Cleaning Down Sleeping Bag
Have questions about cleaning down sleeping bag? Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you in the process.
The first and most important is to always follow the manufacturers care instructions found on the tag attached to the sleeping bag. They have built, and tested the product so they know better than anyone else how the sleeping bag should be handled!
Only wash your down sleeping bag if it really needs it. Spot cleaning down sleeping bag when ever you can is a good idea. Washing down sleeping bags excessively will needlessly wear them out.
To cut back on washing use a ground cloth, tarp or liner under your sleeping bag as a barrier between your bag and the ground to protect it from moisture and dirt.
Down Sleeping Bag Cleaning 101
Dry cleaning is NOT recommended unless specified by the manufacturer. Dry cleaning solvents are much too harsh for the delicate nature of goose down and feathers and will cause them to loose their ability to keep you warm.
If possible use a front loading washer because they are gentler than those that load from the top and have a middle agitator.
Consider cleaning down sleeping bag by itself or if you have several take them to the laundromat where you will find extra large capacity, front loading washers. You should be able to wash 3 or 4 sleeping bags at a time in these washers.
Before getting started zip up the sleeping bag.
Wash in cold water and set your washing machine to the gentle cycle.
Use a gentle liquid detergent or a down cleaning product made specifically for washing feathers and down.
Start the washer and add the detergent. Wait for the washer to begin the cycle to mix the water and cleaning detergent.
Stop the washer and add the sleeping bag. The bag will have a tendency to fill with air and float. Just keep pushing it down until it is totally submerged.
Allow the entire washing cycles to complete and then put the bag through another wash cycle, this time without soap to ensure that it is well rinsed.
Care For Your Down Sleeping Bag After Cleaning
If you can, hang your bag out on a line to dry or place in the dryer on cool air. Down and feathers need to be dried thoroughly to keep you warm and this may take several cycles in the dryer and may prove difficult if not impossible in wet or damp outdoor conditions.
Place a clean tennis ball or two in the dryer with the sleeping bag or use rubber rings called Fluffers. This will prevent the down from bunching up inside.
Always set your dryer to tumble dry on cold air. Heat will break down the natural oils in feathers and they will loose their ability to loft and insulate.
Hang dry bags that will not be used for a while in the closet on a hanger.
Sprinkle baking soda inside the sleeping bag to absorb odors in between cleaning down sleeping bag. When it comes time to use the bag you will find that dry baking soda brushes away easily with a few good shakes and isn't toxic or harmful to the skin.
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