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How To Clean Your Sleeping Bag

Updated: Jul 26, 2019

Most people don't realize that a clean sleeping bag is a happy sleeping bag. Cleaning your sleeping bag will help it maintain its loft, and keep you warm and cozy.




There are two main types of sleeping bags, down-filled and synthetic-filled. Here are some tips and tricks to keeping them both clean and fluffy.


What cleaner, and how much to use for your sleeping bag.

Down-Filled Sleeping Bags:

Cleaning down bags can seem intimidating. But with proper know-how, it’s easy. The first thing to note: use a big, front-loading washing machine, generally found at a laundromat. Home washers are too small, and don’t allow proper circulation of water through the bag, making for ineffective cleaning. Always use a front-loading washer, as top loaders have an agitator that can tear up down baffles. Gentle is best!


1. Put bag in washing machine.

2. Add proper cleaner. Nikwax Down Wash Direct is formulated for both normal, and water-repellent down. It cleans crud away while maintaining loft and revitalizing water-repellency. (Volume Guide: for a 1-2.5lb bag, add 100ml, for a 2.5-4.5lb bag, add 150ml, for a bag 4.5lbs or heavier, use 200ml)

3. Wash. Throw in an extra spin cycle or two to get excess water out of the bag.

4. Dry! This is key for down bags. Your bag will emerge from the washer looking like a drowned rat. Run multiple dry cycles on low heat with clean tennis balls, or dryer balls, to fluff the bag back up.


Synthetic-Filled Sleeping Bags:

Synthetic-filled bags are a tad less fussy than down bags to clean. You still need a big washer though, so pack up and head to the laundromat.


1. Put bag in washing machine.

2. Add proper cleaner. Nikwax Tech Wash is great for synthetic-filled bags. It cleans crud away while revitalizing water-repellency. (Volume Guide: for a 1-2.5lb bag, add 100ml, for a 2.5-4.5lb bag, add 150ml, for a bag 4.5lbs or heavier, use 200ml)

3. Wash. Throw in an extra spin cycle or two to get excess water out of the bag.

4. Dry. You can use a dryer on low heat to speed up the process, or hang to dry if you have the space.


There you have it! If you want to go longer in between washes, use a sleeping bag liner. It will help keep body oils (and odors) off your bag, and can be washed at home.


Stay toasty and dry!





FURTHER READING:


5 Tips For Everyday Exploration


5 Tips For Better Experiences Outdoors


5 Tips For Getting Into Trail Running


How To Clean & Waterproofing Hiking Boots


How To Re-Waterproof Your Rain Jacket