5 Expert Tips On How To Wash A Sleeping Bag


Have you ever thought of cleaning that one thing that goes along with you on all your camps and treks and keeps you warm and protected from harsh weather? Yes, you’ve got it right; we are talking about washing your sleeping bag. While sleeping bags are a very important camping accessory, most of us do not remember the last time we thoroughly washed them or were even washed once after purchasing. 

Many people intend to clean their sleeping bags but dont do it fearing that they will destroy them and create a huge mess. While you can always get them professionally laundered at various cleaning stores and laundromats through mail or in person, it is also easy to wash them all by yourself and get laundry-like results.

In this article, we will teach you how to wash a sleeping bag like a pro and give you some expert tips on keeping your sleeping bags clean and fresh for longer times. Keep reading.

How to wash a sleeping bag like a pro?

Keeping your sleeping bag clean is as important as cleaning anything in your house. Keeping it clean and fresh will make sure that you enjoy a sound and comforting sleep and ensure that the sleeping bag lasts for years.

However, washing and cleaning a sleeping bag depends greatly on its type. While sleeping bags made with synthetic do not require much care and attention while washing, the ones made with down require an extra amount of care as they are subjected to wear and tear while washing and cleaning.

You can always get them cleaned professionally, but with some effort and expert tips, it can be done at home very easily.

But Before you wash your cleaning bag, it is important to know whether it requires a complete wash or just a little spot cleaning.

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When should you go for spot cleaning?

You dont always have to give your sleeping bag a full-blown wash; sometimes, all it needs is a little spot clean to be fresh and clean again.

Spot cleaning a sleeping bag is very easy and can be efficiently done by following simple steps. 

To spot clean a sleeping bag, you have to prepare a paste by mixing in some no detergent on-detergent soap and water in a soap now; take this paste on a toothbrush and start by cleaning its shell. Focus more on the collar and hood, which stay in contact with your hair and may have some hair and skin oils on them. Hold the lining area away from the insulation and clean it using the toothbrush; rinse it carefully afterward, and your sleeping bag will be good to go.

Without washing your sleeping bag completely, you can go for years using this method. The method is also efficient as washing involves wear and tear and decreases the loft.

So always try to spot clean your sleeping bag before giving it a full-blown wash unless it has gotten unusually dirty.

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When shall you wash your sleeping bag?

If your bag has gotten very dirty, which can be checked by smelling it and looking at the grim, if your sleeping bag has lost its loft and the grim has turned dark, then probably it’s time to give your sleeping bag a full-blown wash.

The foremost and probably the most important step before washing your cleaning bag is to look for its care instructions. Go through them and find out if there are some specific things that you need to follow or avoid.

Many people prefer getting their sleeping bags washed professionally at cleaning stores or laundromats. Still, you can always wash them by yourself, and when done carefully, you can even achieve professional results. 

Washing a sleeping bag is time-consuming, and drying alone can take uptempo two to three hours, but it will save you a lot of money. If you dont have one of those heavy and big machines at home, you can use the ones at the laundromat; this will cost you a lot less than getting it professionally.

Use a non-detergent soap, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

The following article will teach you to wash a sleeping bag using two methods. Stay tuned.

How to wash a sleeping bag manually?

  • Start by filling warm or cold water in a large tub. Pour the appropriate amount of non-detergent soap into the tub; the amount of soap depends upon the size and condition of your sleeping bag. Do not add too much soap, as it will become very hard for you to rinse it off later.
  • Lay the bag in the tab and gently rub the soap all over it. Focus more on areas with more dirt and dust. Allow it to soak in the soap water for at least one hour.
  • No drain the tub and press out the excess water.
  • Fill it with fresh water and lay the sleeping bag into it. Work the soap out gently and let the bag sit in the water for fifteen minutes.
  • Repeat the same process until all the soap is gone.
  • After the bag is all cleaned, squeeze out as much water as you can using your hands. 
  • Gather it all together in your arms and take it to the dryer. If you do not have one of those big heavy dryers at home, you may have to carry it to the laundromat.
  • If you dont feel like going to the laundromat, you can also air-dry the sleeping bag by laying it flat on grass or a large microfiber towel in an area with partial sunlight.
  • The bag will take upto 2 – 3 days to dry completely, and you will have to break the clumps of insulation during the drying process manually.

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How to wash a sleeping bag in a washing machine?

  • Most washing machines aren’t burly enough for washing your sleeping bag, so you should head to the nearest laundromat and use the front loading washer present there. It would be best if you always chose the appropriate washer as per the size of your sleeping bag; using a small washer for an alpine bag with large baffles and high-quality insulation would not be correct as it will not function properly.
  • Experts suggest never dry clean your sleeping bags and use a non-detergent soap in place of the regular detergent as it will end up clumping the down of your sleeping bag. To determine the right soap for washing your sleeping bag, check the wash care instructions mentioned on its tag or go to the brand’s website and determine whether it is a synthetic or a down sleeping bag. If it is a down sleeping bag, use a soap specially formulated for washing down surfaces.
  • While most sleeping bags are washed using ither cold or hot water during the second rinse cycle, look at the care instructions to be sure about it.
  • Once you are done washing the sleeping bag, transfer it to a dryer and dry it on a low heat setting. Ensure that there is no lint present in the filters. To maintain the loft of a down sleeping bag, toss in a couple of tennis balls; you dont have to do the same in the case of a synthetic bag.

5 Expert tips on how to keep your sleeping bag fresh for a longer time

The following tips will help you keep your freshly cleaned sleeping bag clean and fresh for a longer time. No matter if it’s a down or synthetic bag, just follow these tips and enjoy a long-lasting freshness

Air dry your bag regularly.

It is important to air dry your bag regularly to get rid of any moisture caused due to sweat and soil. Getting rid of moisture is crucial as it slowly degrades the quality of the fabric. Simply lay the bag open on a clean and open surface with minimal sunlight to get rid of the moisture present in your sleeping bag.

Avoid putting it under direct sunlight as the UV rays might destroy it.

Wear clean clothes

Body oils, sweat, and dirt are likely to degrade the insulating power of your sleeping bag over time. To avoid this, always change into fresh clothes before crawling into your sleeping bag; this will ensure that your sleeping bag stays fresh and clean for a longer time. 

You should also wash off any sunscreen present on your face and neck before crawling into the sleeping bag and try to cover your hair using a shower cap or a bandana. 

Invest in a sleeping bag liner

A sleeping bag liner can act as an effective barrier between your skin and the sleeping bag; this will help to keep your bag clean and fresh for a longer time.

Sleeping bag liners come in many varieties, made with silk wool and polyester. And the best part is they add upto 15-degree Fahrenheit to your sleeping bag, thereby increasing the bag’s insulation.

We hope you liked these tips from experts on how to wash a sleeping bag; you can easily clean your sleeping bags all by yourself by following these simple tips and tricks.

Let us know if you know about any other tips on how to wash a sleeping bag in the comments below.

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