How to Care for a Down Sleeping Bag

How to Care for a Down Sleeping BagA quality down sleeping bag is an investment not only financially but also as a piece of equipment that will contribute to the enjoyment of the outdoors. Down bags should be properly cared for to help them last as long as possible. It is important to take certain steps when cleaning a down bag to prevent damage.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to Care for a Down Sleeping Bag

Things You’ll Need:
  • Front-loading washing machine
  • Mild detergent or specially formulated detergent
  • Damp, clean cloth
Step 1
Wipe down the bag with a clean, damp cloth, paying attention to areas of heavy dirt and stains. Remove as much dirt and debris as possible with the cloth.
Step 2
Fill a front-loading washing machine with the amount of water recommended for the size of the load. Check the machine's manual for more information if necessary. Add mild detergent or specially formulated detergent to the machine. Check instructions on the detergent package for the correct amount.
Step 3
Allow the machine to run briefly to thoroughly mix the detergent and water. This will provide more thorough cleaning and help prevent the detergent from settling in spots.
Step 4
Load the down bag into the machine. Distribute the bag as evenly as possible to help avoid clumping and twisting. Allow the machine to run for the entire cycle, and then set the machine to rinse once again to make sure all the soap is removed.
Step 5
Remove the bag from the washing machine and place it in a dryer. Set the dryer to the lowest heat setting to avoid damaging the shell of the bag. Drying may take several hours at a low setting.

Tips & Warnings

Add a couple of tennis balls to the dryer. The balls will help disperse and break up clumps of down feathers. This will also help with drying.
Do not become impatient and increase the heat of the dryer. It is easy to damage or even melt the nylon fabric of the shell.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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