Question: Can Down Sleeping Bags be Washed

Answer: Down sleeping bags could be washed, but it needs more time and careful attention. It is pretty costly to have them professionally cleaned, but you could also do it yourself.

First, you have to assess whether your sleeping bag needs a full-wash or if it could be remedied by a little spot cleaning. Frequent washing could subject your bag to wear and tear, and it could damage the down inside, thereby decreasing the loft and quality of your bag. Hence, opt for spot cleaning unless your bag has become unusually grimy.

Make a paste of a little non-detergent soap and water, and use an old toothbrush to clean the shell of your sleeping bag. Concentrate on the hood and the collar, since these are the areas where skin oils tend to build up. Afterwards, hold the shell or liner away from the insulation and rinse it gently. Be careful not to get the insulation wet, since moisture could ruin and rot the down inside.

However, if your bag has become too dirty for spot cleaning and is already losing loft, then a full wash might be necessary. First, take note of the manufacturer’s instructions on how to wash your bag. Keep in mind that different bags could have different cleaning specifications, so keep in mind to follow the directions specific for your sleeping bag.

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