How to Wash a Sleeping Bag

If you are an ardent camper, by now you should know that a sleeping bag is a basic commodity that you should carry on your adventures. Likewise, there is a time when the sleeping bag gets dirty and requires washing. Unlike other types of clothes, you cannot randomly wash this kind of product in your washing machine.

It does not necessarily mean that you should wash your sleeping bag every time that you use it. You can wash it at least once a year in the bathtub but you should know that the process is labor intensive. Alternatively, you can use a washing machine or send your sleeping bag to professionals for washing. Spot cleaning is another method that you can use to clean your sleeping bag.  

Hand Washing Your Sleeping Bag

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When you choose to wash your sleeping bag manually, there are different steps that you should follow. First, you should fill the bathtub with cool or warm water then add the right cleaning product. Make sure that you do not add too much soap since this may give you problems when rinsing the synthetic bag.

Gently work the bag so that soap penetrates its entire surface and always rub thoroughly the areas that are heavily soiled. You should then allow it to soak for about an hour then drain the tub while pressing out the remaining water. When rinsing, you can fill the tub with warm or cool water and work out the soap in a gentle way. Allow the bag to sit for about 15 minutes then drain the water.  You can repeatedly rinse the bag until you are satisfied that there is no more soap.

Steps for Machine Washing

When you decide to wash your sleeping bag using a washing machine, you must make sure that you follow all the instructions provided by the manufacturer. You can check the instruction on the label attached or use online searches. The most important thing is to get the right cleaning product and you must also use warm or cold water as required by the manufacturer.

When washing the bag, make sure you use a gentle cycle and rinse until all the soap is removed. Avoid holding the bag from one side when removing it from the washing machine so that the seams are not strained. When drying the bag, you can follow the instructions given below.

Spot Cleaning Your Sleeping Bag

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At times you sleeping bag may require spot cleaning if other areas are extra dirty compared to others. For example, the interior lining of the bag’s foot and head areas can be dirtier so consider spot cleaning them before washing the entire thing. In some cases there are just drops that need cleaning so the above method is ideal.

The cleaning method is very simple since you only need to add a few drops of the cleaning product that you use for washing. You then use a soft toothbrush to gently clean the dirty place. After that, you should rinse the area with a wet sponge and you are done. Make sure that you do not wet the inner fill of the bag since it takes a lot of time to dry.

Drying Tips

When drying your sleeping bag, the best option is air-drying. Make sure that you squeeze as much water as possible before drying the bag. Lay the sleeping bag on a clean place where there is low humidity so that it can dry using natural air. Make sure there is no direct sunlight when you choose this drying method so as to protect the outer shell from overheating.

In case you decide to tumble dry the sleeping bag, make sure that you use very low heat and the bag has room to tumble freely. You can take the sleeping bag to the laundromat if your dryer is small. You should add a few tennis balls to avoid crumbling of the inner material.

Other Cleaning Tips for your Synthetic bag

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You must also take other necessary measures to ensure that your sleeping bag does not get damaged during the cleaning process. For instance, you must loosen the drawcords to prevent the inner fill from bunching up. You must also avoid washing the bag in a top-loading machine that has an agitator since it can rip seams.

You can hang the sleeping bag to make sure that it is completely dry before putting it in the storage bag. Dry cleaning the sleeping bag is not recommended since the chemicals used is harsh. You must also avoid bleach products as well as a fabric softener. You must also make sure that your bag is dry when out camping so that it does not attract dirt.

Try to avoid dirt clothes when sleeping to minimize dirt particles on the sleeping bag.