By: Paul Bodnar

How to Wash Your Down Sleeping Bag After Your Hike

Follow along for the best tips and tricks on machine washing your sleeping bag after your hike!

1. Purchase the recommended down cleaning solution for your sleeping bag.

Marmot recommends Nikwax Down Wash Direct for down-filled sleeping bags.

Nikwax Down Wash Direct costs around $11 for ten fluid ounces or 300 ml. This is enough cleaning solution to clean about 3 sleeping bags.

2. Follow Manufacturers Washing Instructions

Instructions can be found on the sleeping bag tag or online.

Marmot recommends using a large front-loading washing machine to wash the down sleeping bag. If a large front-loading washing machine is not available you can use a bathtub.

Inspect and repair any weak points in the sleeping bag prior to washing.

3. Use the Correct Wash Method

Marmot recommends using a large front-loading washing machine to wash the down sleeping bag. If a large front-loading washing machine is not available you can use a bathtub.

Inspect and repair any weak points in the sleeping bag prior to washing.

4. Dry the Sleeping Bag

The sleeping bag should be dried using low heat for at least 1 hour with two to three tennis balls.  The tennis balls re-fluff the down. If you don’t have tennis balls you can use thick rolled up socks to re-fluff the down.

Do not use high heat when drying your sleeping bag. High heat can damage the soft shell of the sleeping bag.

5. Inspect Sleeping Bag

Before packing up your sleeping bag inspect the sleeping bag for any rips or tears. Make necessary repairs if needed.

6. Properly Store the Sleeping Bag

Do not store your sleeping bag in the stuff sack. For long term storage store the sleeping bag in a large breathable cotton or mesh sack in a place that is cool and dry.

Summary

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when cleaning and caring for your sleeping bag.

A clean sleeping bag will provide more loft than a dirty sleeping bag.