Is cleaning your sleeping bag going to be a hassle? If you have used it a lot then you will be keen to get it looking great again before your future adventures, but you may be wondering how best to do this without the risk of damaging it.
Perhaps the main question you have in this respect is whether or not you can put your sleeping bag in the dryer after washing it. Let’s take a look at the main issues that you need to know about.
What Type Is It?
The starting point is with the type of sleeping bag that you want to clean and dry. Is it down insulated or does it use synthetic insulation? This is a crucial point, as down insulated sleeping bags are a bit more delicate than their synthetic counterparts.
The issue here is that there is baffling that keeps the down in place, but it can be damaged when it gets wet. Because of this, you will want to be extra careful with this type of sleeping bag, although the instructions that follow are pretty much the same for both types.
One trick to stop a down sleeping bag from being damaged or from clumping together is to add some tennis balls to the dryer with it. It might sound like a strange idea but the theory is that these balls help it to dry more quickly and also to stop the down from clumping up.
At Home or at the Laundromat?
The next question to bear in mind is around whether you will wash and dry your sleeping bag at home. The main issue for most people here is simply that their appliances at home aren’t big enough for the job.
Even if it fits in, you might worry that your sleeping bag is too delicate for you to trust your home dryer with it. It is always better to use a commercial machine in a laundromat. Look for one that is front-loading. This applies to both the washing machine and the dryer.
The simple fact is that domestic dryers just aren’t designed to handle this sort of thing. If you choose to dry your sleeping bag at home then you will be running the risk of it getting damaged. On the other hand, a commercial machine should be fine to use.
What Heat Setting Do You Use?
It is vital that you only ever dry your sleeping bag on a low heat setting. In fact, it makes sense to put it on the lowest possible heat setting that the dryer offers. This is because even a moderately high heat setting can damage the bag by melting it.
While it is drying, you will want to check on the bag frequently. This is to make sure that it isn’t being damaged during the drying process. Look for signs of it over-heating, such as melted or crinkled areas.
After the drying cycle has been completed, it is important to not let the sleeping bag sit in the dryer for too long. Even though it is now switched off, the drum will probably remain hot for a while, which could melt the sleeping bag if you aren’t careful.
Is There Another Option?
What if you don’t want to take the risk of using a dryer after washing your sleeping bag? Is there another option that you might want to consider?
Well, you could decide to let it air dry instead. If you are going to do this then you need to be aware that it can take a long time. So it isn’t ideal if you are in a hurry to use the sleeping bag.
You will want to extend the sleeping bag fully while it is drying outdoors, having first of all removed as much of the excess water as you can. If you are washing it in a machine then an extra spin cycle will help to dry it out as much as possible.
A warm temperature with some wind would be ideal for drying it as quickly as possible. However, be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight as it dries, as this could damage the fabric. Don’t forget that it can smell or become damaged if it stays damp for too long. Turning it inside out can help to clear up any remaining damp patches.
Finally, only store your sleeping bag away once it has fully dried out. If you follow all of these instructions then it should stay in great condition for longer