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20476RE: [Hammock Camping] Re: How do you wash a down sleeping bag?

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  • Jerry Goller
    May 3, 2010
      Actually, down loves to be washed. Notice how often you see ducks and geese
      preening..... ;o) Washing will greatly increase the loft and the life of a
      down bag. It's really easy to do either at home or at a Laundromat. The only
      downside is it takes awhile so bring a good book.

      Yes, you should always use a front loading machine or wash it in the bath
      tub. I run mine through twice, once with down soap and once with just water.
      There are only two ways to screw it up. The first is to not get the soap
      thoroughly rinsed out of the bag. Just to be sure, I run mine through a
      second time with no soap. Machine time is cheap. Bags are expensive. The
      second way to screw it up is while handling the wet bag. Be *very* carful
      with it. The baffles in most down bags are made of mosquito netting and wet
      down is capable of tearing the baffles right out of the bag. I never let any
      part of the bag sag when it is wet. I have a cart or laundry basket right at
      the machine door and carefully transfer the bag a foot or two at a time to
      the carrier. Then I just as carefully load it into the largest dryer they
      have. Put the dryer on the lowest setting available. Either tennis balls or
      a clean sneaker will help break up the clumps of down in the bag while it
      dries. I only run it through the dryer until it is somewhat dry. Usually the
      outer shell is dry and the large clumps of down have, to a degree, gone

      I then carefully transport it home for final drying. I've put plastic sheets
      down on a bed and laid the bag out, open, on that or carefully drape it,
      open, over a banister. I give it a few days to a week to dry. It is always
      at the end of that bag's season so I am never in any hurry. Whenever I think
      of it I *gently* fluff the bag while it is drying. That usually happens 5 or
      6 times a day. Once I can no longer feel any clumps in the bag then it is
      dry. I always hang my bags up in a closet for storage.

      If you opt to wash it in the bath tub then fill the tub so so full of water,
      add the soap, then lay the bag out. Wash it by gently pushing it down with
      each hand, back and forth. Create kind of a slow motion agitation of the
      bag. You can also carefully and slowly swish the bag back and forth. Do not
      pick the bag up!. Pop the drain and let all the water out. Refill and swish,
      refill and swish, refill and swish. When you are certain the bag is rinsed
      clean do it a couple of more times. Let the bag lay in the tub for a few
      hours to drain as much of the water out as possible. Gently press down on
      the bag to help squeeze out as much water as possible. Once you've hit that
      stage then have a large laundry basket beside the tub and carefully roll the
      bag, a few feet at a time, out of the tub and into the basket. Then dry as

      I wash my bags at least every other year. Frequently, if I have used it a
      fair amount, I'll wash it after every season.

      Now that front loading machines have become so popular, and relatively
      inexpensive, I finally broke down and bought the largest front loading
      washer and dryer I could find. It is much more convenient to do it at home.

      There are a number of down cleaners on the market. ReviveX is that last one
      I used. I've also used Downe for years to wash bags.

      McNett also makes MiraZyme which is a great odor killer. That is what I used
      on one of my Valandre bags after The Unfortunate Pee Bottle Incident.......


      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/: the most comprehensive interactive gear
      reviews on the planet.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of sawyer7271
      Sent: Monday, May 03, 2010 15:19
      To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Hammock Camping] Re: How do you wash a down sleeping bag?

      I've never done it, but there are down-specific detergents. REI might have


      The articles I've read (including the one above) recommend either a
      front-loading washing machine, or (better) hand-washing in a bathtub.

      It's a difficult process, but you shouldn't have to do it for years...

      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, LoveRise@... wrote:
      > Greetings Everyone!
      > This weekend at the once a month gear sale at REI, I scored a Mountain
      > Hardware Lyell -15 down bag with 2lbs of 600 goose down for $39.00. This
      is a
      > $350 sleeping bag so I just had to grab it to use in my Hammock or to try

      > to make an underquilt with it. YET the reason it was sooo cheap is even
      > though the bag is in almost new condition it smells like dog in some
      > Which makes me wonder if the dog smell is just on the nylon bag or has
      > permeated into the down and how to deal with it.
      > So I really need assistance in how to best get that scent out without
      > ruining the down in the bag. The directions say not to dry clean and to
      not use
      > liquid detergent.
      > So it suggests washing it in a front loading machine and tumble drying on

      > gentle in a front loader. I have heard to help keep the loft to add a
      > ball or a sneaker to the dryer. Would those things help or hinder the
      > process?
      > Right now I have it airing out in full sun which I noticed reduced some of

      > the scent yesterday when I put it in the sun yet then it seemed like the
      > scent was back this morning.
      > So any suggestions on treating this great bag with the care it needs so I

      > can use it would be greatly appreciated!!
      > Until then...Celebrate Life!
      > Laurie
      > _YouTube - No Mess Trail Baking with Sea to Summit Folding Cup, Pinnacle
      > Soloist and Trangia Cookset Part 3_
      > (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-dPZAoXxxk)
      > "Make the journey worthy of the destination"
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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