Down sleeping bags can provide many cozy nights, and last for decades. That is, if you know how to properly care for and maintain them.
As you may know, these sleeping bags come with a hefty price tag, and with good reason. They have great insulating properties, light-weight, and can last about 20 years.
So it makes sense to keep them in tip-top shape. However, if they are poorly looked after, they will lose their warm insulating properties, the fabrics will deteriorate, and its lifespan will be dramatically reduced.
Keep reading to learn some easy and effective ways to wash a down sleeping bag!
Washing a Down Sleeping Bag
Before we dive in, you cannot wash a down sleeping bag the same way you would clean a synthetic one. Down is much more delicate, and many people resort to professional cleaners to wash them.
However, if you follow the safety precautions, it’s okay to do it by yourself. You can clean your down sleeping bag either by hand or in a washing machine.
It also takes more time to clean it than a synthetic sleeping bag. It may take you about 3 to 7 hours to properly wash your sleeping bag. Therefore, time management is also key when deciding to wash your down sleeping bag.
On a quick side note, if you have a smelly tent – this article will show you how to clean it and get rid of the smell.
You can spot clean your sleeping bag if small areas are darkened with dirt or grime, and it has no foul odor. Remember that your sleeping bag is prone to damage and loft decrease every time you wash it, so it’s not necessary to fully soak it in water and wash it.
To spot clean your down sleeping bag, you only need a soft-bristled toothbrush or sponge, water, and non-detergent soap or cleaner. Follow these instructions:
To hand-wash your sleeping bag, you need a container or bathtub, warm water, and a down-specific soap. The most common brands are Nikwax and Granger Down Wash.
Never use bleach or fabric softeners because these products can permanently damage the feather and reduce its insulating properties.
In order to wash your sleeping bag in a washing machine, it has to be a front-loading type.
This is because top-loading machines have a central agitator, which can cause damage and tears in the sleeping bag. For this reason, people tend to handwash their sleeping bags to reduce the probability of tears and loft reduction.
To clean a down sleeping bag in a front-loading washing machine, you must:
You might also be interested in our related article on how to wash a North Face fleece jacket.
If you take proper care of your down sleeping bag, I can assure you that it can last for decades. Although it may cause a strain on your living expenses, it’s worth it in the end. The coziness and warmth of a down sleeping bag is incomparable when camping or hiking.