Now that you have your sleeping bag, how do you wash it when it’s dirty?
Source a professional
DIY – wash by hand
From my experience and those of many, this is the best method. It’s not a quick fix and worth taking the time to follow each step so your bag comes out looking as good as new.
Step 1: Fill a bath or a very large tub with warm water.
Step 2: Add non-detergent soap such as Grangers (available at Kathmandu) and do not use conventional detergents.
Step 3: Ensure all zippers are zipped up and velcro attached.
Step 4: Turn inside out.
Step 5: Place bag in the bath and gently dunk until the entire bag is wet. DO NOT attempt to remove bag while it is this wet.
Step 6: Leave bag for 1 – 3 hours to soak.
Step 7: Drain the dirty water and then allow fresh water to rinse the bag until there are no more soapy suds.
Step 8: Gently press out as much as water as you can until there is little left.
Step 9: DO NOT squeeze bag to remove water. Instead, fold the bag on itself and press down gently to remove those last drops of water.
Step 10A: Air-dry the bag by laying it out flat but open on towels over portable clothes racks in a shady spot. If the weather is cold or humid, you can place in a room with a heat source but be careful to keep separating the fill so it returns to its original state. It may still need to be placed into a dryer on low depending on how things progress.
Step 10B: Once you’re satisfied you’ve removed as much excess water as possible, bundle the bag into a tumble dryer which is set on low or air-dried.
Step 11: I recommend you revisit the bag every hour or so and gently massage and separate the down until the loft returns.
Note: A sleeping bag that is filled with down can take up to a week to dry 100% so please ensure you revisit you bag to keep separating the fill and checking that air flow around the bag is good.
Another tip is of course to use a sleeping bag liner (silk or cotton) that will help preserve your bag and reduce the amount of cleaning it will require.
Note: I’ve cleaned 30-year-old bag twice!
I’ve also posted on how to wash your synthetic sleeping bag here.
Now it’s your turn.