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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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