After a week away with the kids camping you might want to wash your sleeping bag….but what is the best way to do this without damaging the bag?
Whether sleeping bags are filled with down or polyester fibres, body oils and dirt can effect their insulation. And before you store them away until the next time you go camping you’ll want to make sure your sleeping bags are thoroughly cleaned and ready for storage.
Before you wash your sleeping bag its a good idea to air it out just incase any little critters may have hitch a ride home with you. Open the sleeping bags fully and shake out the dirt. Then check the manufacturers’ care labels to see if the bags are machine washable. Our advice is always get a machine washable sleeping bag, this with save you money not having to go to the dry Cleaners and hand-washing one is a long and tedious task.
Sleeping bags have to be cleaned in a front loading washing machine as the agitation in a traditional top loading washers can damage the insulation. Be careful not to cause the machine to be off balanced wash one bag at a time with some smaller light item to help maintain balance. We recommend using the gentle cycle and cool water. For down bags, use a specialty detergent, and for synthetics, a mild detergent. Double rinse at the end of the wash to ensure all detergent has been well rinsed away
Air drying your sleeping bag is the best option and with help better protect the outer shell. Tumble drying is not ideal, but if you must make sure you have enough room in the dryer and that its set on low temperature.
Now that you sleeping bags are freshly cleaned you can store them away. I recommend if you are not using your bags on a regular basis store them in vacuum bags to better protect from mould, dust and vermin.