20478Re: [Hammock Camping] Re: How do you wash a down sleeping bag?
- May 3, 2010I spent this weekend washing my husband's queen-sized down comforter
from LLBean because our new cat decided to pee on it--twice! There's
not much more lingering than cat pee!
The first thing I did was stuff the whole comforter into one of those
mesh laundry sacks for washing delicate items. This got most of the air
out and contained the bag. Then, I put the bag in a tub. At my house,
we don't have a tub, but I've a nice large plastic basin. I used the
shower head to fill the basin with cold water (no point wasting energy
to heat the water when I'm going to sun-dry) and I used my feet to
squish the water into the comforter and the air out of it. Then, I
added probably two cap-fulls of woolite. I still had the woolite and it
goes into suspension well, but last Fall, I used ordinary 'organic'
laundry soap (mostly baking soda) for my JRB No-Sniveler. So, I spent
20 or so minutes squishing the soapy water through the comforter. It's
lots easier to use your feet than your hands. Then, I dumped out all
the soapy water and filled the tub with clear water and squished the bag
some more. I think I did the 'rinse' cycle four times. The last time,
I dumped in about 1 cup of vinegar to make sure to get all the soap out.
I did not rinse out the vinegar. After I poured the water out, I
stood on the comforter to squeeze out more water. Then I folded it in
half and squeezed some more. Finally, I folded it into quarters and
squeezed. It looked a lot like a huge roll of bread dough. All this
time, the comforter was in the mesh bag.
I took the comforter and put it into my washing machine (Japanese made,
top-loading, no central agitator), removed the mesh bag, and turned on
the spin cycle. I ran the bag through about 40 minutes of spin. Then,
I hung the bag in the sun for two days, fluffing whenever I thought
It's during the drying that I've learned to appreciate the black side of
the JRB quilts. When I washed my no-sniveler, it dried in <4 hours of
direct sunlight! I am contemplating dying the comforter black!
Right now, we have a happy, fluffy, comforter and my husband and I, at
least, don't notice any cat odor. I admit we've not left it on the bed
long enough to give the cat a chance to see if he notices any odor.
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