How to wash a synthetic sleeping bag
Whether you’re tossing and turning at night or you’re tossing and turning because you’re worrying about your family or pets, you know how important it is to know how to wash a synthetic sleeping bag. After all, it’s better to spend a little more on a good bag that won’t cause problems than to throw your money away on a cheap one that will. Synthetic fills are meant to last a long time and can be washed and cleaned if you follow certain procedures. Follow these guidelines to clean your down and synthetics.
Be very careful when you’re washing a down bag maker. Even if your sleeping bag maker is completely empty, it still needs to be washed. Leaving it in a sink or tub filled with warm water could cause the Fill to become mucked. If your sleeping bag maker is filled with water and there’s no foam, be sure to rinse it out before putting it in the washer.
To wash a synthetic sleeping bag, start by filling the washer up to the water’s peak capacity. Use gentle squeezing to begin, but quickly rinse it all off and let it dry naturally. It will take a few washes to completely dry it so don’t be put off. You might need to go through this process several times before you get it completely clean and airy. Use a mild detergent and rinse the entire bag thoroughly until it feels dry.
To wash a down sleeping bag, use the same method as the synthetic fill. Wash it completely in cold water, using the gentle cycle only once. Washing the entire bag using a high pressure sprayer is not advisable as this could damage the loft. This sprayer works best on loft that has been treated with an acrylic finish.
It might take several washes with the loft treatment before the bag maker is completely clean. Be patient and give yourself plenty of time. Once the loft is clean, rinse it with a lukewarm water solution and hang to dry. Never place it in the dryer as this will damage the synthetic material.
Another common question about washing synthetic sleeping bags concerns the temperature they need to be dried in. Drying in a low heat setting is not advised as this could damage the lining. Synthetic sleeping bags are best docked in a low heat area such as an outside closet. The outside closet is preferably lined with a bed liner and several tennis balls.
There are two primary methods of drying synthetic sleeping bags. The first is to hang the bag outside in direct sunlight. This can damage the lining. If you do not have access to sunlight, consider using a hair dryer or heating tape.
The second method is more recommended if you want your synthetic sleeping bag to be thoroughly cleaned. If you do not have access to a washer, you can use a hand-held detergent machine that is as easy to use as a Q-tip or cotton buds. Just add water, spray the area with a little soap and run the machine until the liquid runs out. Then, just hang the bag up to dry in the air.
It is also important to consider how the bag will be stored once it is fully dry. If you have a small loft, it is often easiest to hang up the synthetic sleeping bag to dry and then fold it in thirds and place it in a large plastic trash bag. Doing so will keep the crease from occurring around the corners of the bag. You can also elect to fold the bag in half and tape the bottom closed. The bag maker will provide instructions on how to properly fold the sleeping bag for storage.
Some synthetic bags are made to be machine washed. This is the best way to truly clean and dry them. First, use a washing machine on a low setting to begin. Next, carefully remove the entire bag from the washer and place it in a large plastic trash bag. Be sure to carefully rinse off the soap and hand wash all areas with cold water.
Next, carefully squeeze out the last bit of water from the inside of the bag and lay it in your laundry basket or in the bottom of your washing machine’s agitator. Use the gentle squeeze method to completely rinse the entire bag. Before drying, fold the bag in thirds and place it in the trash bag again. This helps avoid a mildew problem after the dry cleaning process.