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Re: How do you wash a down sleeping bag?

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  • sawyer7271
    I ve never done it, but there are down-specific detergents. REI might have it. http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/caring+sleeping+bag.html The articles
    Message 1 of 8 , May 3, 2010
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      I've never done it, but there are down-specific detergents. REI might have it.

      http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/caring+sleeping+bag.html

      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 places.
      > 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 tennis
      > 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]
      >
    • Jerry Goller
      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
      Message 2 of 8 , May 3, 2010
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        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
        away.

        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
        above.

        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.......


        Jerry

        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
        it.

        http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/caring+sleeping+bag.html

        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
        places.
        > 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
        tennis
        > 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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      • Cara Lin Bridgman
        I 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
        Message 3 of 8 , May 3, 2010
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          I 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
          about it.

          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.

          CL
        • LoveRise@aol.com
          Great tips Cara...thank you for sharing! Celebrate Life! Laurie (http://www.youtube.com/user/LoveRise) _YouTube - Hiking Castle Rock_
          Message 4 of 8 , May 4, 2010
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            Great tips Cara...thank you for sharing!

            Celebrate Life!

            Laurie (http://www.youtube.com/user/LoveRise) _YouTube - Hiking Castle
            Rock_ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8dvNx4LqzY)

            "Make the journey worthy of the destination"

            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
            about it.

            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!


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • LoveRise@aol.com
            Wow Jerry! I really appreciate your exhaustive reply. Your information that you shared is so exacting that I began to think this process was going to be much
            Message 5 of 8 , May 4, 2010
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              Wow Jerry! I really appreciate your exhaustive reply. Your information that
              you shared is so exacting that I began to think this process was going to
              be much more labor intensive and somewhat daunting. So after reading all of
              the informative replys, I walked outside to where my sleeping bag is
              laying in the sun hoping, just hoping the scent had subsided yet NO so it looks
              like I'm going to have wash it which now I feel I will be able to do with
              these wonderful instructions. Being basically a person who prefers to take
              the path of least resistance, I may try your recommendation for the McNett
              scent spray.

              If the scent is just on the shell that might work yet if it is a dog scent
              it has probably permeated into the feathers which would require me to wash
              it.

              I'll be attending a bike repair clinic at rei tomorrow night so maybe I can
              pick some up. I'd really like to be able to avert having to wash and dry
              this huge down bag yet I am grateful to know how to do it properly now.

              Celebrate Life!

              Laurie (http://www.youtube.com/user/LoveRise) _YouTube - Hiking Castle
              Rock_ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8dvNx4LqzY)

              "Make the journey worthy of the destination"

              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....on



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • LoveRise@aol.com
              Great tips Cara...thank you for sharing! Celebrate Life! Laurie (http://www.youtube.com/user/LoveRise) _YouTube - Hiking Castle Rock_
              Message 6 of 8 , May 4, 2010
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                Great tips Cara...thank you for sharing!

                Celebrate Life!

                Laurie (http://www.youtube.com/user/LoveRise) _YouTube - Hiking Castle
                Rock_ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8dvNx4LqzY)

                "Make the journey worthy of the destination"

                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
                about it.

                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!


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • EHamilton
                And Cara Lin s suggestion to use vinegar in the final rinse should nail the odor. Not sure if you re talking about wet dog smell or pee smell but vinegar is
                Message 7 of 8 , May 4, 2010
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                  And Cara Lin's suggestion to use vinegar in the final rinse should nail the odor. Not sure if you're talking about "wet dog" smell or pee smell but vinegar is the antidote to pee smell, actually just about any smell. CL and Jerry both gave really good instructions that I'll be saving!

                  MacGyver




                  ________________________________
                  From: "LoveRise@..." LoveRise@...
                   
                  Great tips Cara...thank you for sharing!

                  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
                  about it.

                  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!

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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