Down Sleeping Bag Maintenance

Down Sleeping Bag Maintenance
There are a few steps you need to take to get the longest life out of your down sleeping bag. When not in use, hang it up and do not store it compacted in its bag. Store it at room temperature and not where it is damp or very humid. If it gets wet, dry it out as soon as possible. Cleaning the bag is the hardest part but anyone can do it. According to REI, you can choose to hand wash your bag or use machines.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Hand Washing

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hand washing: Bathtub Warm water Down cleaning solution such as Nikwax Downwash 2.0 Machine washing: Front loading washer Dryer Down cleaning solution such as Nikwax Downwash 2.0 2 tennis balls
  • Hand washing:
  • Bathtub
  • Warm water
  • Down cleaning solution such as Nikwax Downwash 2.0
  • Machine washing:
  • Front loading washer
  • Dryer
  • Down cleaning solution such as Nikwax Downwash 2.0
  • 2 tennis balls
 
Step 1
Fill the bathtub with warm water.
Step 2
Add the down cleaning solution to the water.
Step 3
Put the sleeping bag into the water and gently wash the sleeping bag. After you are finished washing the bag, let it soak for 15 minutes.
Step 4
Drain the water out of the tub and squeeze out any remaining soap from the bag. Rinse with more warm water until all the soap is out of the bag.
Step 5
Dry your bag with air and sunlight.
Step 6
Store your sleeping bag.

Machine Washing

Step 1
Load your sleeping bag into front loading washer. Start washer on gentle with cold water.
Step 2
Add the down cleaning solution to the water.
Step 3
Load your sleeping bag into dryer after finished washing. Set dryer to low or minimum heat and start.
Step 4
Periodically check the temperature of your sleeping bag. The shell can melt at some point.
Step 5
Add 2 tennis balls to dryer when the bag is almost dry. Store your sleeping bag when dry.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Down feathers sometimes come out of the bag or the quills will poke through the fabric. It is okay to push the quills back into the bag. As long as there is not a tear or hole in the bag, losing a few feathers will not harm the sleeping bag. If a tear happens, using a patch kit from your local camping store, or an outdoor fabric repair facility will fix the hole. Some of these specific facilities can also clean your bag for a fee.
 
It is best to clean the down sleeping bag yourself rather than taking it to a dry cleaning service. According to Sierra Designs, dry cleaners many use cleaning agents and methods that can affect the loft of your bag. If you are machine washing your sleeping bag, do not use an agitator style because it can damage your bag. Use a front loading washer.

Article Written By Jason K. Chun

Jason K. Chun is a Seattle writer in the cardio fitness category for Examiner.com. Chun has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public communication from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a certificate from the Institute of Children's Literature.