Keep Your Sleeping Bag In Good Shape By Hand Washing In Your Bathtub

Keep Your Sleeping Bag in Good Shape by Hand Washing in Your Bathtub

If you've ever run your sleeping bag through a washing machine, you know the kind of damage it can do. Fortunately, a bathtub and some gentle hand washing is all you need to keep your bag performing efficiently.

Sleeping bags are more delicate than they look. Dirt, grime, and body oils can all build up to reduce their efficiency at insulating you when you need it. Plus, they can pick up odours that no amount of odor spray is going to help. Washing your bag in a conventional washing machine is a bad idea, since the agitator can mess up the insulation as well as tear up the delicate fabric. And while a front washer is gentler, many sleeping bags are just too bulky for them to handle.

Enter the bathtub. As Instructables user Boddeeen points out, that and some mild detergent is all you need. Fill your bathtub about halfway with warm water and add a small amount of gentle, powdered detergent. Turn the bag inside out, zip it closed, and put it in the tub to soak for about 15 minutes. Gently agitate the bag with your hands, drain the dirty water, and refill the tub with clean water. Lightly agitate again to get the soap out, let drain in the tub for about 15 minutes, and then gently move it to line dry. You want to be careful when agitating or moving the bag so you don't rip the shell or disturb the insulation too much. Hit up the post for full instructions and pictures.

How to Wash a Sleeping Bag [Instructables]


    I think there should be some warnings with this article as some people may try this without visiting the source article. It's quite easy to ruin a sleeping bag by cleaning it improperly. Just a couple of things to note:

    1. Be very careful of which detergent you use. Down feathers are coated with an oil that helps give them their insulation properties. Detergents can strip them of this.

    2. It's very important to get all of the water out of the sleeping bag before lifting it. When filled with water it can break under its own weight.

    3. Sleeping bags take an extremely long time to dry out. Unless you're having particularly good weather, you're probably better off putting it in a large dryer on low heat with some tennis balls thrown in.

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