How to Wash a Down Sleeping Bag

How to Wash a Down Sleeping BagWashing a down sleeping bag is much different than washing a regular-fill sleeping bag, because the down stuffing is very sensitive and prone to clumping. If it is simply thrown in the washer, the expensive down sleeping bag could be ruined. When the down clumps, it will no longer keep its occupant warm, and may as well just be a sheet. For small stains or regular wear and tear, it is recommended that you lightly wash the sleeping bag on the outside only, with a damp sponge and water.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Fill up your bathtub with warm water and add mild soap (not harsh detergents). Zip up the down sleeping bag and place it in the tub. Allow it to soak for 10 to 20 minutes.
Step 2
Remove as much water as you can from the bag by running your hands down it while it is flat in the tub. Do not wring out the bag, as this can cause the down stuffing to deform in the bag and possibly ball up. Then lightly rinse the bag in cold water and press it out the same way. Do not use hot water at any time when cleaning a down sleeping bag.
Step 3
Put the bag in the dryer with the heat set on low, or hang it outside and allow it to air dry, which is recommended as the safest way to dry the sleeping bag. If you do choose the dryer, it is recommended that you put in a few high-quality tennis balls during the dry cycle, which will help prevent the down from clumping inside the bag and running to the corners. Check on the sleeping bag every 10 to 15 minutes to make sure it still feels somewhat fluffy.
Step 4
When it is dry, store your down sleeping bag as spread out as it can get. It is not recommended to store these bags in the small cases they sometimes come in, or to wad them up and throw them in a closet. Fold yours up nicely and try to put it somewhere where nothing will be on top of it to possibly flatten the down. If used and washed properly, these bags will last a long time and afford season after season of camping warmth.

Article Written By Derek Odom

Derek Odom has been an avid off-road trail enthusiast for over 10 years. Coupled with his love for four-wheel drive trails and safety is a love for camping and the outdoors. Through the years, he has acquired great knowledge of outdoor activities and enjoys sharing that information with interested readers.

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