeping bag to effectively squeeze the water out. Once semi dried fold the ends of the sleeping bag until they meet at the centre and press firmly to squeeze out any remaining water. Cradle the sleeping bag to lift out of the tub.
- Be extremely cautious with down sleeping bags as wet down is heavy and can tear the internal baffles within the sleeping bag if not handled with care.
Drying Your Sleeping Bag
Once washed and all of the excess water pressed out, ensure that you cradle your sleeping bag in your arms, as demonstrated in the video above. Place the sleeping bag into a tumble dryer on a low setting and add a few tennis balls to disperse the down and avoid clumping.
Alternatively, you can leave the sleeping bag to air dry. Leave to dry in a shaded area out of direct sunlight as UV will damage and degrade the outer shell fabric of the sleeping bag. Use two drying racks and lay the bag flat on top of towels over the rack.
Additional Care for your sleeping bag
To prolong the life span of your sleeping bag use the small stuff or compression sack whilst in use only. Do not roll or fold your sleeping bag into its sack, stuff it in. When storing the sleeping bag, ensure it is completely dry and use a large net or cotton sack, this allows the loft to separate and avoids any clumping.
When in use, once you have arrived at your destination, unpack your sleeping bag as soon as possible to allow the loft to spread and fill the sleeping .
Try to ensure your sleeping bag is kept completely dry as moisture can affect the downs performance.
Last of all, Air your sleeping bag after every use.