How To Clean Your Sleeping Bag

cleaning sleeping bagIf you do long hikes reg­u­lar­ly it is very like­ly that your sleep­ing bag is ready for a good clean­ing.

Most sleep­ing bags come with some wash­ing instruc­tions, but these are often brief and it can be con­fus­ing. If you want to make sure that your sleep­ing bag is thor­ough­ly cleaned for future hik­ing trips, here are a few tips to help you clean a sleep­ing bag.

How To Hand Wash Your Sleep­ing Bag

Some sleep­ing bags need to be hand washed as they are made from syn­thet­ic mate­ri­als that can be ruined if they are washed in a machine. Your sleep­ing bag will have a tag that says if it should be hand washed or machine washed.

If your sleep­ing bag needs to be hand washed, start by fill­ing a bath half full with cold water. When the bath is half full, add half a cup of mild fab­ric wash. Stir the soap into the water until you can see that it is ful­ly dis­solved.

Now you can place your zipped up sleep­ing bag in the bath. Try to lay the sleep­ing bag down flat across the bot­tom of the bath, and then step into the bath and walk up and down the sleep­ing bag until every part is ful­ly cov­ered with soapy water. The walk­ing will also help to work with the soap through the sleep­ing bag, ensur­ing that it is prop­er­ly clean.

Leave the sleep­ing bag in the water for at least half an hour, and then drain the water and replace it with clean cold water. You may need to do this a few times to ful­ly remove all of the soapy water.

When the sleep­ing bag is clean, drain the water and roll the sleep­ing bag up tight­ly in the bath to drain away the excess water. Make sure that you don’t squeeze the sleep­ing bag though, as this can make the stuff­ing lumpy!

How To Machine Wash Your Sleep­ing Bag

Some sleep­ing bags need to be machine washed. If your sleep­ing bag needs to be machine washed, set the wash­ing machine to a del­i­cate wash with cold water, and then put your sleep­ing bag into the wash­ing machine. Your wash­ing machine may be too small; if this hap­pens you will need to take your sleep­ing bag to a laun­dro­mat with a big­ger wash­ing machine.

When you put your sleep­ing bag in the wash­ing machine, make sure that the bag is unzipped with the zip left halfway up. It can also be use­ful to put some ten­nis balls in the wash­ing machine, as they will move around dur­ing the wash and pre­vent the stuff­ing from becom­ing lumpy.

You should also avoid adding fab­ric soft­en­er as this can ruin the sleep­ing bag.

When the wash is fin­ished, start a sec­ond rinse cycle to make sure that all the soapy water is gone. When you are sure that the sleep­ing bag is clean, remove it from the wash­ing machine and roll it up to remove water. If you are at home you can do this in the bath, and if you are at a laun­dro­mat do it next to a drain.w

How To Dry Your Sleep­ing Bag

Dry­ing a sleep­ing bag can be a dif­fi­cult task as they tend to suck up a lot of water. If you are at home you can hang the unzipped sleep­ing bag out­side on a wash­ing line, but make sure that the weath­er is good as it will take the sleep­ing bag a long time to dry—it could even take up to two days.

You can also wash your sleep­ing bag in a tum­ble dry­er, but make sure that the tum­ble dry­er is on a low heat as a high heat could melt the syn­thet­ic fab­rics. Make sure to mon­i­tor it, and throw a few ten­nis balls in there too!