Washing Tips

How to wash a sleeping bag – An absolute guide to wash a necessity of adventure

Sleeping bags are friends of hard times. They are always with you on every adventure and tour. They can keep you warm on chilly nights and protect you from insects. But these friends of hard times also demand your attention. Sleeping bags often get dirty, and they must be washed thoroughly. This article will look at ways to wash your valuable sleeping bags.

Women in snow with sleeping bag

Identify the type of sleeping bag

If you are pondering how to wash a sleeping bag, you first must identify the type of sleeping bag. There are the following types of sleeping bags available in the market.

  • Down sleeping bag
  • Synthetic fiberfill sleeping bag

Each type of sleeping bag has to be washed using different methods. Usually, both sleeping bags can be washed in a washing machine. But the approach for washing each one is different.

Cute Girl with sleeping bag

Things to know before washing a sleeping bag

Before washing a sleeping bag, you must know a few things. Those things are mentioned below.

Women with red sleeping bag

Don't use fabric softeners

While washing a sleeping bag, you should avoid using fabric softeners because they can damage the insulation of your sleeping bag.

Don't use bleach

Bleach should also be avoided while washing your sleeping bag, as it can damage your down or synthetic fiberfill sleeping bag.

Don't dry-clean

Dry cleaning involves using harsh chemicals. These harsh chemicals can damage the filling of your sleeping bags. So never dry-clean your sleeping bags.

Don't wash it frequently

A sleeping bag can lose its bit of insulation every time it is washed. So, a sleeping bag should be washed when it needs to be. You should wash your sleeping bag annually or after every 10 wears.

Things you will need

For washing a sleeping bag, you will need the following items:

  • Dryer balls (prefer wool dryer balls)
  • Drying rack or an automatic dryer
  • Bathtub or a washing machine
  • Soft nylon brush
  • Regular detergent
  • Down sleeping bag soap
  • Stain remover (I prefer an enzyme-based one)

How to wash a down sleeping bag

Read care label

You must care for down sleeping bags. Before washing a down sleeping bag, you should read the care label present on it. Check whether your sleeping bag is machine washable, and carefully read other instructions. It’s better to wash your down sleeping bag according to the instructions available on the care label, but if there is no care label, just follow our guidelines.

Treat stains

Your down sleeping bag may acquire some stains during your adventure. Check your down sleeping bag thoroughly and spot the stains. Now treat the stain using a stain remover. Usually, different types of stains, i.e., grass stains, oil stains, blood stains, and food stains, need different stain removers. But it’s better to use enzyme-based down-specific stain removers as they are more powerful. In the following steps, you can remove the stains using enzyme-based down-specific stain removers.

  • Apply the stain remover on the stain.
  • Gently scrub the stained area with a soft bristled nylon brush or any soft brush.
  • Leave the sleeping bag for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse the stained area.

Set the washer

Now it’s time to hand over your sleeping bag to your washer. Because down sleeping bags are machine washable, you should use a top-load or front-load washing machine without a center agitator. Or, if you have a washer with a removable center agitator, you can also use it. Using a washer with a large drum is better so your sleeping bag can quickly tumble around. Before putting your sleeping bag into the machine, ensure your washer is cleaned. You can clean your washer using True Fresh Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets if it is not cleaned. You should set your washer to the following settings.

  • Set your washer’s temperature settings to lukewarm water or cold water.
  • Set your machine to a gentle cycle or permanent press cycle.
  • Set your machine to a low final spin speed.

Add detergent

Down sleeping bags should be washed with down-specific detergents or down sleeping bag soap. Try to use a less sudsy soap and detergent. You should also avoid overdosing on your washer with the detergent-specific detergent and down sleeping bag soap. You can put the down specific detergent in the detergent dispenser of your washer, or you can just sprinkle it on the clothes. In contrast, down sleeping bag soap should be placed in the drum of your washer.

Turn on the machine

After you have set up your washer and put in the detergent, you can turn it on the washer.

Add an extra rinse and spin cycle

If you want to ensure that all the soil and detergent residue has been removed from your sleeping bag, you can add an extra rinse and spin cycle.

Dry your down sleeping bag

In the following steps, you can dry your down sleeping bag using an automatic dryer.

  • Set your dryer to low heat because high heat can melt the filling of your sleeping bag.
  • Put your sleeping bag in the dryer.
  • Turn on your dryer.
  • Put two to three wool dryer balls when your sleeping bag is near to dry.
  • Again turn on your dryer.

How to wash a synthetic fiberfill sleeping bag

Your synthetic fiberfill sleeping bag can be washed the same way as a down sleeping bag. We have already discussed the whole method in the previous section. However, there are a few exceptions which are mentioned below.

  • You can use regular detergent for washing your synthetic fiber fill sleeping bag.
  • You can use a regular enzyme-based stain remover available on the market.

How to hand wash sleeping bags

Sleeping bags can be hand-washed in the following easy steps.

  • Remove stains from your sleeping bag.
  • Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water.
  • Add regular detergent if you wash synthetic fiberfill sleeping bags, and add sleeping bag soap if you are washing down sleeping bags.
  • Scrub the bag gently.
  • Leave it in soapy water for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the soapy water.
  • Rinse your bag two to three times.
  • Dry your bag in an automatic dryer at low heat.

Besides washing your sleeping bags, you should care for them. Check their zips after every use and if they need to be repaired, repair them. If you are heading to another adventure and need a detailed guide about washing your swimsuit, read our other blog.

Frequenty Asked Questions

Q: How frequently can a sleeping bag be washed?

You can wash a sleeping bag once a season or even annually. But if it is too dirty, you should wash it immediately.

Q: Can a down sleeping bag be washed using a regular detergent?

No, it can’t. You have to use a down-specific detergent

Q: Can a sleeping bag be washed in hot water?

No. The water should be lukewarm.