Down sleeping bag cleaning can seem challenging, but it's really not.
Here's how to easily wash and dry your down filled sleeping bags.
Dry cleaning will reduce a down bag's loft, which reduces its warmth.
My guess is that it's because washing a down sleeping bag incorrectly can completely ruin it.
I guess the sleeping bag manufacturers figure that damaging the bag a little bit (by dry cleaning) is better than ruining it completely (by improper washing.)
Fortunately, you don't have to do either. Down sleeping bag cleaning is easy when you know how.
Down sleeping bags can be hand washed or machine washed. I prefer to machine wash. Keep reading and you'll understand why.
If I had a very expensive top-of-the-line down bag, I might hand wash it. No, let's be honest, I wouldn't - because hand washing a down sleeping bag is a lot of work! (I did it once, and that was enough!)
If you want to give it a try, though, here's how it's done.
Now you're going to have to remove that soap! Here's how:
Whew. That was a lot of work! Now you know why I prefer using a washing machine for down sleeping bag cleaning!
Why not just make a trip to the laundromat and use a heavy duty front loading washing machine?
If you are washing a small sleeping bag, and if you have a front loader at home, you can use that. For larger bags, though, always use a commercial washer.
That's all there is to it!
If you're at the laundromat, ensure that the dryer has a "low heat" option and that it doesn't overheat.
Many commercial dryers have just one temperature: extra hot! Excessive heat will melt the fibers in your bag.
Gear Aid gets excellent reviews on Amazon.
Those who have tried it say that it gets their down sleeping bags and coats clean and fluffy.
This will absorb water and speed drying time.
These will fluff up the down - but put them in just for the last few minutes of the cycle.
You may have heard that you should put a tennis shoe in the dryer to fluff up the bag. Don't. This can damage the down.
It will take too long, and the bag may become mildewed in the process.
Down sleeping bag cleaning doesn't have to be done often - just when the bag is very soiled, or beginning to smell.
You can reduce the need for down sleeping bag cleaning by using a sleeping bag liner.
Once your bag is nice and clean, be sure to store it properly. Here's what you should know about sleeping bag storage.