As we’ve said before, you can expect your camping gear to get good and dirty. That’s great because it means you’re using it to have awesome adventures, but it’s not so great for the next time you want to use it. No one wants to get out their sleeping bag and find it’s covered in weeks-old grime. Use our tips on how to clean a sleeping bag so you can have a comfortable fresh start on your next adventure.
With the Washing Machine
Let’s start with what not to do when machine washing a sleeping bag.
- Do not wash a sleeping bag in a top-loading washing machine. It can ruin the insulation.
- Do not use hot water to clean a sleeping bag. Warm water can ruin the bag, set stains, and cause shrinkage.
- Always check the tag and make sure machine washing is okay.
You can use a front-loading machine. Use the gentle cycle and a mild soap.
How to Hand-Wash
First, take your sleeping bag outside and shake out dust and debris. Next, fill your bathtub with cold water and 1/2 cup of a gentle soap. Submerge the bag in the water, swish it around, and work in the soap. Then allow the bag to soak for 15 minutes.
After the soak, drain the tub and press water out of the bag. Then rinse the bag with cold water. Rinse until all the soap is gone from the bag.
How to Dry
It’s best to let your sleeping bag air dry.
If you choose to use a dryer, use a no-heat or very low heat setting. Check on the sleeping bag periodically. If it gets too hot, it can actually melt, so be very careful!
It’s Easy to Clean a Sleeping Bag!
This chore is simple, so you should do it after every outing. You never know exactly what’s hitched a ride on your bag from the wild to your home.